International Awards and Recognitions
With outstanding performance in national and international rankings, the department is at the forefront of computer science education and research. Within the last several years, our senior and junior faculty have received numerous awards and recognitions.
ERC Grants (European Research Council Grants) have various target groups. There are three main funding lines:
Starting Grants for promising early-career researchers with 2 to 7 years experience after PhD
Consolidator Grants for excellent researchers with 7 to 12 years experience after PhD
Advanced Grants for established research leaders with a recognised track record of research achievements
For persons that already hold an ERC Grant, there is an additional “Proof of Concept” scheme that aims at transfering ideas from the projects into new innovations.
Prof. Joost-Pieter Katoen (i2, Software Modelling and Verification) received an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) for his project “FRAPPANT – Formal Reasoning About Probabilistic Programms – Breaking New Ground for Automation”. The self-driving car will rely on it for its driving behaviour, the autonomous robot can’t do without: “Probabilistic” computer programmes are getting more and more important in artificial intelligence. This type of software deals with many uncertainties and real-world data. The project proposes a new approach regarding the question whether it is possible, given this level of uncertainty, to verify correct operations.
Prof. Bastian Leibe (i8, Computer Vision) received a Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) for his project “DeeViSe – Deep Learning for Dynamic 3D Visual Scene Understanding”. The Department of Computer Science now holds 20% of all ERC Grant recipients at RWTH Aachen.
Prof. Hermann Ney (i6, Human Language Technology and Pattern Recognition) received a Advanced Grant from the European Research Council (ERC). This grant will make it possible to close the research gap between application-oriented projects in language processing and scientific principles. The five-year duration particularly makes it possible to base the many pragmatic approaches of language processing on a broader scientific foundation and to develop new and improved methods.
Professor Klaus Wehrle from the Chair of Communication and Distributed Systems received an ERC Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council for his research project “SYMBIOSYS – Symbolic Analysis of Temporal and Functional Behavior of Networked Systems.”
ERC Consolidator Grants are to support promising early-career researchers seeking to consolidate their research independence and establish or strengthen their own research team.
Eligible for funding are researchers with 7-12 years of experience since completion of their doctoral thesis with a number of publications as first author, monographies, patents, talks at international conferences, or academic awards.
Prof. Leif Kobbelt from the Chair of Computer Graphics and Multimedia received a lucrative Advanced Grant from the European Research Council, which aims at supporting excellent researchers with outstanding ideas. The overall objective is to support European top-level research and increase the international visibility of talented reserarchers.
Prof. Bastian Leibe (i8, Computer Vision) received a Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC).
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize
The Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize is considered the most important research award in Germany. Awarded by the German Research Foundation DFG, it is worth 2.5 million euros.
The Leibniz Program seeks to improve the working conditions of outstanding researchers, expand their research opportunities, relieve them of administrative tasks, and help them employ particularly qualified early career researchers.
Leif Kobbelt is an outstanding German computer graphics researcher in the field of geometry processing and one of the most innovative and prolific representatives of his field worldwide. He studied and completed his doctorate in computer science at the University of Karlsruhe. Before his appointment as full professor at RWTH Aachen in 2001, he conducted research at the University of Wisconsin, Madison,USA), Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU), and the Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Saarbrücken, Germany.
For further information on the 2014 Leibniz Prize award, please visit the DFG Leibniz Prize web page on Leif Kobbelt.
Alexander von Humboldt Professorship
With a value of five million EUR, the Alexander von Humboldt Professorship is the most highly-endowed research award in Germany aiming at attracting top researchers to German universities.
Honorary Professorships are awarded by a university for distinguished academic or scientific efforts. Both academics and non-academics can recieve this award.
Prof. Dr. Wil van der Aalst (i9, Process and Data Science): Professor honoris causa of National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia for his seminal contributions to the field of process-aware information systems.
Honorary Doctorates are awarded by a university for distinguished academic or scientific efforts. Both academics and non-academics can recieve this award. Honorary Doctorates awarded by the Department of Computer Science, RWTH Aachen University, can be found following the link.
Prof. Dr. Joost-Pieter Katoen (i2, Softwaremodellierung und Verifikation): Doctor honoris causa of Aalborg University, Denmark for his distinguished efforts in the field of Computer Science, in particular Computer-Aided Verification.
Professor Wolfgang Thomas (i7, Logic and Theory of Discrete Systems): Doctor honoris causa of the Universitié de Mons, upon suggestion of the Faculté des Sciences and approved by the Conseil Académique.
