Monday, 06. April 2009 06.04.09 14:10 Age: 9 Jahre

International Graduate School is recruiting new students

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Graduate School Chair, Prof. dr. Wilhelm Schäfer, explains why Dynamic Intelligent Systems should be your choice for doctoral research

"One of the best examples of our research, and a key project for us, is RailCab It showcases all the main scientific problems you can study in the field of embedded systems. Public transportation systems in general illustrate the dynamic intelligent system concept. Here we deal with large, complex systems without central control -- software controls the operation of all the various components. And the components change and evolve, so the system behavior as a whole emerges from the activity of its components."

"The main goal is to be able to predict the behavior of the system, since for most of these systems (think transportation) safety is absolutely crucial. We study how to make dynamic systems more predictable and how to optimize them using limited resources. To this end, we use advanced modeling techniques. Key challenges are the sheer scale of the systems and the validation of the models. The models combine phyiscal and software elements. In the RailCab for example, the physical environment is modeled using an actual cab and a railway track, as well as the controling software. The modeling problems also show up in our other research projects, such as modern production and logistics systems that need to be just-in-time."

"Over the years, we have been able to see some real improvements in our techniques for modeling and in our formal methods for validating the predictability and safety of systems. This is due to an interdisciplinary modeling technique that combines knowledge from mechanical and electrical engineering as well as computer science. Combining these disciplines in one Graduate School has given us tangible synergies. We could profit from combined models that are easier to optimize and model the systems more coherently. We have also made some significant progress with new algorithms that allow us to achieve the same modeling results using less hardware."

What is in it for PhD-students?

"Our lives depend on dynamic intelligent systems. Working on the software that improves them constitutes a significant contribution to modern society. Also, our current projects deal with real-life applications such as RailCab, night driving, driver assistance, and JIT worldwide production. Students get to understand the construction of complex software-hardware systems and their interrelations. They learn to develop new concepts and have real-world examples to study, often with industry applications. Finally, the interdisciplinary nature of the School adds an extra dimension to the research. A dimension that also means greater job opportunities later on. Our PhD's are badly needed on the job market, as they can understand these complex modern systems and approach them from all disciplines."

Some International Graduate School Facts

  • Paderborn University department of Software Engineering ranked 16th worldwide by the ACM in 2007.
  • Faculty member Prof. Gausemeier was appointed to the prestigious German "Wissenschaftsrat", the council of eminent scientists that advises the federal government.
  • A number of our faculty are members of the German Academy of Science & Engineering.
Further Reading
A good introduction to the field of dynamic intelligent systems can be found in "Challenges of Building Advanced Mechatronic Systems" by Schäfer and Wehrheim,

Who should apply?
We are looking for engineering and computer science students with an open mind for the other disciplines. They should be interested in the methods and applications of the related fields beyond those of their master education. All details about a PhD in Paderborn (including full fellowships and how to apply) can be found on You can also read descriptions of current projects and connect with our current students. 

Application deadline is May 30, 2009.

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