Further Extension of... Annual reports Foundation of the De...

2nd Year: Curriculum Extension and Industrial Co-Operations


The Department of Software Engineering was founded in December 2001. Its scientific and technical interest areas concern the application of engineering methods to the development of complex, high quality software systems as well as to their reliability assessment including considerations on human and time resources.

While the first year of operation was devoted to starting teaching and research activities and to defining the Department's organisational infrastructure, the focus of the second year was dedicated to establishing contacts with the local industry and to extending the software engineering curriculum in order to address - in addition to computer science - further programs of study. Also this year the Department is gratified for the milestones achieved and particularly for the considerable number of students applying for software engineering, which in Erlangen is a relatively new subject.

In addition to the introductory lectures on the Foundations of Software Engineering, four more specific lectures and practical courses, the Department now offers an additional series of lectures as well as new seminar topics of industrial relevance.

Beyond the study of Computer Science, Business Informatics and Computational Engineering, the Department now addresses also students of Information and Communication Technology, Mechatronics, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Linguistics . At present, for the latter curricula new lectures and courses are being established. The numerous demands confirm the practical relevance of the Department's technical domain for engineers.

Focus of research

The main research area development and reliability assessment of complex software systems includes the following aspects:

Cooperation partners

In the year 2003, long existing national and international academic co-operations were extended and supplemented by new local contacts.

Industrial Co-Operations : Thanks to the highly industrialized Franconian region - especially in the automation sector - industrial contacts were soon developed, especially with local software companies. Within research co-operations, a. o. with Infoteam Software, Siemens Automation & Drives and Volkswagen , general software problems are scientifically investigated in the light of real-world examples in order to develop techniques tailored to their solution and to apply them in practice. The first industrial co-operations include the following projects: specification and analysis of software requirements, automatic testing, UML-based description of GUI prototypes.

Also within such industrial co-operations - like in any other project of the Department - theoretical methods derived to support software technology are successively implemented as tools allowing to support as much as possible their fully automated application to complex software systems.

International Co-Operations : In its coordinating role within the European Workshop on Industrial Computer Systems as well as within the European Network of Clubs for Reliability and Safety of Software-Intensive Systems the Department supported the organisation of the International Conference on Computer Safety, Reliability and Security (SAFECOMP) which in September 2003 brought together a firmly consolidated industrial and academic community for the 22nd time. In the course of this year's Conference, which took place in Edinburgh (Scotland), the Department contributed to a panel discussion on the topic Dependable Embedded Systems: Roadmap and Challenges from Requirements to Maintenance. The Department's commitment in serving international academic publishing houses was extended to include the function of associate editor of the journal Real-Time Systems - The International Journal of Time-Critical Computing Systems .

National Co-Operations : The activity highlight of the steering committee of the recently founded Technical Section Safety and Security was the organisation of a sub-conference at the Annual Congress of Gesellschaft für Informatik (German Computer Society). The positive resonance to this event which took place in Frankfurt / Main confirms the increasing relevance of software reliability for today's information society. The Department contributed in particular with a talk on Information Technology Safety Standards.

Regional Co-Operations : Concerning the regional activities, talks were given at the Conference Automation Days - Software in Automation Technology in Nuremberg, as well as at a series of public lectures jointly offered by the Technical Faculty and the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft in Erlangen.