Biography dr. ir. Abeje Y. Mersha (lector)

Abeje Yenehun Mersha (PhD) is a professor of Unmanned Robotic Systems at Saxion University of Applied Sciences.

He received his BSc. degree with Very Great Distinction from Mekelle University, Mekelle, Ethiopia, in 2007. In 2008, he received a full Huygens Scholarship to pursue his graduate studies at the University of Twente. In 2010, he completed his MSc. in Electrical Engineering and graduated with honors (Cum Laude).He obtained his PhD in the field of aerial robotics from the University of Twente in 2014. During his PhD research, he has developed novel control algorithms for autonomous as well as teleoperated aerial robots and aerial manipulators in the context of the AIRobots European project, a pioneering project in the field of aerial interaction. The applicability and performance of his algorithms have been tested in extreme conditions, including in the longest intercontinental haptic control of a drone in the world (Netherlands-Australia). His results have been published in various peer reviewed journals, conferences and professional megazines.

He is currently leading the unmanned robotics research program. This research program encompasses unmanned robots (aerial robots, ground robots, surface and underwater robots) and their technologies that are developed in the context of various application domains (Safety & Security, Agriculture and Sustainable Energy). Together with his colleagues and industrial partners, he has developed various innovative and applicable technologies, such as interaction controllers, robust autonomous flight, optimal path planning, robust 2D and 3D SLAM, robust and precise autonomous landing, and drone-docking station technology. These technologies are realized on various ground robots, boats and aerial robots ( ranging from miniature drones (1 kg payload) to mega drones (500 kg payload)).

In 2020, Abeje was nominated for the 'Klokhuis Wetenschapsprijs' with his project 'The Beast'. In 2021 is Abeje one of the three finalists for the 'Prins Friso Ingenieursprijs', which is awarded annually by the KIVI (Koninklijke Instituut Van Ingenieurs), for The Best Engineer of the year. The prize is intended at an engineer who distinguishes himself/herself in his/her work in the areas of expertise, innovation, entrepreneurship and social impact.