Head of Division for Software Intensive Systems at Robert Bosch
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dirk Christian Elias, born in 1966, is currently Senior Vice President at Robert Bosch GmbH and heading the Corporate Research division ‘Advanced Engineering 2’ (CR/AE2). The division is focusing its research on Software Intensive Systems in open context environments. Until February 2017 he has been the president of the executive board of Fraunhofer Portugal (FhP) and the director of the Fraunhofer research center for 'Assistive Information and Communication Solutions' (FhP-AICOS). From May 2008 on he is also invited full professor at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (FEUP). Between 2013 and 2015 Dirk was also a member of the Scientific Board (Conselho Científico) of FEUP.
He left the Technical University of Munich (TUM) in 1992 as Diplom-Ingenieur for electrical engineering (communication technologies) and joined the research institute for Open Communication Systems in Berlin (GMD FOKUS, now Fraunhofer FOKUS).
Between 1992 and 1996 his work focused on multifunctional end- and test-systems with direct access to ATM-networks (Asynchronous Transfer Mode). He received his doctor degree from the Technical University of Berlin (TUB) in computer sciences in 1996.
As deputy director of the FOKUS competence center for advanced technologies and systems between 1996 and 2000 he led the laboratory for Home and Office Technologies (HOT), which has been used as a demonstrator and test bed for many smart home activities of Deutsche Telekom Berkom.
During 1992 and 2000 he participated in various national and international projects for GMD/FhG, Deutsche Telekom, Siemens, Eurescom, and EU.
In 2000 he left GMD/FhG and started IVISTAR AG in Berlin, Germany. IVISTAR was focused on IP-based multi-play products for the organization of open offices and provided later also product development services to Deutsche Telekom and T-Systems for the residential market, also including advanced solutions for the smart home and office sector for T-Labs.
He worked at IVISTAR eight years as CEO and after leaving to Portugal in 2008 one year as chairman of the supervisory board before the company was sold to an Austrian investor. In Portugal Dirk started setting up the Fraunhofer Portugal Research center AICOS from scratch that currently is operating with a team of approximately 100 persons and operates offices in Porto (HQ) and Lisbon. AICOS, being dedicated to applied research for industry, is focusing on solutions for Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) and ICT for socio-economic development (ICT4D). The center has been growing its external project revenues all years even during the economic crisis in Portugal. Dirk was a member of the advisory board of EnergyIN, the Portuguese energy cluster (Pólo de Competitividade e Tecnologia da Energia) and consulted the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ Themenkreis IKT) as well as the headquarters of Fraunhofer Gesellschaft with regards to strategies related to innovation activities in developing countries between 2011-2012. He is the initiator of the FhP-AICOS competence center for ICT4D (ICT for Developing) that started in 2013.
Dirk also was responsible for the creation of two new competence centers in 2016 under the umbrella of the project ‘Deus ex Machina’ (DeM), that focus on sensors aspects related to the IoT (sensing, fusing, big data) and the interaction between the IoT and human users (mobile companions). DeM is led by AICOS and involves the cooperation with six interdisciplinary university groups. In October 2012 Dirk received the 'Galileo Master 2012' award in the European Satellite Navigation Competition for his work on indoor positioning based on modulated magnetic fields. Precise indoor positioning for mobile phones currently is the main focus of his scientific work and resulted in four patent filings to date (the first granted recently) as well as outstanding results in the Microsoft Indoor Localization Competitions 2015 and 2016.