Meet the Judges

Every case submitted for participation in the Mimics Innovation Awards is thoroughly evaluated by an independent, international jury, composed of experts in advanced 3D medical image processing. Based on pre-defined criteria they select the most innovative cases.



Wilfried Vancraen, Msc MBA

Materialise CEO Fried Vancraen began his career in 1985 after graduating with a Master of Science in Electro-Mechanical Engineering. Working as a Research Engineer and Consultant at the Research Institute of the Belgian Metalworking Industry, Fried discovered 3D Printing. Passionate about this new technology and firm in his belief that it could help create a better and healthier world, he founded Materialise in July 1990.

In recent years, Fried has been awarded the RTAM/SME Industry Achievement Award, the highest honor in the 3D Printing industry, and has been selected as the most influential person in Additive Manufacturing by industry professionals and TCT Magazine. He has been listed as one of the 5 leading players in his sector by the Financial Times, and is also the recipient of a 2013 Visionaries! Award from the Museum of Art and Design in New York. 


Assistant. Prof. Ellen Roche

Ellen Roche is an Assistant Professor between Mechanical Engineering and the Institute for Medical Engineering Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She did her postdoctoral research fellowship at the National University of Ireland, Galway. She completed her PhD at Harvard University School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Her research focuses on applying innovative technologies to the development of cardiac devices.

Her research includes development of novel devices to repair or augment cardiac function using disruptive approaches such as soft robotics, combination of mechanical actuation with delivery of cell therapy, and use of light-activated biodegradable adhesives. Prof. Roche was employed in the medical device industry for over five years as a research and development engineer, and understands the regulatory pathways to medical device commercialization.

Prof. Roche has 10 patent applications and over 40 conference/journal papers. She is the recipient of multiple awards including the Fulbright International Science and Technology Award, the Wellcome Trust Seed Award in Science and an American Heart Association Pre-Doctoral Award.

Prof. Jos Vander Sloten

Prof. Jos Vander Sloten

Prof. Jos Vander Sloten (°1962) obtained his MSc and PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Leuven in 1985 and 1990 respectively. His first years with the university were spent as a research assistant, and later as a post-doctoral researcher for the Fund of Scientific Research in Flanders, specializing in musculoskeletal biomechanics. Currently he is a tenured Professor and Chair within the Division of Biomechanics and Engineering Design at the University of Leuven. He also chairs the Leuven Medical Technology Centre (L-MTC), which he founded in 2008. Additionally, he is a co-founder of the spin-off company Custom8. His teaching assignments include engineering mechanics, problem-solving, engineering design and computer integrated surgery systems.

His research interests include computer applications in musculoskeletal biomechanics and computer-integrated surgery, a topic on which he has authored over 160 journal papers. He was recently elected Founding Fellow of the European Alliance for Medical and Biological Engineering and Science (EAMBES) due to his long involvement in the running of the society.


Luca Cristofolini

Luca Cristofolini is a Full Professor of Biomechanics at the University of Bologna since 2012. Formerly he was an Associate Professor of Biomechanics (2004-2012), and a Research Assistant in Experimental Mechanics (1995-2004). He serves as a Secretary of the PhD program in Bioengineering, and is in charge of the International liaisons. He is responsible of 4 Erasmus exchange projects for undergraduate and graduate students. Luca earned his PhD in Biomedical Engineering in 1996, and his Master in Mechanical Engineering cum laude in 1992. His research field covers experimental stress analysis and in vitro biomechanical simulations. His research is focused on orthopaedic biomechanics, topics: (1) design and validation of implantable devices (improvement of total joint replacement, including bone-implant interaction); and (2) multiscale mechanical testing of bone structures (strain distribution, stiffness, strength, fracture). While his expertise is on experimental mechanics, his work is strongly integrated with finite element (FE) modelling (identification of model parameters, experimental validation of models, exploitation of models to optimize in vitro experiments). He has continuing research collaboration with Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, and with several foreign Research Institutions. He played a role in 26 national and 10 international (mainly EU-funded, in FP4, Fp5, FP6 and FP7) research projects. He serves as a reviewer of 2 Italian and 5 international granting agencies.

He published over 180 papers in ISI indexed peer-reviewed journals, and a European Patent. According to the statistics of Osservatorio Ricerca, his scientific productivity and impact is above the 90th percentile of UniBo. He won the Clinical Biomechanics award in 2002. In 1997 he won the Capocaccia Award (Italian Association for Stress Analysis, AIAS). His PhD thesis was awarded by the Italian Lions Club as the best PhD thesis in Bioengineering. His Master thesis was awarded by the Italian Association for Stress Analysis, AIAS. He published over 130 papers in ISI indexed international journals and is co-inventor in a European Patent.

He is in the Editorial Board of J. Biomechanics, and is a Referee for several Journals in the field of Biomechanics. He is a member of the Italian Association for stress Analysis (AIAS), of the Italian Society for Bioengineering (GNB). He is a member of the European Society of Biomechanics (ESB) since 2003, and of the European Orthopaedic Research Society (EORS) since 2013. He serves in the Council of the ESB since 2012. He serves in the Executive Board of the Italian Chapter of the European Society of Biomechanics since 2011.