On Wednesday 10 May, IT research at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) was celebrated with high-ranking guests and engaging speeches. The event celebrated both the 20th anniversary and the establishment of a Department of Computer Science at the RUB in 2021. Mona Neubaur, Deputy Minister President and Minister for Economic Affairs of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, was the guest of honour and gave a clear statement of the importance of IT in Bochum in her welcoming speech. "With the Horst Görtz Institute for IT Security, you have created a flagship in Bochum around which a very special ecosystem has developed over the past 20 years. Hidden champions of data security have settled here, radiating outwards and attracting skilled workers," said the Minister to loud applause from the more than 200 participants from research, politics and business.
A real gain for Bochum's reputation
The foundations for this success were laid a good 20 years ago by the researchers Christof Paar and Hans Dobbertin, who, after founding the institute thanks to a generous donation from the entrepreneur Horst Görtz, led Bochum ITS to worldwide renown through intensive work. With the newly founded Faculty of Computer Science, the Ruhr University is now further expanding its strength in IT research. In his video statement, the Mayor of Bochum, Thomas Eiskirch, also emphasised the importance of this foundation: "The opening of this 21st faculty at the RUB is a real gain for Bochum's image as an IT and ITS hotspot".
The Rector of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Prof. Martin Paul, also praised the work of the institute. "The HGI brings together outstanding scientists and students," he said, highlighting in particular the diverse activities of Bochum IT in the area of women's advancement. With various campaigns such as Women in IT Security and various support measures, young scientists in Bochum are particularly supported. Strong women in IT - this topic was also addressed in the keynote speech by journalist Svea Eckert, who shares a common history with the HGI: together with researchers from Bochum, she has already conducted investigative research on several occasions, for example on the diesel scandal or a Chinese surveillance app, which has gained international recognition.
The empowerment of women in IT as a big topic
The positive increase in the number of female researchers is just one of many positive developments over the last 20 years in ITS, as the panel discussion with five researchers from Bochum pointed out. Tim Güneysu (HGI spokesperson), Alena Naiakshina (junior lecturer), Christof Paar (founding director of the MaxPlanck Institute for Security and Privacy), M. Angela Sasse (spokesperson of the Cluster of Excellence CASA) and Laurenz Wiskott (dean of the Department of Computer Science) engaged in a lively discussion about the past and future of IT research at the RUB.
Later on, the guests gathered for the buffet and the evening programme, where they were entertained by a small exhibition about the history of the ITS in Bochum and by the special sounds of the string ensemble "Joker Quartett". 1Live DJ Christian Vorbau kept the dance floor alive until midnight to round off the evening.
General note: In case of using gender-assigning attributes we include all those who consider themselves in this gender regardless of their own biological sex.