November 08th 2021

Innsbruck Research Award goes to MCI professors

Teresa Spieß and Martin Pillei awarded the City of Innsbruck's Prize for Research & Innovation | Future-oriented research for sustainable development

From left to right: City Councilor Christine Oppitz Plörer, Teresa Spieß, Martin Pillei and MCI Rector Andreas Altmann. ©IKM/Dullnigg
From left to right: City Councilor Christine Oppitz Plörer, Teresa Spieß, Martin Pillei and MCI Rector Andreas Altmann. ©IKM/Dullnigg

MCI professors Dr. Teresa Spieß and Dr. Martin Pillei received the award for their research on "An Interactional Perspective of Innovative Work Behavior - Analysis of the Situational Specificity of Broad and Narrow Personality Traits as Predictors" (Spieß) and "Optimization of Direct Current Cyclones at Low Solids Loading" (Pillei).

Dr. Teresa Spieß - Innovative Behaviors in the Workplace.

Our work environment is constantly changing and workers in the future will increasingly need technical skills, problem-solving skills, and the ability to work creatively and innovatively.

Dr. Spieß addressed this topic in her research, examining the relationship between personality traits and the development of innovative work behaviors in the company.

In doing so, she looked at how companies can create appropriate framework conditions to promote innovative behaviors in the workplace. Using the example of Tyrolean companies, Spieß was able to show in her study that it is not enough to have innovative people on the team. The organization must, for example, provide these individuals with appropriately designed decision-making processes or sets of rules so that they can develop their innovative potential.

Dr. Spieß completed an intensive research stay at the University of Nebraska in Omaha in 2012 and then returned to Austria, where relevant scientific projects as well as a teaching position at MCI (in particular courses in Management, Communication & IT) and her dissertation on 'Innovative Work Behavior' at the Institute for Strategic Management at the University of Innsbruck followed.

Dr. Teresa Spieß has been MCI Professor in the Department of Management, Communication & IT since 2018 and has already received many awards for her innovative teaching, such as the Ars Docendi Recognition Award 2021 or the MCI Teaching Award 2018/19.

Dr. Martin Pillei - More efficient flow through separators

Martin Pillei receives the award of the city of Innsbruck for his research on "Optimization of direct current cyclones with low solids loading". In detail, his research question deals with the problem of separating particles or droplets in process engineering processes in the most resource- and energy-saving way possible. The combination of laser-optical flow measurement technology, numerical simulation and experiments led to design criteria for the separation apparatus MCI researched. The application of these centrifugal separators is manifold: from efficient air cleaning for construction and agricultural machinery such as excavators, combine harvesters or compressors, helicopters to the selective separation of valuable or impurities from industrial processes.

Working as Senior Lecturer and Head of Department "Integrated Engineering" at MCI in the Department of Industrial Engineering since 2017, Martin Pillei has been in charge of the research focus Fluids & Mechanics since 2018. After completing his master's degree in environmental, process and biotechnology at MCI, he earned his doctorate at the Department of Chemical and Bioengineering at Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg.

Michael Kraxner, Head of Research & Development at MCI, explains: "MCI Research focuses on individual objectives and challenges from business and industry. Teresa Spieß and Martin Pillei's research supports necessary innovation processes and thus contributes to economic growth."

"The outstanding research work of the award winner is characterized by its scientific quality as well as its economic and social relevance and thus contributes significantly to the charisma of Innsbruck as a university and educational city," emphasizes City Councilor Oppitz-Plörer.

Award of the City of Innsbruck for Research and Innovation

The Award of the city of Innsbruck for Research and Innovation at the Entrepreneurial School® was awarded for the first time in 2017. The MCI carries out the annual call for entries and proposes the prize winners. The City of Innsbruck provides the prize money of 5,000 euros. The City Senate decides on the award(s) to the persons nominated by the MCI.

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