Joel Benito Manrique was born in Barcelona in 1978. He studied in the Escola Tècnica Superior d’Enginyeria de Telecomunicació de Barcelona (ETSETB) at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), in Barcelona until 2001, when he enrolled in a double degree program at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace (ENSAE, also known as Supaéro) in Toulouse, France, where he specialized in space vehicles subsystems. He obtained both degrees in 2003. After having pursued several research experiences at the Canary Islands Institute of Astrophysics ( www.iac.es ), CERN ( www.cern.ch ), the University of Hawaii ( www.soest.hawaii.edu ), the Flight Dynamics and Control Laboratory at UC Irvine ( http://gram.eng.uci.edu/~fdcl ), and the Department of Systems Engineering and Automation at the University of Seville ( www.esi2.us.es/ISA/GAR/GVR ), he was awarded with a Balsells Fellowship to pursue a PhD Degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of California, Irvine, joining the Research Group of Professor K. D. Mease. He is also interested in politics and sports. In February 2004, he obtained his first graduation in capoeira from the capoeira group Topázio ( www.capoeiratopazio.com ), currently he is a member of the capoeira group Centrosul ( www.centrosul.org ).
Xavier Casadevall i Solvas was born in Girona in 1978. He graduated from the Escola Politècnica Superior at the Universitat de Girona, in Girona (Catalonia), obtaining the degree of Technical Chemical Engineer in 2000; and from Escola Tècnica Superior d’Enginyeria Industrial de Barcelona (ETSEIB) at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), in Barcelona, Catalonia, obtaining the degree of Chemical Engineer in 2003. In 2000, he was awarded an Erasmus scholarship to spend five months at the École Nationale Supérieure de Mécanique et Aérotechnique (ENSMA) in France. His graduation project involved the characterization of the fire risk during the mixing of two flammable gases mixed by transversal jets. In the summer of 1999, he was as a trainee researcher for CRAY VALLEY IBERICA ( www.crayvalley.com ), working on new Colophony Resins analysis and synthesis. In the summer of 2000, he was as a Quality Assurance Technician for TRETY, working on the Tracking of Quality parameters for different products (polyurethane car inside complements) from conception to production. In 2002, he was as a R+D Technician for AEASA ( www.aeasa.com ), working on the analysis and development of reduced cost production Sugar technologies. In 2003, he was as a Projects Engineer for FORT DODGE VETERINÁRIA ( www.fortdodge.com ), working on the design of new facilities and supervision of technical improvement projects. In 2004, he was awarded a Balsells Fellowship to pursue graduate studies in Chemical & Biochemical Engineering at the University of California, Irvine. His research interests are in the Biotechnological/Biomedical area. He enjoys traveling, arts (especially music & cinema) and sports (soccer, sailing Patí de vela (a very sporting and elegant catalan original sailboat), tennis and beach-volley). His hobbies are gaming: PC games, strategy/diplomacy games, and card games (specially “ Butifarra “!).
Jordi Casòliva Rodon was born in Barcelona in 1977. In 2000, he graduated from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (Barcelona, SPAIN) obtaining a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. From 1999 to 2000, Jordi received a Fellowship from the Spanish Ministry of Education to perform research in modeling, control, simulation and modulation strategies in real time for Power Converters using a Digital Signal Processor. After his graduation, he worked (Sept. 2000 to June 2001) as a Research Assistant in the Automatic Control Department of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. He mainly worked with the Tele-operation system and robot arms actuation of an Underwater Robot ROV (Remote Operated Vehicle). After the conclusion of this project, he worked (July 2001 to Feb. 2003) as a Software Engineer R+D in several E uropean S pace A gency ( ESA ) projects. He designed and developed Satellite Software for Space Mission Control Processes using Artificial Intelligence algorithms. Also, he developed software for the Large Hadron Collider belonging to the C onseil E uropéen pour la R echerche N ucléaire ( CERN ). From March 2003 to August 2004, he was a research staff member at The Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University conducting research on the “Human Identification at a Distance” project. He developed and evaluated human identification technologies based on Computer Vision and Artificial Intelligence as part of the D efense A dvanced R esearch P rojects A gency ( DARPA ) sponsored program ( HumanID ). In 2004, he was awarded a Balsells Fellowship and to pursue Graduate Studies at the University of California, Irvine. His research interests are optimization theory and dynamics/control of nonlinear systems. He enjoys playing the piano, listening to music, reading, riding mountain bikes, in-line skating, playing tennis and basketball, lifting weights, running and swimming.
Marc Esplugas Gonzalez was born in Barcelona in 1980. He graduated from the Universitat de Barcelona (UB) in 2004, obtaining the degree of Chemical Engineer. For a month and a half in 2001, he worked as a trainee at the DuPont Polymer Powders Sarl., (Switzerland), in the area of performance of alkaline batteries and stock management ( www.dupontpowder.be ). During 2002, he worked for two month as a trainee at the Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT), Finland. He worked in an Ozone Pilot Plant determining new system conditions that could improve the results obtained during waste water treatment processes ( www.lut.fi ). During 2003, he was awarded an Erasmus scholarship to spend six months at the Chalmers Tekniska Hogskola in Sweden. His research consisted in developing an index to evaluate the green chemistry and the environmental safety of industrial plants ( www.chalmers.se ). In 2004, he worked as a trainee during six months for the CSIC (Spanish Research Council) at the Center for Research and Development (CID) of Barcelona. His research program was based on highly concentrated bitumen emulsions for oil-in-water systems ( www.cid.csic.es ). The same year, he was awarded a Balsells Fellowship to pursue graduate studies in Chemical Engineering at the University of California, Irvine. His research interests are in the Waste Water Treatments. He enjoys traveling, meeting new people and playing all kind of sports, especially soccer.
