ICT Dissertation Award

Scientific achievements and the further qualification of employees are at the core of the responsibility of the individual Fraunhofer Institutes. This includes the collection of Fraunhofer-wide statistics as well as the provision and offering of interdisciplinary further training, especially in the soft skills area. The Fraunhofer ICT Group supports these goals, for example, by awarding internal prizes for outstanding publications and theses at the Fraunhofer Institutes.

© Fraunhofer ICT Group

The Fraunhofer ICT Dissertation Award, for example, has been presented annually at the network level since 2015. The jury awards prizes to outstanding dissertations from the Fraunhofer Institutes that deal with highly innovative developments and technologies in computer science, mathematics or related fields. Traditionally, the prize is presented at the annual conference of the Gesellschaft für Informatik in autumn by the chairman of the association and is endowed with 5,000 euros, 3,000 euros and 2,000 euros for the first three places.

Award winners 2019

Fraunhofer ICT Dissertation Award
© Fraunhofer ICT Group

The first price was awarded to Dr. Steven Arzt (right) from Fraunhofer (together with Prof. Dr. Peter Liggesmeyer, Director of Fraunhofer IESE)

Fraunhofer ICT Dissertation Award
© Fraunhofer ICT Group

The second prize was given to Dr. Christoph Bier (right) from Fraunhofer IOSB (with Prof. Dr. Peter Liggesmeyer, Director of Fraunhofer IESE).

Fraunhofer ICT Dissertation Award
© Fraunhofer ICT Group

The third prize won Dr. Sebastian Osterroth for his thesis at Fraunhofer ITWM.

A noticable feature characterizes the award ceremony in 2019: For the first time, two first prizes and a third prize were awarded.

The first prize was shared by Dr. Anna-Marie Kruspe from the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology in Ilmenau and Dr. Erion Elmasllari from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology in Sankt Augustin.

Anna-Marie Kruspe was awarded for her work "Application of Automatic Speech Recognition Technologies to Singing". The field of music information retrieval deals with the automatic analysis of musical characteristics. One aspect that has hardly been researched so far is the sung text. In automatic speech recognition, many methods are developed for the automatic analysis of speech, but rarely for singing. Anna-Marie Kruspe’s work investigates the application of speech recognition methods to singing and describes ways of applying and improving automatic speech recognition techniques to various vocal search tasks, including phoneme recognition, speech recognition, keyword search, text-to-song approximation, and lyric search. To this end, it pursued two general approaches: First, she works on better phoneme recognition models, which she identified as a general bottleneck in almost all of the above-mentioned retrieval tasks, and trains them with extended voice recordings that are more “songlike” or with real vocal recordings with automatically aligned textual lyrics. Secondly, she adapts the automatic speech recognition techniques to singing, incorporates domain knowledge and makes them more robust to the different characteristics of these data.

With his dissertation "A Framework for the Successful Design and Deployment of Electronic Triage Systems", Erion Elmasllari was able to convince the jury. Triage is the process by which emergency responders, especially when there is a high volume of patients, determine the order and priority of medical assistance. After assessing the severity of the injuries, first responders mark the victims to indicate a treatment priority. At the end of the triage process, victims are treated according to their assigned priority. Erion Elmasllari’s work identifies the key factors determining the acceptance of e-Triage systems and uses them as the basis for a framework for designing such systems. The framework can be used evaluatively to explain the reasons why previous e-Triage systems have failed, but can also be used generatively to actively support system designers in designing accepted e-Triage systems. In both cases, the Framework examines the needs, limitations, risks, and issues of e-Triage systems within the overall triage ecosystem.

