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Meet our Team

A flat hierarchy is the declared goal of RIC Leoben. Tasks are divided in a transparent and streamlined way, enabling all team members to enjoy great freedom of movement in their work. Personal initiative is key for our development and we are counting on each team member for self-management and becoming better every day. We learn from each other and are continuously evolving as a team. Four students are supporting our full-time team members with their competence and motivation.

Susanne Feiel, BA MA

In 2017 Susanne Feiel took over the lead of the RIC Leoben and is since then passionately involved in her work. She was already part of the center at the very beginning, however, took a short two-year break to head the Montanuniversitaet International Relations Office (MIRO), which she still does in parallel to this position. Despite this, she has always been involved in the EIT RM and RIC activities and the development of the center has always been a heartfelt matter for her. The areas of education and the creation of visibility of the raw materials sector have become focus areas at RIC through Susanne as well as connecting raw materials activities within the scope of sustainable supply, the circular economy and climate action with the sustainable development goals. The long term future vision here is to involve the entire university for fruitful results. Susanne completed her studies of English and American Studies with focus linguistics and business in 2013 and now scientifically works on raw materials policy and the sustainable development goals. She is active in networking in relevant stakeholder groups such as for example in the European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials High Level Steering Group as sherpa.

Univ.-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.mont. Peter Moser

Despite his extensive agenda as vice-rector Univ.-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.mont. Peter Moser is actively involved in positioning and supporting RIC Leoben and EIT Raw Materials activities of RIC at a strategic level through networking in relevant committees and circles. He is further an irreplaceable support through his great project-ideas as well as their initiation. He completed his MSc in Mining Engineering with a specialisation in Tunnelling in 1983 and his PhD in Mining in 1989. Since 2006 he is the Head of Department of Mineral Resources & Petroleum Engineering and holds the Chair of Mining Engineering & Mineral Economics.  In 2011 he was appointed Vice Rector, responsible for International Affairs and University infrastructure. He has written around 100 scientific papers in the field of Drilling & Blasting, Mine Development, Underground Mining, Rock Mechanics & Rock Cutting, Ventilation and Mineral Policy issues. He is a certified expert and works as consulter for the mining industry. Through his very active involvement in the European Raw Materials landscape, such as his involvement in the European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials High Level Steering Group or his role as steering committee member in the EIT RawMaterials Community, his research and devotion currently revolve around the societal challenges regarding a sustainable raw materials supply of Europe and the globe.

Dipl.-Ing. Hanno Bertignoll

End of March 2018, Hanno Bertignoll started as Project Manager at the RIC Leoben. His activities include coordination, application and development of EIT RM projects, as well as projects covering other raw material relevant topics. He serves as the interface between the RIC Leoben, the university institutes and the EIT RM, and networks to connect relevant partners. Additionally, he acively supports selected projects as project expert. He also is involved in organizing workshops, project meetings and other networking events. Hanno is a graduated mining engineer from Montanuniversitaet Leoben. He has long-time industry experience, working in various roles in business development, sales and marketing for a mining equipment supplier in Zeltweg/Austria. After that, he worked two years as marketing manager for a recycling equipment manufacturer.

Anna Meyer, BA BA MA

Anna Meyer is a Research and Project Manager at the RIC Leoben. Her field of activity includes project initiations, applications and developments within the framework of the EIT RM as well as in other funding programmes with topics relevant to raw materials. She is the communicative interface between RIC Leoben, the chairs of the MUL and the EIT RM and is actively involved in networking and bringing relevant partners together. Another of Anna’s fields of activity is the Sustainable Development Goals. Anna Meyer represents the Montanuniversität Leoben and the RIC Leoben in the Alliance of Sustainable Universities in Austria. Her task there is to make Austrian universities more sustainable together with other alliance universities. She transfers the exchange of experience and the results of this activity to Montanuniversität Leoben. In addition, she is in charge of the organisation of the ESEE Dialogue Conference (esee-dc.eu) as well as the cooperation with the EIT RM partners in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe.

Anna Meyer is currently working on her PhD with the working title: “Writing for future generations – A corpus and critical discourse analysis of sustainability and its communication in the raw material sector”.

