Of safe vehicles and a new wind for research

With a simple "Moin!", Prof. Holger Hanselka, President of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), welcomed the numerous plenum to the inaugural event of Junior Professor Maike Schwammberger and Alexander von Humboldt Professor André Platzer on June 22, 2023. In doing so, he alluded to the common Nordic past that connected almost all of the speakers that evening. Hanselka, who was born in Oldenburg, did not miss the opportunity to draw some comparisons between Oldenburg and Karlsruhe. While Maike Schwammberger first studied mathematics, art and media as well as computer science in Oldenburg and also earned her doctorate, André Platzer started his studies at the then University of Karlsruhe, among others with Professors Bernhard Beckert and Peter Schmitt. But Platzer also stopped off as a doctoral student at the University of Oldenburg in the further course of his scientific career, where he - like Ms. Schwammberger - conducted research with Prof. Ernst-Rüdiger Olderog. Hanselka emphasized the outstanding position of the Alexander von Humboldt Professorship for KIT and the good and trustful preparatory work that was done together. He also appreciated the creation of the new junior professorship within the framework of the KIT strategy for young scientists. Through this program, outstanding young scientists are to come to KIT every year and enrich the research landscape in Karlsruhe.

Afterwards, it was only logical that Prof Ernst-Rüdiger Olderog from the University of Oldenburg also had his say. He accompanied both Professor Platzer and Junior Professor Schwammberger on their scientific way through their doctorates and supervised their first scientific milestones. In doing so, he emphasized the early visible excellence of his doctoral students at the time. Both were involved in high-ranking DFG projects early on and shaped their current field of research with their respective work at an early stage.

In her inaugural lecture, Maike Schwammberger then shed light on her research on intelligent mobility systems. She vividly described the important aspects, such as modeling the environment and the behavior of road users, analyzing especially with regard to safety, and also points such as fairness and morality. She was driven by her motivation that research on intelligent mobility systems is one puzzle piece towards a more sustainable, healthy and nature-respecting future. Afterwards, she expressed special thanks to her team, which she unites in her new research group "Modeling and Analysis in Mobility Software Engineering" at KIT.

In his talk, Prof. Platzer first thanked all participants for the constructive cooperation in connection with the Alexander von Humboldt Professorship for Logic of Autonomous Dynamic Systems. In the following, he explained his research on cyber-physical systems (CPS) and how he makes these systems more reliable using methods of logic. Another important aspect of his research is ensuring the safety of CPS, which is particularly important with respect to critical infrastructure, autonomous driving, and aircraft safety systems. Here, he develops formal verification techniques to identify problems or prove their absence.

Finally, Prof. Bernhard Beckert thanked Ms. Schammberger and Mr. Platzer for their excellent presentations and again emphasized the special nature of the two professorships. Especially the Alexander-von-Humboldt-Professorship is a distinction for the Department of Informatics and will achieve a lot here in Karlsruhe. But also the junior professorship of Mrs Schwammberger, which could be realised through the InnovationCampus Future Mobility (ICM), as well as the associated recruitment of excellent young researchers, is an important part of the future strategy of KIT and its Department of Informatics.

Holger Hanselka KIT-Fakultät für Informatik
Prof. Holger Hanselka
Ernst-Rüdiger Olderog KIT-Fakultät für Informatik
Prof. Ernst-Rüdiger Olderog
Maike Schwammberger KIT-Fakultät für Informatik
Jun.-Prof. Maike Schwammberger
André Platzer KIT-Fakultät für Informatik
Prof. André Platzer
Bernhard Beckert KIT-Fakultät für Informatik
Prof. Bernhard Beckert