The third prize went out to Naser Damer from the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research in Darmstadt for his doctoral thesis entitled "Application-driven Advances in Multi-biometric Fusion". Biometrics is the automated recognition of individuals based on their behaviour or biological characteristics. Typical applications are fingerprint or facial image recognition to gain access to IT systems or rooms. The great advantage of biometrics is that the user does not have to memorize a password or carry a key. In order to create a system that is as secure as possible, numerous approaches are proposed that seek a balance between, for example, security, accuracy and user-friendliness. 
A relatively new and promising approach is multibiometric fusion. Here several biometric features are used to identify a particular user. Naser Damer’s work focuses on such multibiometric fusion systems with the aim of improving overall performance and functionality. With the optimization of the fusion process, his approaches achieve higher biometric accuracy through the use of additional information. In addition, he presents specific applications that complement biometric systems and use multibiometric fusion to enhance performance.

Award winners 2018

Fraunhofer ICT Dissertation Award
© Fraunhofer ICT Group

The first price was awarded to Dr. Steven Arzt (right) from Fraunhofer (together with Prof. Dr. Peter Liggesmeyer, Director of Fraunhofer IESE)

Fraunhofer ICT Dissertation Award
© Fraunhofer ICT Group

The second prize was given to Dr. Christoph Bier (right) from Fraunhofer IOSB (with Prof. Dr. Peter Liggesmeyer, Director of Fraunhofer IESE).

Fraunhofer ICT Dissertation Award
© Fraunhofer ICT Group

The third prize won Dr. Sebastian Osterroth for his thesis at Fraunhofer ITWM.

This year again, the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology SIT was awarded first place at the Fraunhofer ICT Dissertation Awards. Dr. Steven Arzt was able to convince all along the line with his work on "Static Data Flow Analysis for Android Applications". In it, he presents the FlowDroid tool, which extracts precise and largely complete data flows from popular apps such as Facebook, PayPal and LinkedIn. FlowDroid's result reports enhance the user's digital sovereignty by allowing them to see for themselves how an app handles their data before they install the app on their device and entrust their data to it. With FlowDroid, users can see what data is collected from their device and sent to third parties.

In his work "Implementation of the data protection law information claim on the basis of usage control and data provenance technologies", Dr. Philipp Christoph Sebastian Bier critically evaluates the right to information in data protection law and creates comprehensive technical prerequisites for the exercise of this right to information. For example, he designs and implements a distributed, data-centered, integrated and affected-focused data protection information system with which the right to information can be exercised interactively and step-by-step. This requires, on the one hand, an in-depth legal preparation of the problem and, on the other hand, an equally in-depth IT penetration. This is the only way to arrive at a solution that is both scientifically/technically state-of-the-art and at the same time meets the highest legal requirements. Dr. Bier has succeeded very well in finding such a solution. This work from the Fraunhofer Institute for Optronics, Systems Engineering and Image Evaluation IOSB was worth second prize to the jury.

This year's third prize went to the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM for the work of Dr. Sebastian Osterroth on "Mathematical models for the simulation of combined depth and cake filtration processes". Dr. Osterroth describes the modelling of filtration processes. Solids of different particle sizes accumulate from the substance flowing through the filter, which improve the filtration process on the one hand and increase the flow resistance on the other. The resulting pressure loss essentially determines the energy requirement for the filtration process. The dissertation considers a combination of deep-bed filtration and cake filtration. Depth filtration involves the separation of particles in the flowed-on filter medium. Particle separation is performed solely by the filter membrane installed in the flow. With cake filtration, on the other hand, it is desirable that the filtration is improved by the filter cake that is formed due to the deposition. Dr. Osterroth developed a new mathematical model for the coupled process consisting of a nonlinear system of partial and ordinary differential equations.

Preisträger 2017

Fraunhofer ICT Dissertation Award
© Fraunhofer ICT Group

First prize goes to Dr. Siegfried Rasthofer from Fraunhofer SIT (left): Alexander Nouak, Managing Director of the Fraunhofer IUK Technology Group)

Fraunhofer ICT Dissertation Award
© Fraunhofer ICT Group

The second prize went to Dr. Federico Samson-Himmelstjerna from Fraunhofer MEVIS (here on the left: Frank Hecker, who accepted the prize on behalf of his colleague).