Manuel Ortega, MSc

Manuel joined RIC Leoben in January 2019. On a full-time basis, he successfully manages the MiReBooks project, “Mixed Reality Handbooks for Mining Education”, which is a 14 partner pan-European education project, with a budget of 3 Mio EUR. The project is funded by EIT RawMaterials Academy and tackles current needs and gaps in mining education regarding digitalisation of contents and concepts. (You can find more details on the project in the section “EIT Regional Center Leoben”.) Manuel obtained an MSc in mining engineering from León Mining University, Spain. After graduating from university he worked in the oil and gas service industry for many years. He opted for his current job because he felt like it was time to return to his mining roots.

Marinella Passarella, PhD

Marinella Passarella, PhD is the Climate Portfolio Manager and Researcher at RIC Leoben. She has joined the team as coordinator for the climate agendas and the EIT Climate-KIC participation of Montanuniversitaet Leoben. This consists of the expansion and management of the climate change projects portfolio, for contributing to tackle climate change through innovation and education at both national and international level. She works at project proposals preparation, submission and as project manager for European projects (e.g. Horizon 2020, Horizon Europe, ERA-NET, EIT-Climate KIC). The aim of the climate actions coordinated by Marinella is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dealing with climate change effects mainly in relation to raw material circularity but also plastics, waste and energy. She obtained an International PhD in Innovation Science and Technology devoted to Systems and Methods for Environmental Protection at the University of Cagliari (Italy) in collaboration with the University of Auckland (New Zealand). She worked as a member of the steering group of the no-profit organization INORE (International Network on Offshore Renewable Energy) managing projects, fundraising, organizing international networking events and conferences for two years. She is also specialized in renewable energy obtaining a Master of Science in Marine Renewable Energy at Plymouth University (UK), where she gained experience on energy resources, stakeholders’ engagement and sustainability.

Mariaelena Murphy, MA

Mariaelena joined RIC Leoben in October 2019, as the Education Portfolio Manager. She holds a Master degree in Business Ethics and Social Responsibility. She worked as a Senior Lecturer at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences (NL) for 17 years specialising in the Management discipline, also with a focus on cultural competences through the development and involvement in learning labs. Currently, her focus is on further developing the RIC Education Competence Center and managing the team’s portfolio of EIT and Erasmus projects. One the main responsibilities is to (co)create and maintain partnerships and projects that implement new teaching & learning pathways that foster a trans-disciplinary approach in connecting research, education, business and society for the future of T-shaped raw material engineers.

Dipl.-Ing Patrick Trummer

Patrick joined the team of the RIC Leoben in July 2019 as sustainable development coordinator. He is responsible for the activities in the UniNEtZ project, a joint project of all higher education institutions of Austria for an integrated anthology of options for the Austrian government for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. In particular Patrick is responsible for the coordination of Montanuniversitaet’s Sustainable Development Goal 12 – “Responsible Consumption and Production” partnership, in collaboration with Johannes Kepler Universitaet. He is an active part in the development of the sustainability agenda of RIC.Patrick studied mechanical engineering at Montanuniversitaet Leoben. During his studies he worked at Materials Center Leoben as a student researcher for over 4 years, where he calculated material and friction behaviour of rails by using finite elements methods combined with contact mechanics knowledge. His passion for societal needs and development have led him into his current position.

Dipl.-Ing. Robert Obenaus-Emler

Robert Obenaus-Emler leads the activities in the area of research, development and innovation management with a focus on the area of direct research cooperation with industry. The coordination and networking of individual chairs within the University of Leoben is one of the essential tasks in order to be able to deal with corresponding questions from industrial partners with the know-how and expert knowledge of all relevant disciplines of the MUL efficiently, purposefully and in the highest quality. The resulting sustainable network within the university in combination with the contacts to Austrian and international industrial partners resulting from the projects contributes significantly to the further consolidation of the University of Leoben as a pioneering technical-scientific research partner, especially in the field of sustainable use of raw materials and resources. In addition, contacts to national and international research partners are utilized when dealing with complex and multidisciplinary issues.
Currently, the focus is on the sustainable production of hydrogen and carbon, the efficient use of waste and residual materials with a low ecological footprint, the evaluation and development of technologies in the field of CO2 capture, utilization, and storage (Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage – CCUS), the further development of sustainable building materials, and the increased integration of life cycle analyses already in the phase of developing new technical processes on a laboratory scale. This is intended to support the quickest possible and most environmentally compatible implementation towards a commercial scale and to make a significant contribution to reducing the material footprint.
Another focus – in close cooperation with the RIC’s Education Team – is on the involvement and awareness raising of all age groups of the general public in essential technical developments, especially in connection with environmentally relevant topics, in the sense of a Life Long Learning approach.
Robert Obenaus-Emler studied rock metallurgy at the University of Leoben with stays abroad at the Colorado School of Mines (USA) as well as the Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal and McGill University (Canada) and was already active as a student assistant in industry-related research projects during his studies. Afterwards, he managed various industrial projects in the field of thermodynamic simulation as well as flow simulation of large-scale plants, the development of refractory building materials, and the resource-efficient and sustainable use of mineral residues and waste materials.

