Barbara Mazzolai is Director of the Center for Micro-BioRobotics (CMBR) since February 16th, 2011, and she was Deputy Director for the Supervision and Organization of the IIT Centers Network from July 2012 to 2017.
She graduated (MSc) in Biology (with Honours) at the University of Pisa, Italy, and received the Ph.D. in Microsystem Engineering from the University of Rome Tor Vergata. She was Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering at SSSA from 1999 to 2009. From November 2009 to February 2011 she was Team Leader at the CMBR. From January to July 2017 she was Visiting Faculty at Aerial Robotics Lab, Department of Aeronautics, of Imperial College of London.
In 2010 she received the "Marisa Bellisario" Award for her scientific and management activities in the EU DustBot project for improving the urban hygiene and the quality of life of citizens. In 2013 she was awarded the Medal of the Senate of the Italian Republic for her scientific activities in biomimetics and biorobotics. In 2015 she was listed among the 25 most influential women in robotics by RoboHub.
Her current scientific activity focuses on bioinspired soft robotics, with a particular research interest in merging biology and engineering. She has a long experience as Project Manager of European Projects in this field (e.g. OCTOPUS, FP7-231608; HydroNet, FP7-212790; DustBot, FP6-045299; EMECAP, QLK4-CT-2000-00489; etc.) and she was the Coordinator of the FET-Open PLANTOID European Project (n° 293431). Currently, she is the Coordinator of the FET-PROACTIVE GrowBot (n.824074) European Project.
She is Guest Editor of a Soft Robotics Special Issue in Biomimetics, member of the Editorial Board of Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, IEEE Transactions on Medical Robotics and Bionics, Soft Robotics, Robotics & Automation Letters, and Associated Editor for Frontiers in Bionics and Biomimetics. She served as Associated Editor for ICRA 2016-2019, IEEE RA-L 2016-2019, IROS 2013 and 2017, as Interdisciplinary Program Co-Chairs for RoboSoft 2018-2019, Government Forum Co-Chair for IROS 2016, and Publicity Co-Chair for BIOROB 2012.
She is also member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Tübingen and Stuttgart, Germany. She is author of more than 180 papers appeared in international journals, books, and conference proceedings. She is member of the IEEE, and of the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society and of the Robotics and Automation Society.