Prof. Dr. Wil van der Aalst (i9, Process and Data Science): Doctor honoris causa of Hasselt University, Belgium for his distinguished efforts in the field of Computer Science, in particular Process Mining.
Manfred Nagl, Professor Emeritus (i3, Software Engineering): Doctor honoris causa in the Natural Sciences, awarded by the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, and Mathematics at Paderborn University for outstanding achievement in teaching and learning and exceptional dedication to the development of computer science in Germany
Otto Spaniol, Professor Emeritus (i4, Communication and Distributed Systems): Doctor honoris causa from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia.
Professor Wolfgang Thomas (i7, Logic and Theory of Discrete Systems): Doctor honoris causa from École Normale Supérieure de Cachan.
Memberships in Scientific Academies
Several members of the Department of Computer Science were awarded with admissions to scientific academies:
North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts
acatech – German Academy of Science and Engineering
- 2013: Prof. Dr. Matthias Jarke (i5, Informationssysteme und Datenbanken)
- 2010: Prof. Dr. Klaus Wehrle (i4, Kommunikation und verteilte Systeme)
- 2015: Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Leif Kobbelt (i8, Computergraphik und Multimedia)
- 2014: Prof. Dr. Gerhard Woeginger (i1, Algorithmen und Komplexität)
- 2013: Prof. Dr. ir. Joost-Pieter Katoen (i2, Softwaremodellierung und Verifikation)
- 2011: Prof. Dr. Wil van der Aalst (i9, Process and Data Science)
- 2006: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Thomas (i7, Logik und Theorie diskreter Systeme)
Royal Irish Academy
Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen
Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities
Koninklijke Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen
The Association for Computing Machinery, ACM for short, is the world's largest educational and scientific computing society. It delivers resources that advance computing as a science and a profession and promote its application. Furthermore, it is dedicated to disseminate new insights in computer science and informatics and serves as a communicative platform between computer science and business and industry.
Prof. Dr. Martin Grohe (i7, Logic and Theory of Discrete Systems): Prof. Martin Grohe was appointed ACM Fellow in 2017 and thereby is only the second in North-Rhine Westphalia and about the 15th throughout Germany, considering the last 25 years. We congratulate him to this well-earned honor for his contributions to logic in computer science, database theory, algorithms, and computational complexity.
Professor Dr. Matthias Jarke (i5, Information Systems): Matthias Jarke is the only German researcher among the 50 ACM Fellows appointed in 2013; so far since the launch of the program he is the tenth German research to receive this honor. Jarke was nominated for appointment for his contributions to conceptual modeling, requirements engineering, metadata management, and his standing as an exceptional German computer scientist.
Since 1991, Professor Jarke has been heading the Chair of Information Systems and Databases at RWTH Aachen University. Since 2000, he has also been head of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied information Technology (FIT) in Stankt Augustin. He is chairman of the Fraunhofer Information and Communication Technology Group and member of the Executive Board of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. in 2002, he is founding director of B-IT, the Bonn-Aachen International Center for Information Technology, which has several endowed chairs and offers international degree programs. In 2008, he became spokesperson for the newly established NRW Research School, which offers stuctured doctoral programs. his key research areas include metadata management, data quality, requirements and information systems engineering, as well as mobile and cooperative information systems.
Matthias Jarke was a member of the steering comittee for the institutional strategy "RWTH 2020: Meeting Global Challenges," which was approved in the German Excellence Initiative to promote top-level research in Germany. Furthermore, he is deputy spokesperson for the UMIC Cluster of Excellence. Between 2000 and 2003, he was treasurer of the German Informatics Society GI, and its president between 2004 and 2007. At this time, he was appointed coordinator of the federal government's initiative "Year of Informatics – Year of Science 2006." One of the most widely quoted German computer scientists, he has published several books and authored and co-authored more than 300 articels in peer-reviewed journals.
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE) is the world’s largest technical professional society designed to serve professionals involved in all aspects of the electrical, electronic, and computing fields and related areas of science and technology. It was founded in 1884 and today has more than 421,000 members in more than 160 countries. IEEE is dedicated to advancing theory and practice in electrical engineering and computer science and is a leading organization in the fields of computer design, biotechnology, telecommunications, power electronics, aeronautics and astronautics, and dozens of other technologies.
IEEE is one of the leading standards-making organizations in the world. Furthermore, it organizes technology conferences, symposia and local meetings and publishes specialist books and a large number of peer-reviewed scientific journals. In addition to journals and conference proceedings, the IEEE also publishes tutorials and standards that are produced by its standardization committees.