Anja Vujakovic, BA

Anja Vujaković joined RIC Leoben in September 2021 as Education Project Manager. She studied at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna and the Vienna University of Technology and will soon obtain her title as MSc in Environmental Technology and International Affairs. Anja has collected over 5 years of working experience in the field of international communication and sustainable development. She worked in the Environment Department of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization where she was tasked with linking the ‘Minamata Convention on Mercury’ to the Sustainable Development Goals and Circular Economy. Before joining the Education Team at RIC Leoben, she spent one year at the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency where she was responsible for the drafting of daily reports to the Director General on a variety of topics from the field of nuclear science and security.

Mag.phil Birgit Niederl, MA

Birgit Niederl joined RIC Leoben in September 2021. In the education team she is responsible for the development of educational concepts and materials as well as the application and implementation of international educational projects and educational measures for different target groups. Birgit studied pedagogics at the Karl-Franzens-University Graz with a focus on adult education and earned a master’s degree in “Innovation management in education” and then collected many years of experience in the education sector, including career counseling and orientation for schoolchildren and as a regional office manager in the child care area.

Alexandra Jöllinger

Alexandra is part of RIC Leoben since summer 2020. She is responsible for all administrative tasks in the area of personnel management. She helps all new team members with their workplace arrangement. Furthermore, she helps to coordinate all relevant tasks regarding workflow of all employees. She is also the key communicator to all other departments on campus regarding workplace and personnel management.

Elisabeth Felser

Elisabeth Felser has been in charge of the RIC Leoben front office since 2021. She is the primary contact in our office for all administrative, communicative and logistic issues. As organizational all-rounder she manages delegation visits, conferences and projects and runs the day-to-day business.

Owain Maedel

Owain, is always on hand to support the team with his many talents. He has already succssefully managed projects and coordinated proposal submissions in the past. Owain is currently working on a knowledge platform for mining engineering students as a junior researcher. The platform will make use of immersive media to visualize the big variety of mining equipment and mine designs, thus helping students to understand the complexity of mining. Next to planning, designing and building the current website he is also the multimedia expert in the team. He is enrolled in the mining engineering masters at Montanuniversität Leoben and has been part of RIC Leoben from its founding years.

Gloria Ammerer, BA

Gloria Ammerer studies raw materials engineering and has been part of the RIC Leoben since May 2018. Her research focuses on sustainable resource extraction, the associated “Social Licence to Operate” and the use of post-mining landscapes. Furthermore, she supports the team in the implementation of various raw material-specific projects. In the realisation of her projects, creativity, interdisciplinarity and to see the bigger picture with the highest possible connection to practice are above all important to her.

Omar Sharif Szabo

Omar has joined the RIC Leoben team in April 2019 and his focus is on sustainability. Be it in working on sustainable mobility, putting together a portfolio on all sustainable projects at MUL or participating in working groups for SDG13 (Climate Action) activities. Additionally he will be supporting Climate-KIC projects in the near future. Before joining RIC, Omar worked in the environmental assessment field in Styria, at the ReWaste 4.0 project at MUL and in Anchorage, Alaska at an environmental analytics laboratory. He hopes to combine his work at RIC, his studies of Industrial Environmental Protection & Process Engineering and his previous work experience to make a positive impact on fighting climate change.  

Nikita Dubrovin

Nikita joined RIC team in April 2021. He is working as a project assistance and dealing with East and South-East European countries. One of the main goals is to help countries in this region to develop in mining industry by introducing modern technologies and innovations. He finished Saint-Petersburg Mining University in 2018 and obtained a dipl. Ing. degree in Tunnelling. He has also gained 3 years working experience as a civil engineer, designer and project manager. Now he is doing his Master degree in mining at Montan University. Thus, such broad background and skills helps him to perform the tasks pretty easy and contribute to the team’s benefit.