Hey, thanks for stopping by!
I’m a principal engineer at Mercedes Benz Research & Development. My team and I are currently working on one of the most exciting topics of the 21st century: Automated Driving. There couldn’t be a more thrilling experience for me right now than to actively develop the future of the automobile.
How did I get there?
Well, the path has not always been obvious. Growing up in a small and lovely village in Germany, my dreams where quite grounded. Working for one of the biggest companies in Germany was definitely not on my list of imagination.
After gymnasium (highschool) I did a social year to gather my thoughts on what I should study. It ended up to be mechanical engineering at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, which was just a random pick to be honest. However, although designing motorcycles with a CAD program was not really my thing (as most of the topics during my studies weren’t..), I learned a broad range of skills and also one of the most important lessons: search for the challenges that seem to be insurmountable – they never are.
There was on particular lecture that caught my attention: “Machine Vision” given by Martin Lauer – a really awesome student friendly introduction on how to understand and interpret images and their content. This was the start of a path which led me to where I am now. I did an internship and my Bachelor thesis on “video processing in vehicles under adverse weather conditions” at the Fraunhofer IOSB in Karlsruhe b the supervision of Michael Grinberg. During my first conference (IV 2011 in Baden-Baden, Germany) I had the chance to meet Michael Grimm, who was working for Mercedes at that time. I’m so greatful for the interest and trust he put in me. Thanks to him I got an internship at Mercedes in Germany for 3 months followed by a 6-month internship at Mercedes Benz R&D North America in Palo Alto, California. Alexander Barth, who was my supervisor in Palo Alto, taught me so many things about stereo vision, localization and object detection. Thanks to him I also learned how to really program (well, at least it’s not as messed up as it was back then 😉 ).
I did not want to finish my studies without trying out also another company, so I applied for a Master thesis at the Audi AG. Luckily, Joseph Dalbah took me in and I learned a whole new world for me at that time: Active Light Range Imagery (ToF cameras). I did my thesis on “Localization using a Time-of-Flight camera” and learned how to deal with point clouds.
Well, now this topic really got me fired up and I definitely wanted to work in the field of environment perception and automated driving. And to be honest, I was really lucky again. Since I was working on this topic, the work and reputation of the team from Uwe Franke was constantly present. So I applied for a PhD position in his team and they figured out a way to match my topics.
So since November 2014, I am working now in the Image Understanding Team of Uwe Franke. Given my background with ToF cameras and image processing, my PhD topic is “Deep Fusion of Cameras and Lidar”. If you’re interested in what “deep” means, check out my publications on this page.
Since November 2016 I’m a principal engineer in the same team, doing the PhD my private “pleasure”. It’s a lot of fun, working in this project, sitting in the car and to see how your changes make the car better and more intelligent every day.
Besides work, I play team handball, love to sing and play guitar with my wasted foxes and ride my snowboard.
I really enjoy discovering new stuff – like new methods to make driving saver and more enjoyable, countries that offer such a huge variety of culture and country sides, sports that push you to new limits, sounds that give me goosebumps and so much more!
I’m happy to have you here, come and discover this page!