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New professors at Jacobs University


January 22, 2018

Their specialization is data analysis: Dr. Michael Sedlmair and Dr.-Ing. Hendro Wicaksono are two new professors who have been strengthening teaching and research at Jacobs University in Bremen since the beginning of the year. Both are information scientists and both cite the international and interdisciplinary nature of the English-medium university as reasons for their move. After a longer research stint at the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States, Dr. Franceso Maurelli, Professor in Robotics and Autonomous Systems, is the third professor to take up an appointment.

Prof. Dr. Michael Sedlmair hails from the University of Vienna and is mainly interested in researching innovative methods for the interactive visualization of data. For instance, he worked on an easy-to-understand graphical representation of bike-sharing networks in Vienna. “Due to the continual increase in data in almost all areas of life, visualization will become increasingly more important,” he says.

The 36-year-old intends to delve deeper into “human-centered data science”, i.e. the interaction between man, machine and data, at Jacobs University. “The human aspects of data analysis, such as perception, cognition and user-friendliness, have not been well-researched in this area,” says Sedlmair, who also worked at the University of British Colombia in Canada. Why did he make the move to Bremen? “Visualization is related to specialized areas of application such as biology, logistics and engineering. The interdisciplinary and dynamic environment of Jacobs University is ideal for me”.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hendro Wicaksono joins Jacobs University from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). His special interest is information management in the industrial engineering sector, in particular the industry 4.0 environment. “My interest is in the methods and tools for the recording, integration, structuring, analysis and pattern recognition of data. The objective is to make them more intelligent in order to be able to design industrial processes with greater efficiency in terms of costs, resources and energy”.

The 37-year-old, who has also worked as an IT Consultant and Visiting Professor at Airlangga University in Indonesia was particularly attracted to Jacobs University’s international focus in research and teaching. “Our students come from almost all the four corners of the world; at some point, they will be managers in their countries. It makes me proud to think that I am contributing to their career”.

Prof. Dr. Franceso Maurelli’s particular research interest is underwater robotics, in particular, intelligent, autonomously-acting systems that are, for instance, able to independently detect and locate objects. “There are countless applications for these, such as in the energy and ports industries and even in archeology”, says the 33-year-old who is now starting his work at Jacobs University after a one-year research stint at MIT.

His goal is to strengthen Jacobs University’s leading position in the area of ocean robotics, intensify its contact with industry and encourage his students to become active as entrepreneurs. Like his colleagues, he particularly values the international and interdisciplinary nature of Jacobs University. “It leads to a better mutual understanding and promotes cooperation”.