We are delighted to announce the following keynote speakers: Holger Hermanns (Saarland University, Saarbrücken, Germany) Maarja Kruusmaa (Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia)

Holger Hermanns

Holger Hermanns is full professor at Saarland University, Saarbrücken, Germany, holding the chair of Dependable Systems and Software on Saarland Informatics Campus. He has previously held positions at Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany, at Universiteit Twente, the Netherlands, and at INRIA Grenoble Rhône-Alpes, France, and is former Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science at Saarland University.


His research interests include modeling and verification of concurrent systems, resource-aware embedded systems, compositional performance and dependability evaluation, and their applications to energy informatics.

He is an outspoken proponent of proactive algorithmic accountability.


Holger Hermanns has authored or co-authored more than 200 peer-reviewed scientific papers (ha-index 92, h-index 48). He co-chaired the program committees of major international conferences such as CAV, CONCUR, TACAS and QEST, and delivered keynotes at about a dozen international conferences and symposia. He serves on the steering committees of ETAPS and TACAS. He is president of the association "Friends of Dagstuhl e.V.", and vice president of the association "ETAPS e.V.".


Holger Hermanns received the Dutch "Vernieuwingsimpuls" and the German "Preis des Fakultätentages Informatik" award. He is an ERC Advanced Grantee and elected member of Academia Europaea, and holds several other national and European research grants.


More information



Twenty years ago we were able to repair cars at home. Nowadays customer services repair coffee machines by installing software updates. Soon you will no longer be able to repair your bike.


ICT innovations boost our society and they help us tremendously in our daily life. But we do not understand what the software embedded therein actually does, regardless of how well educated or smart we are.


Proprietary embedded software has become an opaque layer between functionality and user. That layer is thick enough to possibly induce malicious or unintended behaviour, as it happened massively in our diesel cars. From the outside, there is no understanding of how decisions are made inside and across these software-driven black boxes.

The outcomes are often not designed to be accessible, verified or evaluated by humans, limiting our ability to identify if, when, where, and why the software produced harm — and worse still — redress this harm. Proprietary embedded software locks us out of the products we own.


The presentation of Holger Hermanns starts off with a historical reflection how the imperfection of everyday software engineering has secured ICT a central role within our society as the universal “Blame it on the computer!“ apology. He then discusses which other effects have altogether paved the way into the current situation where product managers in all key business areas seem to succeed in disclaiming accountability for their products‘ functionalities by instead blaming the embedded algorithms. But, these algorithms and their decisions have been programmed, and the programmers and their principals are accountable for their functioning.


Algorithmic accountability is very difficult to establish in retrospect, as Hermanns will explain by means of a number of examples from the automotive, aerospace and energy sector of ICT applications. He will advocate the need to instead enforce proactive accountability in the software development process. This will likely have to come with a turn away from proprietary embedded software. Algorithmic accountability must proactively be built into open and transparent embedded software systems, so that they act faithfully and transparently in the interest of the product owner, and enable product configuration and customisation within well-understood boundaries.


The presentation will sketch the main cornerstones of the induced research agenda, and it will link them to concrete results in the area of power management for electric mobility and for satellite operation.


Electric power is intricate to handle by software, is safety-critical, but vital for mobile devices and their longevity. Since ever more tools, gadgets, and vehicles run on batteries and use power harvesting, electric power management is itself a pivot of the future.


Maarja Kruusmaa

Maarja Kruusmaa is a Professor of Biorobotics and a head of Centre for Biorobotics in Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia.


Her work borderlines with natural science and technology seeking inspiration from and solving natural world problems using robotics and novel sensor technologies.


She has long experience in international research cooperation, coordinating and participating in many international projects where she works together with academia and industry to identify new applications and provide solutions for underwater archaeologies, oceanographers, fishing industry, environmental science, renewable energy sector and marine logistics, always applying the latest advances in sensor technology, communications, machine learning and robotics.


She has supervised 12 PhD students and 4 postdocs.  She has served as a member of several Estonian and EU Research Policy advisory groups and is currently a member of FETAG, the Advisory Group for Future and Emerging Technologies at EU. She is a member of Estonian Academy of Science since 2016.


Title: Streaming the streamlines: how to get information from underwater and how to make sense of it?

Information is everywhere. But in some places it is incredibly difficult to obtain. This talk tells a story of how to get information from water. The exploration begins by taking ideas from highly advanced biological systems to build human-purposed technologies, and presents new types of bio-inspired sensors that pick up signals from water never before perceived. It then investigates various ways of modelling, interpreting, classifying flow information to better understand what is going on in the aquatic realm, by exploiting the interactions occurring at the interface between a fluid and solid. To conclude, the talk illustrates several real-world research applications where flow information can be used to better understand, protect, control and explore within the underwater world.