Founding Director & Executive Consultant Prof. Rombach

Curriculum Vitae of Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Dieter Rombach

Founding Director & Executive Consultant

Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Dieter Rombach, Fraunhofer IESE
© Fraunhofer IESE

Prof. Dr. H. Dieter Rombach studied mathematics and computer science at the University of Karlsruhe and obtained his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Kaiserslautern (1984). Since 2018, Prof. Rombach has been Prof. Emeritus at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Kaiserslautern-Landau (RPTU). Prior to that, he was a Senior Research Professor at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Kaiserslautern from 2015 to 2018, where he also held the Software Engineering Chair from 1991 to 2015. In addition, he is Chairman of the Board of the Science & Innovation Alliance Kaiserslautern (SIAK) as well as Founding Director and Executive Consultant of the Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering IESE in Kaiserslautern, whose Executive Director he was from 1996 to 2014. From 2001 to 2006, Prof. Rombach was also a Visiting Professor at the Computer Science Department of the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. Currently, he is an adjunct professor at Swinburne University in Melbourne, Australia. As a member of the Management Board of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft e.V., he headed the Information and Communications Group from 2006 to 2009. From 2018 to 2022, he was the first Chief Digital Officer of the City of Kaiserslautern. Prior to being appointed director of Fraunhofer IESE, Prof. Rombach founded the Software Technologie Transfer Initiative (STTI) Kaiserslautern and was its director for four years. This initiative led to the foundation of Fraunhofer IESE. During the course of the years, Prof. Rombach has declined several university offers (including one from TU Vienna).

Previous career steps included the Institute for Data Processing in Technology at the Karlsruhe Nuclear Research Center (scientist; 1978-79) and the Department of Computer Science at the University of Kaiserslautern (scientist; 1979-1984). This was followed by positions as a guest professor at the University of Maryland and at NASA (1984-1986), as a professor for computer science at the University of Maryland (1986-1991), and as a professor at the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies at the University of Maryland and project manager at the Software Engineering Laboratory (SEL) at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (1986-1991). Prof. Rombach spent the summer semesters of 1988 and 1989 as a visiting professor at the Software Engineering Institute of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, USA.

Prof. Rombach‘s research interests are in the area of “software engineering”, particularly in engineering-style methods for the development of software with predictable quality; quantitative methods for the measurement of software products and processes for the purpose of project management and quality assurance; languages, methods, and tools for the creation and management of development processes based on explicit software process models; and empirical methods and their application to determine the effects of software development methods.

Prof. Rombach regularly serves as an expert, auditor, reviewer, and consultant for industry. He provides advisory services to a number of government bodies at the state, federal, and international level on issues concerning research as well as education and training in the area of computer science and on strategic decisions related to software. Prof. Rombach serves as a scientific adviser to various companies and research institutions.

Prof. Rombach is the author of more than 250 scientific publications. In 1990, he received the "Presidential Young Investigator Award" (endowed with US $ 500.000) of the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the U.S. for his excellent work in the area of software engineering. In 2000, his contributions to the scientific and economic development of the state were recognized when he was awarded the Order of Merit of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate. In 2003, he received the Distinguished Postdoctoral Award of the College for Computer, Mathematical and Physical Sciences of the University of Maryland and in 2013 the Founder’s Award. In the year 2009, he was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit on Ribbon of the Federal Republic of Germany and the University of Oulu, Finland, bestowed upon him an honorary doctorate degree in recognition of his lifetime achievements as a software engineer. For his services to the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, he was awarded the Fraunhofer Medal in 2013. In 2021, the IEEE Computer Society presented him with the Harlan D. Mills Award for his lifetime achievement.

Furthermore, Prof. Rombach is co-editor of several international journals and is regularly called upon to act as a program committee member of important software engineering conferences. His appointments include having been the General Chair of the International ACM/IEEE Conference on Software Engineering held in Berlin in 1996 and the Program Co-Chair of the International ACM/IEEE Conference on Software Engineering held in Shanghai in 2006. He is a Fellow of the most important computer science associations ACM (since 2010) and IEEE Computer Society (since 2003).