Public Release:  Copernicus Award 2012 for German-Polish collaboration in business information systems

Joint award by DFG and FNP goes to researchers from Siegen and Poznan

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

This release is available in German.

Experts in business information systems Professor Erwin Pesch from Siegen and Professor Jacek Błażewicz from Poznan have been awarded the Copernicus Award by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) and the Foundation for Polish Science (FNP) in recognition of their achievements in German-Polish scientific collaboration. "The two researchers perform outstanding research, are involved in the promotion of early career researchers, have been collaborating for many years and complement each other perfectly", was the verdict of the DFG and FNP jury. The Copernicus Award includes prize money of 100,000 euros and will be presented on 17 September 2012 in Warsaw by the Presidents of the DFG and FNP, Professor Matthias Kleiner and Professor Maciej Żylicz.

Pesch and Błażewicz will receive the Copernicus Award for their joint research and the development of algorithms in scheduling and bioinformatics. They have been collaborating for over 20 years. Their collaboration has resulted in more than 30 scientific publications, as well as joint presentations at numerous workshops and conferences. The pair's most significant publication is an internationally published monograph entitled "Scheduling Computer and Manufacturing Processes", as well as a jointly edited multi-volume series entitled "Handbooks on Information Systems". The researchers have jointly mentored almost 20 doctoral and postdoctoral researchers. They also initiated a student exchange programme, as well as a joint series of lectures, at the Universities of Siegen and Poznan.

Professor Jacek Błażewicz completed his studies in control engineering at the Poznan University of Technology. After gaining his degree in 1974, he earned his doctorate there in technical sciences at the Faculty for Electrotechnology. In 1980 he pursued his habilitation and, in 1987, he was promoted to the position of ordinary professor, as well as to that of acting Director of the Institute of Computer Science. He has headed this Institute's Lab for Algorithm Design and Programming Systems since 1995. At the same time, Błażewicz served as Professor at the Faculty of Mathematics and Computers Science at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan from 1994 to 1999 and has served as Professor at the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry at the Polish Academy of Sciences since 1999. His scientific works comprise around 300 scientific publications and 15 monographs. In 1991, Błażewicz received the EURO Gold Medal from the European Association of Operational Research Societies, and in 2005 he became Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. The University of Siegen gave him an honorary doctorate in 2006.

Professor Erwin Pesch studied mathematics and computer science at the Technische Universität (TU) Darmstadt, where he gained his doctorate in mathematics and carried out his habilitation. From 1989 to 1994, his career as an assistant professor took him to the School of Business and Economics at Maastricht University. From 1994 to 2001, he served as Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Bonn. He is currently researching and teaching in the same position at the University of Siegen. His scientific work is strongly interdisciplinary in nature. His research focuses are business informatics, decision support systems, project management and human resources planning. Pesch also successfully advises numerous companies. Staff planning ground handling at airports, for example, use a software programme based on his algorithm. His scientific productivity and versatility are evidenced by four books, almost 120 publications, many of them in international specialist journals, and numerous DFG-funded projects.

The two business IT specialists are the fourth pair of "tandem scientists" to receive the Copernicus Award from the DFG and FNP. The prize has been awarded every two years since 2006 to one scientist from Germany and one from Poland. It is named for the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) and is intended to promote close cooperation in research between Germany and Poland. The prize money is contributed in equal amounts by the two organisations; the two laureates receive half each and may use this money for any scientific purpose within the scope of DFG and FNP funding programmes. The intensification of joint promotion of early career researchers is intended to be a focus. In addition to the Copernicus Award, both organisations have focused on encouraging intensive cooperation in research funding for several years now.

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Further Information

Further Information on the Copernicus Award is available at: www.dfg.de/kopernikus-preis

Media Contact:
DFG Press and Public Relations Department
Tel. +49 228 885-2443
presse@dfg.de

Contact Person at the DFG Head Office:
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International Affairs
Tel. +49 228 885-2663
Philip.Thelen@dfg.de

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