Dr. Michaela Muylkens

+49 (0)441 798-4756


Prof. Dr. Werner Damm

Prof. Dr. Martin Fränzle

Prof. Dr. Jochem Rieger

Cooperative Critical Systems

Embedded Systems are computer-based electronic systems that are ‘embedded’ into various products which we use on a daily basis. Especially in the transportation domain – i.e., in cars, planes, railway, and maritime systems – these embedded systems enable and take over more and more functionality, e.g., control, navigation, dynamic route guiding, safeguarding, and traffic optimization. From mere assistance systems supporting human operators, these systems continuously evolve to higher levels of automation. In road transport, for example, they set out to perform driving tasks in part autonomously, partly in cooperation with other technical systems and the human operators. 

The research area Cooperative Critical Systems focuses its research on how these systems can be developed and build such that they are

  • functionally safe – i.e., their operation can be guaranteed to not endanger the environment or human beings
  • IT secure – i.e., they are protected against security attacks and do not compromise user privacy
  • comfortable and intuitive to operate – i.e., they adapt to human needs and avoid any ‘automation surprises’.

This inter-disciplinary and cross-faculty research joins researchers from Computer Science, Psychology, Medicine & Health-Services Research, and Physics, who together investigate processes and methods for the development of these embedded systems. They focus on human centred engineering, formal verification, validation of functional and non-functional properties, and bidirectional man-machine interaction with its technical, psychological and neuronal foundations.

The research area evolved from the combination of the Interdisciplinary Research Centre Safety Crtical Systems with the MWK-funded large scale collaborative project CSE. It hosts a multitude of research projects with a combined annual level of funding of several Mio. Euros. Among its key projects are a Transregional Collaborative Research Centre (SFB/TR 14 AVACS), a Graduate School (GRK SCARE) and a large scale research project funded by the MWK.

The research area will be continuously developed and expanded along the following directions:

  • Continued acquisition of large scale projects at regional, national and European levels, among them an SFB/TRR Long Term Autonomy and an SFB Safe Human Machine Cooperation, or a Cluster of Excellence Centre on Cyber-Physical Systems
  • Extension into additional application domains (especially: to the maritime domain), thereby also extending intra-university networking
  • Broadening the expertise in IT-security (via OFFIS)
  • Strengthening the activities in man-machine interaction, thereby also strengthening the integration of Computer Science, Psychology and Health-Services Research
  • Establishment of an international and inter-disciplinary master degree program on “Critical Systems Engineering” to educate young scientists for the research area

The research area strives to become one of the European Top-5 research- and cooperation-partners for the design and development of Cooperative Critical Systems.

Wehqbma8orister ( (Changed: 2020-01-23)