New professorship on the digitalization of industry: On March 1, 2021, Dr.-Ing. Lydia Kaiser will follow the call of the Technical University of Berlin and take up the professorship "Digital Engineering 4.0." at the Faculty of Transportation and Machine Systems. With this appointment, the Einstein Center Digital Future (ECDF) is expanding its research portfolio to include another important aspect of digitalization.
The digital transformation affects almost all areas of social life, including industry: technical products and systems are increasingly networked and various disciplines are now required for their development. Lydia Kaiser's research starts there and explores the shaping of these processes through new methodological approaches and the use of digital technologies. Where mainly mechanical knowledge was needed in the past, questions from software technology have to be answered increasingly, for example in the case of networked household appliances such as washing machines or vacuum robots. "With my research, I would like to accompany this new way of working during the creation process. How can this collaboration be designed with digital solutions? This question must be considered sociotechnicaly and interdisciplinarily, not purely technical: Who needs this solution? Engineers, employees in purchasing or marketing? We need to understand the players and their needs in order to be able to develop solutions," explains Kaiser. The goal is for the solutions used, such as artificial intelligence, to support people in their work.
In her research, Kaiser draws on systems engineering approaches. Systems engineering is about designing problem-solving processes in an interdisciplinary way, analyzing challenges systematically and developing solutions close to the people involved: "In companies that implement technical systems, questions from software engineering have to be answered more and more frequently. However, traditional mechanical engineers and software developers often approach these questions very differently. The goal is to enable them to participate in the process on an equal footing," says Kaiser, describing her research project. "With Lydia Kaiser, we are gaining an excellent scientist who has gained a lot of experience in applied research - she therefore knows first-hand which opportunities and challenges arise by networked technical systems," says Prof. Dr. Odej Kao, Chairman of the ECDF.
For Kaiser, who holds a doctorate in engineering, the professorship at the ECDF is special: "The topic is new and I can help shape it from the very beginning - all in an interdisciplinary environment with colleagues from a wide range of disciplines." She also hopes that the working world of the future will offer even more compatibility between family and career: "I am a mother of three and until a few years ago it was unimaginable for me to reconcile a professorship and my children, but it will work out! I would like to see us change the way we work so that women after me no longer have to ask themselves the question of compatibility. With this dual role, I want to be a role model for other women in science and encourage them to follow me."
The press release on Lydia Kaiser's professorship can be found //here.
More about Lydia Kaiser and her research at ECDF can be found //here.