Galleria 2
6928 Manno-Lugano

Tel. +41 58 666 6712
Fax. +41 58 666 6661

Ph.D. Student

Institute: IDSIA
Supervisor: Jürgen Schmidhuber
Project: IM-CLeVeR


I am primarily interested in spatial awareness, as it applies to controlling humanoid or other high DOF robots. Related interests include kinematics, dynamics, control systems, path planning, machine learning, intelligent systems, computational geometry, and geometric modelling.

iCub Plays With Legos®one hand, two hands
These are two short videos of preliminary work I did as a part of the Manipulation Group at VVV '09 in Sestri Levante, Italy.

Journal Publications

M. Frank and H. Ilies, Fast Hierarchical Discretization of Parametric Boundary Representations
To appear in the International Journal of Shape Modeling (IJSM) 2011

Refereed Conference Publications

M. Frank and H. Ilies, Fast Hierarchical Discretization of Parametric Boundary Representations
Proceedings of Tools and Methods of Competitive Engineering (TMCE) 2010 (

Refereed Extended Abstracts

M. Frank and H. Ilies, Fast Discretization of Parametric Surfaces,
2009 SIAM/ACM Joint Conference on Geometric and Physical Modeling,
October 5-8, 2009.


M.S. - Mechanical Engineering
University of Connecticut 2009
Thesis: Fast Hierarchical Discretization of Parametric Surfaces
Laboratory: Computational Design Lab

B.A. - German Language
University of Connecticut 2007

Eurotech Exchange Student (what's that?)
University of Stuttgart 2006-2007

B.S. - Mechanical Engineering
University of Connecticut 2006
Senior Design Project: Design of a Compact Linear Eddy Current Damper
Corporate Partner: ASML

Awards and Honors

University of Connecticut Mechanical Engineering Department
2009 First Place: Graduate Research Competition
2006 Third Place: Senior Design Project Competition

University of Connecticut School of Engineering
2006 John S. Rydz Eurotech Scholarship

University of Connecticut
2005 Achievement Scholarship
2004 Achievement Scholarship
2003 Achievement Scholarship

Honor Societies
2004 Inducted into Pi Tau Sigma


2007 Werkstudent - MTU Aero Engines – Munich, Germany
At MTU I programmed several useful tools in MATLAB. I created an image analysis tool designed to operate on high-speed camera images of laser pulses as they interact with metals. This tool was intended to help identify "breakthrough" during laser-drilling. Another code I wrote for MTU, also based on image processing, was intended to help set the zero position for already-machined parts being remounted in NC machines for refurbishing. Finally, I wrote a tool to generate coordinates for trepanning arbitrary conic holes on the 5-axis laser-drilling machines.

2005-2006 Level II Instructor - REAL Kiteboarding – Waves, NC
The sport of kiteboarding involves constantly balancing forces between a wing in the air and a wing in the water, so as to end up with a net force that allows you to sail around and jump over small islands in a jaw-dropping manner. I taught beginner through upper intermediate lessons and on my turns as head coach, organized and ran camps of 8 students and 3 other instructors.

2003-2005 Technician - UConn Engineering Machine Shop – Storrs, CT
In the machine shop I worked part time to fulfill work orders that were submitted by professors and research assistents who needed custom, hand made equipment or replacement parts for their laboratories. During this time, I gained proficiency using the following equipment: milling machine, lathe, TIG welder, grinding/polishing wheels, sheet metal tools for bending/shearing, calipers, micrometer, and assorted other hand tools.

2004 QC Engineering Intern - Vanguard Sailboats – Plymouth, RI
At vanguard I observed the entire fabrication process for the 420 sailboat, from material acquisition through preparation, lamination, bonding, and deck hardware. I compiled this information into a detailed circa 150 page build manual with detailed pictures and descriptions of each step. I also took initiative to create patterns for fiberglass cutting, thereby helping to control weight variation from hull to hull, and I implemented a non-destructive QC process to test for sufficient yield strength in the mast of the Laser sailboat.

2001-2003 System Architect - Academic Keys LLC. – Storrs, CT is a job-hunting/advertising tool for the academic community. I designed and built the underlying relational database system, which runs on MySQL, as well as a browser-based interface which uses PHP and SQL. The system was designed to be extensible, and despite extensive expansion both in content storage and features my code continues to run at the core of the system today.

Language Proficiency

I really enjoy learning languages. An idiom is worth a thousand words.

English - mother tongue
German - fluent
Italian - beginner/intermediate
French - beginner

A Few of My Favorite Places