Programme Principal Investigator
Alois C. Knoll received the diploma (M.Sc.) degree in Electrical/Communications Engineering from the University of Stuttgart, Germany, in 1985 and his Ph.D. (summa cum laude) in Computer Science from the Technical University of Berlin, Germany, in 1988. He served on the faculty of the Computer Science department of TU Berlin until 1993, when he qualified for teaching computer science at a university (habilitation). He then joined the Faculty of Technology of the University of Bielefeld, where he was a full professor and the director of the research group Technical Informatics until 2001. Between 2001 and 2004 he was a member of the board of directors of the Fraunhofer-Institute for Autonomous Intelligent Systems, now the Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems IAIS. At AIS he was head of one of the robotics research departments of that institute.
Since autumn 2001 he has been a professor of Computer Science at the Department of Informatics of the Technische Universität München. He was also on the board of directors of the Central Institute of Medical Technology at TUM (IMETUM); between April 2004 and March 2006 he was Executive Director of the Institute of Computer Science at TUM.
His research interests include cognitive, medical and sensor-based robotics, multi-agent systems, data fusion, adaptive systems, multimedia information retrieval, model-driven development of embedded systems with applications to automotive software and electric transportation, as well as simulation systems for robotics and traffic. In these fields, he has published over 600 technical papers and guest-edited international journals. He has participated (and has coordinated) several large scale national collaborative research projects (funded by the EU's DG Research, the DFG, the German Ministries for Economy Affairs and of Education and Research, the DAAD, the Ministry for Research of the state of North-Rhine-Westphalia).
He initiated and was the program chairman of the First IEEE/RAS Conference on Humanoid Robots (IEEE-RAS/RSJ Humanoids2000), he was general chair of IEEE Humanoids2003, general chair of Robotik in 2004 and in 2008, the largest German conference on robotics, Program Chair of IEEE-IROS 2015, and he served on numerous other organising committees as well as editorial boards of international journals. Currently, he is Editor-in-Chief of the neurorobotics journal of frontiers, a recently founded open access publication for in-depth robotics articles.
Between 2007 and 2009, he was a member of the EU’s highest advisory board for information technology, ISTAG, the Information Society Technology Advisory Group, and a member of its subgroup for Future and Emerging Technologies (FET). In this capacity, he was actively involved in developing the concept of the EU’s FET Flagship projects, and he was one of the authors of the original FET-Flagship report.
In 2009, he co-founded fortiss, the Munich Software and Systems Institute, which is a large-scale joint operation by the state of Bavaria, TUM and Fraunhofer-Society. This research institute organizes joint research and bi-directional knowledge transfer between TUM’s Informatics department and the local as well as national industry. He is the director responsible for fortiss' research area Cyber-Physical Systems.
Prof. Knoll has always had a profound interest in teaching and supervising students at all levels. Most notably, with the support of German industry, he started TUM’s Graduate School of Information Science in Health (GSISH), which brings together students of medicine and informatics in research-oriented projects, and which has already hosted more than 40 PhD students. He was also the host of the “Rudolf Diesel Reloaded Focus Group: Innotruck” at TUM’s Institute for Advanced Study (TUM-IAS).
At present, among other projects, he is the coordinator of the EU-Project ECHORD++, a large initiative for bringing together robotics industry, research institutes and universities with the aim of advancing new robot technologies to market-readiness. He started the predecessor, ECHORD, in 2008. He is leader of the EU Human Brain Project's section on Neurorobotics, one of the two EU ICT Flagships with the largest funding ever in the EU's DG for research. He is also a Scientific Advisor to TUM-CREATE, a joint undertaking between the Nanyang Technological University of Singapore NTU and TUM-Asia on Electric Transportation in Megacities, which is funded by Singapore's National Research Foundation NRF. His focus there is on Modelling, Simulation and Optimisation for Architectures and Infrastructure with an emphasis on both methodology development and practical systems.
In 2010, Prof. Knoll was appointed a Fellow of the University of Tokyo, Japan.