Agriculture 4.0: New professor at TU Kaiserslautern to focus on “Digital Farming”
Dr. Jörg Dörr became Professor of Digital Farming at Technische Universität Kaiserslautern (TUK) at the beginning of April. Among other things, Dörr will focus on the digital transformation in agriculture, research new technologies, and develop these in an application-oriented manner. The main objective will be to build digital agricultural ecosystems, with the focus on software and systems engineering: managing and administering data and supporting agricultural processes with automation technologies.
In addition to holding the new Chair, which is part of the Department of Computer Science, Professor Dörr’s responsibilities as a member of the extended institute management of Fraunhofer IESE include the research program Smart Farming. The association Friends of Digital Farming made it possible to establish this Chair at TUK, which will be supported in the long term by the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and the state of Rhineland-Palatinate.
Autonomously driving agricultural machinery, support and facilitation of work processes for farmers, more efficient use of fertilizer and crop protection products, or seamless and secure tracking of food production – digitalization makes many things possible in agriculture. At TU Kaiserslautern, Professor Dörr will focus on these technologies.
Dörr studied computer science with a focus on software engineering in Kaiserslautern, where he also obtained his PhD in 2010. Since 2002, he has been working at the Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering IESE in various positions; from 2010 until 2019, for example, he was head of the “Information Systems” division; in 2020, he moved up to being a member of the extended institute management. In many projects, the computer scientist has collaborated with renowned technology companies. These often involved the topic of Digital Farming. He also led two scientific studies on digital agriculture at Fraunhofer IESE. One dealt with the future development of the market for autonomous agricultural machinery. Very recently, the Digital Farming expert and his team prepared a feasibility study on the topic of “State-Run Data Platforms for Agriculture”.
Dörr has also been an active lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at TUK for 16 years. In 2016, he received an award for the best teaching from the Student Council of the Department of Computer Science for his lecture “Requirements Engineering”. As part of his professorship, teaching will also play an important role. In the summer semester of 2021, the first lecture “Fundamentals of Digital Farming” will start. In addition, Dörr’s team will cooperate closely with other chairs at TUK, the Friends of Digital Farming association and its member companies, Fraunhofer IESE, the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), and numerous technology companies.
“The research interests of the Chair lie in improving the interoperability and networking of agricultural systems as well as the user acceptance of Digital Farming solutions. All system classes will be considered – from Farm Management Information Systems to mobile systems and embedded systems. That is why software and systems engineering plays a central role in building agricultural ecosystems”, says Prof. Dörr.
The Friends of Digital Farming support the establishment of the Chair and will provide funding for the first five years. After that, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft will fund it for another five years before it is made permanent by the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. “The high societal and regulatory requirements for profitable, sustainable agriculture continuously require new talents, technologies, and business models. We look forward to the cooperation between the Chair, the Friends of Digital Farming, and the farmers. At this point, I would like to especially thank all the member companies, whose joint contributions have made this Chair possible to begin with”, says Dr. Matthias Nachtmann, chairman of the Friends of Digital Farming.
For TU Kaiserslautern, the new chair is of great importance, as University President Professor Dr. Arnd Poetzsch-Heffter explains: “Professor Dörr excellently complements our long-standing research activities on digitally supported agriculture, for example on autonomously driving agricultural machinery and other robotic applications, on the development of database systems for the improvement of supply chains, or on image analysis methods for the evaluation of soil and plant conditions. With this chair, we can further expand our research profile and also develop our range of degree programs in a forward-looking way.”
Please direct inquiries to:
Professor Dr.-Ing. Jörg Dörr
Phone: +49 631 205-3333
About Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Technische Universität Kaiserslautern (TUK) is an engineering- and science-oriented research university with international visibility. It offers its students future-oriented degree programs as well as a scientific education with a modern infrastructure and good practical relevance. In addition to excellent individual research, a large number of coordinated research networks exist at TUK. In basic research, these include several collaborative research centers and Transregios funded by the German Research Foundation. The applied research topics are mostly worked on in close cooperation with the ten research institutes located in Kaiserslautern. By combining research strength with knowledge and technology transfer, TUK is also building bridges between research, industry, and society. As a campus university located at the edge of the Palatinate Forest, it is characterized by short distances, a spirit of partnership, and a quality of life and work that is close to nature.
About the Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering IESE
The Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering IESE in Kaiserslautern has been one of the leading research institutes in the area of software and systems engineering methods for 25 years. With its applied research, the institute develops innovative solutions for the design of dependable digital ecosystems, thereby accelerating the economic and social benefits for its customers. The focus of Fraunhofer IESE is on topics such as “Autonomous Systems”, “Industrie 4.0”, and “Smart Farming”, as well as on digital solutions for rural and urban areas. In more than 1,500 customer projects, the institute has already transferred cutting-edge research into sustainable business practices, successfully contributing its competencies in the areas of Processes, Architecture, Data, Security, Safety, Requirements Engineering, and User Experience.
Fraunhofer IESE is one of 75 institutes and research units of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Together they have a major impact on shaping applied research in Europe and worldwide, and contribute to Germany’s competitiveness in international markets.
About the Friends of Digital Farming
The aim is to optimize yields and food quality while preserving all natural resources. Support for young talent, research and development of new technologies, and the testing of new business models play a crucial role in this regard. This is the view held by the members of the Friends of Digital FarmingTransre: Unternehmensgruppe ALDI SÜD, BASF, Empolis Information Management, Hochwald Foods, HYDAC Electronic, ITK Engineering, John Deere, Kraichgauer Güterverwaltungen, Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt Hofgut Neumühle, Pessl Instruments, RAUCH Landmaschinenfabrik, and Schmiedhof.