Professor Hermann Ney (i6, Human Language Technology and Pattern Recognition): Exceptional achievements in automatic speech recognition and machine translation
The German Informatics Society, GI for short, is the largest association of computer scientists in Germany and other German-speaking countries. It is a platform for informatics specialists and computer scientists active in business, science, academia, and administration. Key responsibilities include the promotion of young talent, knowledge transfer between research and industry, data protection concerns, and as well as the security of informatics systems. About 20,000 members, among them 1,500 students and about 300 companies, benefit from the network.
Dr. Nadine Bergner (i9, Learning Technologies): Gesellschaft für Informatik (GI) has announced their designated GI Junior Fellows of 2017. Among them, there is Dr. Nadine Bergner from RWTH Aachen University, whose work includes the establishment of Europe's most successful school laboratory in computer science.
Her work connects the topics “Didactics of Computer Science” and “E-Learning”. She established a comprehensive “pupils lab” and evaluated its effects on the image of Computer Science with children and adolescents, thus earning good reputation in her scientific community. It is her aim to prepare children for life in the digital world from as early as elementary school age. To do so, she approached the GI and contributed to the “Dagstuhl-Erklärungen” of 2015 and 2016. In addition, she is the spokesperson of GI working group “E-Learning at schools”.
Professor Wolfgang Thomas (i7, Logic and Theory of Discrete Systems): On September 24, 2014, at the largest computer science conference in Germany, INFORMATIK 2014, Professor Thomas was appointed GI Fellow, in recognition of his outstanding scientific contributions to computer science.
Prof. Dr. Matthias Jarke (i5, Information Systems and Databases): Matthias Jarke, a nationally and internationally recognized researcher and university teacher, was appointed GI Fellow in 2012 for his achievements in the fields of databases and information systems.
Furthermore, Matthias Jarke has been president and treasurer of the German Informatics Society for many years. He contributed to the development of standards for the accreditation of computer science and interdisciplinary informatics courses of study. In 2006, he acted as the coordinator of the federal government's initiative "Year of Informatics 2006."
Professor Emeritus Manfred Nagl (i3, Software Engineering): GI honors Manfred Nagl as a high-profile researcher, who has gained national and international recognition for his scientific work and his university-political engagement.
As chairman of Fakultätentag, the association of German computer science faculties, and of the 4ING engineering association, he succeeded in representing the interests of computer science departments in the Bologna process. As head of the Collaborative Research Center IMPROVE, he gained recognition for his achievements in developing computer science and IT applications for the engineering sciences.
Manfred Nagl has greatly contributed to the development of software engineering, both through his scientific publications and his successful supervision, mentoring and promotion of talented junior reseachers, many of whom are now university professors themselves.
Otto Spaniol, Professor Emeritus (i4, Communication and Distributed Systems): By appointing him a GI Fellow, GI honors Otto Spaniol as an eminent scholar and university teacher who is widely recognized for scientific excellence and dedication to furthering the development of the discipline.
Otto Spaniol is an outstanding researcher with expertise in mathematical approaches to and modeling of structures and strategies in informatics systems, elementary numerical analysis, operating and communication systems, as well as distributed systems. His work has constributed to providing the foundation for mobile communication.
As a representative of the German Informatics Society, Otto Spaniol represented the interests of computer science in the German Council of Science and Humanities and at the International Federation for Information Processing. In his various roles as co-editor of the academic journal "Informatik-Spektrum," student counsellor and advisor, and co-organizer of the Informatics Days, he left a mark on the German Informatics Society.
The European Association for Theoretical Computer Science, EATCS, is an international organization that seeks to facilitate the exchange of ideas and results among theoretical computer scientists as well as to stimulate cooperation between the theoretical and the practical community in computer science.
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Thomas (i7, Logic und Theory of Discrete Systems): "Foundational contributions to the development of automata theory as a framework for modelling, analyzing, verifying and synthesizing information processing systems.“
Board Members Informatics Europe
Informatics Europe represents the academic and research community in Information and Computer Sciences in Europe. Bringing together university departments and research laboratories, it creates a strong voice to safeguard and shape quality research and education in Information and Computer Sciences. With around 120 member institutions across 30 countries, Informatics Europe promotes common positions and acts on common priorities
Google Faculty Research Awards
The Google Faculty Research Award Program aims to recognize and support world-class, permanent faculty pursuing cutting-edge research in computer science, engineering, and neighboring disciplines.