About Hydromea

Founded in December 2014, Hydromea SA is a new start-up from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, with the goal to bring the latest advanced technology from microengineering and robotics to the environmental market. The Hydromea technology is the result of over 10 years of experience gained through research of the founders in underwater communication, localization, propulsion and distributed systems. By leveraging automation and multi-robot systems Hydromea aims to provide high-resolution in-situ data (which to date cannot be obtained by other means), cost-effectively and fast.



The Founders

Dr. Felix Schill

Dr. Felix Schill completed his Diploma degree in Computer Science at the University of Karlsruhe, Germany in 2003, and was awarded a PhD in Computer Science at The Australian National University (ANU) in 2008 for his thesis on Distributed Communication in Swarms of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles. He started working on underwater robots in 2003 at the Australian National University, where he worked on underwater communication channels, scalable ad-hoc networks for robotic swarms, and the development of underwater robots. He joined the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in 2011 to work on collision avoidance for swarms of aerial robots. His research results are published in over a dozen peer-reviewed conference and journal papers. Formally educated in computer science, Dr. Schill is an expert in real-time systems, ad-hoc communication networks, aerial and underwater robotics, and also has extensive experience in designing and building electronics, embedded systems, rapid manufacturing/3D printing, composite manufacturing and mechanical design.

Dr. Alexander Bahr

Dr. Alexander Bahr received his Diploma in Electrical Engineering from the Technical University Aachen, Germany in 2003. Being interested in the subject of underwater robotics for a long time he went to the Australian National University (ANU) to work in this field during a seven month project as a research scientist. During that time he developed the first prototype of the Serafina, a small AUV. In 2004 he joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he received his PhD in Ocean Engineering from the Joint Program of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and MIT in 2009. His work was focused on the cooperation and navigation of large groups of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV). As part of his PhD research he participated in several cruises and vehicle deployments where he acquired an in-depth understanding of the inner workings and operational details of several commercial and research AUV systems. In addition to his PhD work he participated in numerous projects which required the design, testing and deployment of underwater sensing equipment.



Advisory board

Gleb Chuvpilo

Managing Partner at Rewired, a $100M Venture Capital firm investing in AI & Robotics

Gleb is an investor in Artificial Intelligence & Robotics with a Master’s degree from the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab and an MBA in Finance and Strategic Management from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Before becoming a venture capitalist, Gleb managed AI-driven quantitative trading portfolios at Goldman Sachs ($10 billion AUM) and Clarium (Peter Thiel’s $6 billion global macro fund), built AI algorithms at Palantir Technologies (an In-Q-Tel backed Silicon Valley startup), and co-founded several technology startups, including Authy (Y Combinator class 2012, acquired by Twilio), Ride (with Uber co-founder Oscar Salazar, funded by TPG and Bono, acquired by Enterprise Holdings), and Pager (also with Oscar Salazar, funded by New Enterprise Associates and Ashton Kutcher). Gleb is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts (NYSSA) and the Wharton Private Equity & Venture Capital Association. Gleb is also an Energy Risk Professional (ERP), as well as a graduate of the MIT Sloan Financial Technology program and the Reforge Growth Series with Andrew Chen.


Daniel Brandenburger

Independent industrial consultant and Innosuisse Startup Coach

Daniel is an independent industrial consultant with more than 30 years experience in creating, restructuring and managing sales, engineering and production operations for large European enterprises in the APAC region, especially China. He faced all possible challenges in fast developing and extremely competitive environments, successfully created distribution networks, developed and implemented multi-sites organizations, with ambitious visions and strategies insuring outstanding growth results. He holds a Master in Mechanical Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland, a postgraduate from Tsinghua University, China in machine engineering and an Executive Development degree from IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland. He is fluent in French, German, English and Chinese. He successfully created or restructured more than 15 influential companies in many different industries. Today he shares these experiences with different companies from startups to MNC, supporting their growth and preparing them to face all industrial and operational challenges. He is a CTI startup Coach for the Swiss Commission for Technology and Innovation as well as member of the Business Angels of Switzerland.


Prof. Alfred Johny Wüest

Professor, Physics of Aquatic Systems Laboratory, Margaretha Kamprad Chair, ENAC, EPFL Lausanne, Switzerland

Prof. Alfred Johny Wüest is head of the Physics of Aquatic Systems Laboratory (Margaretha Kamprad Chair) at EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland and member of the EAWAG (Swiss federal water research institute) directorate. His research focuses on small-scale processes such as turbulent mixing, boundary layer fluxes and double-diffusion. The applied research and expert services were mostly related to lake management (nutrients, turbidity, heat use and hydropower). Within this research portfolio, Wüest has published 130 peer-reviewed articles and 22 book articles. The goal of the larger and interdisciplinary projects was usually to assess the anthropogenic effects on physical and biogeochemical effects in stratified lakes and reservoirs with an applied research component. But Wüest likes especially the possibilities of investigations of very special aquatic systems as Lake Ohrid, Lake Baikal and Lake Kivu.



Sponsors

EPFL MICS spin fund KTI/CTI Swiss Confederation Venturelab SPECo Canton Vaud Innovaud