Prof. Dr. Michael Ortgiese

Traffic and mobility management

Prof. Dr. Michael Ortgiese is Professor of "Traffic and Mobility Management" at the Einstein Center Digital Future (ECDF) since September 2019. The joint professorship of the Technische Universität Berlin and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) is linked to the head of the Department of Traffic Management and Public Transport at the DLR Institute of Transport Systems Technology.

According to Michael Ortgiese, the greatest challenge in transport development is the transformation of the mobility system with the aim of securing mobility and at the same time reducing the negative consequences for people, the environment and cities. "I deliberately use a broad formulation, since the current climate debate is certainly crucial, but other negative effects must not be forgotten," says Ortgiese. For Germany, he sees the challenge in establishing new mobility concepts in smaller cities and not just in metropolises. "This also applies to Berlin, where innovative concepts are concentrated very strongly on the center, the outer districts and the mobility relations with Brandenburg are often ignored," says Ortgiese

When Michael Ortgiese is travelling in Berlin and Potsdam, he prefers the combination of public transport and cycling. "The transformation in the transport system interferes with a complex structure of effects. Just to say: use the bicycle, use public transport and don’t fly is too easy. In the future, we will have to find ways of simply presenting complex interrelationships and discussing them with road users," he says.

In his research, Michael Ortgiese deals with the integration of new digital solutions into traffic and mobility management. "This can only succeed if new technological approaches are integrated into the planning structures and operational concepts of cities. In addition to the development of technologies, new co-creation processes are required here, in which actors who provide interesting solutions but have not yet really worked together. In addition to the actual technology development, which is certainly important, I would like to focus my research here," he says.

For Michael Ortgiese, the digital future is not only a question of the technical migration of systems, but also a transformation of processes and organizational structures. "From my point of view, we are still thinking far too little about how we can profitably introduce new digital solutions into the processes of planning and operating mobility systems. In addition to the road users, those responsible in the administrations and in politics also need to be addressed. Due to the interdisciplinary orientation of the ECDF, I hope to find here comrades-in-arms," he says.

Michael Ortgiese wants to do research and work beyond the disciplinary boundaries. "I believe that the scientific community in particular still thinks far too much in its disciplinary pillars. I saw this during my time as Vice President for Research and Transfer at a university, and I would even say I suffered it," he says. That's why Michael Ortgiese would be happy if at ECDF he could engage with other scientists on problems of the digital transformation that are limited in terms of content and develop questions together. "We should think more in terms of sprints than in terms of large scientific projects and produce a small discussion paper together in a group in two days. Depending on the question, the group can be composed in different ways. Science and research are sometimes far too cumbersome and our established scientific practice does not fit into the dynamics of the digital world," he emphasizes.