Fraunhofer ICT Dissertation Award
© Fraunhofer ICT Group

Dr. Alexander Loos from Fraunhofer IDMT (left) in Ilmenau received the third prize.

On the evening of September 26, 2017, this year's winners of the Fraunhofer ICT Dissertation Awards were announced in Chemnitz. The ceremony was traditionally held during the annual meeting of the Gesellschaft für Informatik (German Informatics Society).

In the third edition of the awards, which was endowed with € 10,000 over all, Dr. Siegfried Rasthofer from the Fraunhofer SIT in Darmstadt won the first prize with his work "Improving Mobile-Malware Investigations with Static and Dynamic Code Analysis Techniques".

In his work, he developed an approach to analyzing Android software for malicious content. In particular, this solution allows third-party apps to be scanned for malicious content, even if there is no source code. Malicious code can be detected even if the developers try to circumvent this detection. From the results of the dissertation, the product "CodeInspect" was developed at Fraunhofer SIT, which was licensed by various manufacturers for malicious code recognition.

The second prize went to Dr. Federico von Samson-Himmelstjerna for his work "Robust and time-efficient determination of perfusion parameters using time-encoded arterial spin labeling MRI", which he wrote at the Fraunhofer MEVIS in Bremen. Behind this is a medical procedure for measuring blood flow using magnetic resonance imaging. The special feature is that the patient does not need to be given a contrast agent for this measurement. The procedure can efficiently support the diagnosis and follow-up of diseases such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's or cancers of the brain.

With a not quite everyday application of image evaluation and face recognition technologies Dr. Alexander Loos from the Fraunhofer IDMT in Ilmenau in his PhD thesis "Face Recognition for Great Apes: Identification of Primates in Real-World Environments", for which he received the third prize of the Fraunhofer ICT Dissertation Award. His method represents the world's first real-time capable system for the individual detection of apes in pictures and videos, which works reliably even under difficult free-field conditions. It is used in wildlife research to evaluate protective measures for the endangered great apes. The procedure is also suitable for use in zoos and wildlife parks to provide visitors with a more interactive experience.

The Fraunhofer ICT Dissertation Award is awarded annually to researchers of the member institutes for outstanding scientific doctorates in applied research for information and communication technology.

Award winners 2016

© Fraunhofer ICT Group

The first price was awarded to Dr. rer. nat. Jan Kleinert

© Fraunhofer ICT Group

The second prize goes to Dr.-Ing. Tobias Große-Puppendahl, the third prize to Dr. rer. nat. Katja Niemann (on the left side respectively, right: Prof. Dr. Fellner, Chaiman of the Fraunhofer ICT Group)

The ICT Dissertation Awards were presented for the second time on 28 September 2016 as part of the GI's Day of Computer Science in Klagenfurt. The award-winning doctoral students of this year's award came from the institutes Fraunhofer ITWM, Fraunhofer IGD and Fraunhofer FIT.

1st Prize

with a prize money of 5,000 €

Dr. rer. nat. Jan Kleinert

"Simulating Granular Material Using Nonsmooth Time-Stepping and a Matrix-Free Interior Point Method", TU Kaiserslautern, submitted by Prof. Dr. med. Dieter Prätzel-Wolters from the Fraunhofer ITWM

2nd prize

with a prize of 3,000 €

Dr.-Ing. Tobias Große-Puppendahl

"Capacitive Sensing and Communication for Ubiquitous Interaction and Environmental Perception", TU Darmstadt, submitted by Prof. Dr. med. Dieter W. Fellner from Fraunhofer IGD

3rd prize

with a prize money of 2,000 €

Dr. rer. nat. Katja Niemann

"Discovery of Usage-based Item Similarities to Support Recommender Systems in Dealing with Rarely Used Items", RWTH Aachen, submitted by Prof. Dr. med. Matthias Jarke from Fraunhofer FIT