- Minister President Malu Dreyer praises Zühlke’s service
- Scientific colloquium and ceremony with nearly 150 guests
Prof. Dr. Detlef Zühlke retired this year from his positions as Chair of the Production Automation Department at TU Kaiserslautern and as Head of the Innovative Factory Systems research at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI). His successor, as of June 1, 2017 in both positions, is Prof. Dr. Martin Ruskowski. The official transfer ceremony took place yesterday in Kaiserslautern with nearly 150 invited guests and companions from the worlds of government, research, and business
“For 26 years, Prof. Zühlke has not only substantially shaped and advanced the megatrend known as digitalization but also, with his service contributions, strengthened the reputation of the Kaiserslautern technology region and Rhineland-Palatinate as an economic center”, said Malu Dreyer, Prime Minister of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate. She added that the term “Industrie 4.0” is inseparably associated with Prof. Zühlke. For this, he deserves the highest recognition, she said. Prof. Dr. Helmut J. Schmidt, President of TU Kaiserslautern, honored Zühlke as a “colleague who has not only made a great contribution to research at TU Kaiserslautern, but also at DFKI, and in many respects also to Kaiserslautern as a center of education and research.”
Prof. Dr. Dr. mult. Wolfgang Wahlster, Chairman of the Executive Board at DFKI, emphasized that “the work of Prof. Zühlke at the DFKI’s Innovative Factory Systems Department not only introduced the internet of Things to the factory and led to the first smart factory world-wide, but always placed the human in the center of action in his important activities on human-machine interaction.” VDI President Prof. Dr. Udo Ungeheuer praised Prof. Zühlke’s many years of voluntary service at VDI and his commitment to the engineering sciences at both national and international level.
Earlier in the day, a scientific colloquium titled the “Intelligent Factory of Tomorrow” was held. Speakers from the business and research communities highlighted the advances in automation, the role of artificial intelligence in the factories of tomorrow, and the coming challenges for workers in the future. Detlef Zühlke presented the necessity for interdisciplinary cooperation and again called for improved networking of the degree programs, the departments, and comprehensive cooperation opportunities.
Professor Dr.-Ing. Dr. h.c. Zühlke studied electrical engineering and computer science, worked at the machine tool workshop from 1976 to 1985 and earned his doctorate in 1983 at RWTH Aachen. In 1985, he transferred to Lufthansa, where he was the head of the aircraft maintenance division. From 1991 March 31, 2017 Zühlke held the Chair of the Production Automation department at Kaiserslautern University of Technology. From 2009 to May 31, 2017, he was head of the Innovative Factory Systems department at DFKI. He will continue to serve as Chairman of the Executive Board at Technologie-Initiative SmartFactory KL until 2019. The general membership meeting in May 2017 confirmed his election for a two year term of office. He has held this office since founding the initiative in 2005.
On June 1, 2017, Professor Martin Ruskowski took over the “Department of Machine Tools and Control Systems” within the Faculty of Mechanical and Process Engineering at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern. His major research focus is on industrial robots as machine tools, artificial intelligence in automation technology, and the development of innovative control concepts for automation. Ruskowski studied electrical engineering at Leibniz University Hannover and also received his doctorate in mechanical engineering there. Prior to his relocation to Kaiserslautern, Ruskowski held several management positions at industrial firms, most recently as Vice President for Global Research and Development at KUKA Industries Group.
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