Francesc Galobardes Jornet was born in Sabadell (Catalunya, Spain), although he has always lived in Salt (province of Girona). He graduated from the Escola Politècnica Superior of the Universitat de Girona (UdG) in February 2004, obtaining the degree of Industrial Engineer. During the winter quarter of 2003, he was awarded a scholarship from the LEPAMAP group at the University of Girona ( http://lepamap.udg.es ) to conduct a 4 months research stage at the Centre Technique du Papier ( http://www.webctp.com – Grenoble, France) as an end-of-studies project. His area of research was in paper and fiber recycling, where he developed a new methodology to distinguish flexo and offset printed recovered newspapers. During the period between 1999 and 2003 he attended Labor Risk Prevention courses at the Technical Industrial Engineers Association in Girona to get a certificate in Labor Risk Prevention with Security, Ergonomic and Hygiene specialties. He also took Labor Risk Prevention Auditor and Construction Work Coordinator courses. Francesc worked as a Specialized Labor Risk Prevention Technician in Girona, Spain, during the summer 2001. From September 2002 to June 2003, he worked as a Scholar Industrial Engineer at Galobardes-Jornet, SC ( http://www.galobardes-jornet.com – Salt, Spain), a project and design oriented engineering office. After graduation, he worked as an Industrial Engineer Technical-Commercial Agent in Laboratorios Miret, S.A. ( http://www.lamirsa.com – Terrassa, Spain). In 2004, he was awarded a Balsells Fellowship to pursue a Master of Science Degree in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department of the University of California, Irvine http://mae.eng.uci.edu. His research interest areas are applied robotics and control. He likes reading (especially science-fiction and fantasy books), listening to all kinds of music, cinema, indoor and outdoor sports (loves skiing and snowboarding), computers and traveling.
Laura Marchal Crespo was born in Barcelona in 1980. She graduated from the Escola Tècnica Superior d’Enginyeria Industrial de Barcelona (ETSEIB) at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), in Barcelona, Catalonia, obtaining the degree of Industrial Engineer with a specialization in Automatics in 2003. In 2000-01, she received a research fellowship from the Education Ministry of Spain to join the Department of Electrical Engineering in ETSEIB ( www-dee.upc.es ). Her research was about the energy control in a hybrid car. In 2002-03, she worked in the training department of Schneider Electric Spain ( www.schneiderelectric.com ), a company that specializes in Electrical Distribution and Automation & Control. During 2003, she was awarded an Erasmus scholarship to spend six months at Fachhochschule Jena, Germany ( www.fh-jena.de ). Her research project was on the control of a minirobot Khepera® with a CCD camera using Fuzzy Logic. In 2003-2004, she worked as an automaton designer and programmer in STP, S.A. ( www.sertecpro.com ) a company that specialises in the design and construction of special machinery. In 2004, she was awarded a Balsells Fellowship to pursue graduate studies in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of California, Irvine. Her research interests are in Robotics. She enjoys traveling, reading and learning about other cultures.
José Tomás Morón Morte was born in Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain) in 1980. He graduated from the Escola Tècnica Superior d’Enginyeria de Telecomunicació (ETSETB) of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) in July 2004, obtaining the degree of Telecommunication engineer, specialized in communications. His final degree project was: “Design of radiation structures optimized for mobile terminals”. In July 2004, he was awarded a Balsells Fellowship to pursue a Master of Science Degree in Biomedical Engineering (BME) at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). His research interests are in medical applications of data processing, RF technology and MEMS. Prior arriving to Irvine he was actively involved in MIJAC, an institution which makes weekly activities with children. He also likes playing sports, including basketball, soccer and swimming, and cinema.
Genís Turon Teixidor was born in Figueres in 1980. In July 2004, he graduated in Industrial Engineering from the Escola Politècnica Superior at the Universitat de Girona (UdG). From September 2000 to June 2001, he was member of the UdG’s Avionics Team in the SSETI project sponsored by the European Space Agency (ESA) From November 2003 until June 2004, he received a scholarship from the Spanish Government to join the Mechanical Engineering Department at UdG in order to collaborate in the design of an experimental press brake to avoid the springback effect during the bending process of metal sheets. In July 2004, he was awarded a Balsells Fellowship to pursue a Master of Science Degree in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of California, Irvine. His research interests are in micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS). He is very interested in Music. He holds a Degree in Music, specialty in Classical Guitar, from the Oscar Esplá music conservatory in Alicante (Spain). He has played with several groups, and released a CD in 2002 with some of his favorite guitar works. He is also interested in astronomy and sports like swimming, soccer and skiing.