Professor Inauguration: Thomas Hildebrandt

Thomas Hildebrandt was appointed Professor at the Department of Computer Science at University of Copenhagen (DIKU) on 1 March 2018. This is celebrated by an inaugural lecture on 6 April 2018 at 2 pm followed by a reception.

Adaptable digitalisation prepared for humans

Our society is becoming still more digital. In the public as well as the private sector  digitalisation is driven by wishes for at the same time higher effectiveness and higher quality of workflows and services. Add to this the dreams of the new possibilities which the digitalisation offers, such as making use of AI on the collection of digital traces we all leave in databases as a bi-product of the digitalisation.

Unfortunately, the new information systems digitalising our daily life do not always live up the high expectations. The dream sometimes becomes a nightmare of a rigid it-system that requires humans to adapt to the systems. At the same time the systems collect sensitive data of which we cannot trust that these are kept secure and only used for the right purpose. As an answer to this, a broad coalition of political parties recently agreed with the Government that from June 2018, all new laws should be prepared for digitalisation and automatisation whenever it is possible. But what does it mean for a law to be prepared for digitalisation?


Professor Thomas Hildebrandt, Dept. of Computer Science, University of Copenhagen

Thomas Hildebrandt obtained his PhD in computer science from Aarhus University in 1999 and has since then worked at the IT University of Copenhagen (ITU). At ITU, Thomas Hildebrandt has been head of the graduate programme for internet and software technologies, director of the FIRST (Foundations for innovative, research-based software technologies) PhD school, leading research groups in process modelling and a number of research projects in collaboration with industry and supported by the Danish Research Agency for Technology and Production, the former Agency for Strategic Research and Innovation fund Denmark.

The research carried out by Thomas has lead to the development of the process technology Dynamic Condition Response (DCR) Graphs in collaboration with the company Exformatics. The technology has users all over the world and is available as a service at DCR is now owned by the company DCR Solutions and is used in Denmark to support flexible case management within the KMD WorkZone case management system, which is used 65% of the employees in the Danish state, including administrative workers at several universities.

Next to being a researcher, Thomas facilitates interest groups for processes and IT within the innovation network and Copenhagen Fintech and works as a consultant in digitalisation and the general data protection regulation.

In the lecture, Thomas will introduce his research in software technologies based on formal process models and methods for developing flexible information systems that can be continuously adapted and are ready for the complexity of human needs, including a changeable legislation with room for discretion, and at the same time offer possibilities for increasing the quality, safety and effectiveness of workflows and business processes.