I did an MEng in Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Greece, followed by an MSc in Robotics at the University of the West of England, Bristol, UK, followed by a PhD in Medical Robotics at Bristol Robotics Lab and the University of the West of England
MEng, MSc, PhD, FHEA (Fellow of the Higher Education Academy)
During my PhD studies, I was also an Associate Lecturer teaching Robotics. After that, I worked as a Research Associate and then a Research Fellow in surgical robotics at the Bristol Robotics Lab. Then I became a Lecturer in Mechatronics at the University of the West of England and finally I became a Lecturer in Robotics at the University of Bristol.
Lecturer in Robotics
I am a roboticist who loves food, the sun and the sea
I am from Crete, a very beautiful and the biggest island of Greece. I moved to Bristol 9.5 years ago to study for my MSc degree in Robotics and liked it so much that I am still here. I live in the centre of Bristol but I hope to move to a house with a garden and a cat in the near future!
I like food a lot, try to live healthy and enjoy running and cycling, especially when the sun is out. I alo like watching films and series as well as reading books (especially science fiction) – I have read almost everything from Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke.
I speak Greek and English, should speak German (although I forgot most of it from not using it) and I try to learn Italian from time to time, but some times I get too busy and forget what I have learned. Then I start again.
I teach robotics to university students and I design wearable robotic devices for healthcare.
My work is split between teaching, supervision of students’ projects and doing research. For teaching, I put together my own material, slides etc and I like to use Kahoot.it where my students answer quizzes at the same time, which makes the lesson more fun and feel like a tv game show.
For my research, I like to design robotic devices that you can wear and which can help you do something better or easier. For example, I have built robotic gloves that ‘feel’ what your hand does so that the motion of your hand is then copied somewhere else: for example during surgery, my robotic glove can understand what the surgeon is doing with her/his hands and then another robotic device can copy this inside the patient’s body. This is called robot-assisted teleoperated surgery.
I also have a team of undergraduate and postgraduate students who do projects in areas similar to the above research (robotic gloves or robot-assisted healthcare). I discuss with them regularly, try to guide them in their work, support them and hopefully inspire them to do really well in their projects.
My Typical Day: Days vary from teaching in a classroom to working in the lab. That keeps them interesting
My day varies and is also quite flexible. I am not a morning person, so I usually get to work at 9.30 or 10am unless, something is planned for earlier. Some days, I take a break to go for a run around the campus or around the Bristol harbourside for half an hour before lunch.
Days in the office: I answer emails, mark student papers, discuss with students, prepare for my teaching, plan meetings, have meetings with other colleagues, plan research experiments, write papers on my research and papers on future research where I request funding.
Days in the lab: I use software to model or design robots and then build them (usually with 3d printers), put together electronics, sensors, motors and test them. Usually they don’t work the first time, but this is ok – hardware can be tricky but it can also be a lot of fun.
other days: some times I attend training events or scientific conferences or even research visits, where I get to see what cool robotics stuff other people have made, get inspired by them and maybe discuss with them about working together in projects in the future.
What I'd do with the money
Robotics competition for school teams
My idea is to put together a robotics competition which will take place in the Bristol Robotics Lab. We will create a robotics challenge that school teams can work on for a few weeks. Then, on the day of the competition, they would visit the lab and also show us what they can do and what robotics they have learned. Each team could have a mentor (a PhD student) during the competition day to prepare them to do their best. A judging pannel will announce the winner at the end of the day.
The money will be spent towards part of equipment, travel expenses, support for the mentors’ time and perhaps for the winner’s prize!
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
friendly, responsible, independent
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
I taught or supervised great students who are now very successful in their carreer
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
Reading science fiction books as well as some great professors I had as a student
What was your favourite subject at school?
What did you want to be after you left school?
I was not sure.. something to do with computers
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Generally not. But there were a few times that some inside rebellion would find its way out!
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
a dancer? a scuba diver? an astronaut? a writer?
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
pasta! what else
What is the most fun thing you've done?
hiking along the European E4 trail in Crete, Greece and swimming at the beach after each hike
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
to be able to tele-port myself whenever I wanted, to understand and cure my allergies, to get more and better sleep
Tell us a joke.
Q: What did the robot say to its creator? A: Da-ta