Professor Mezini, your field of study is computer science, especially software engineering, with a special focus on software security. You have just received a prestigious personal award: the Advanced Grant from the European Research Council - the European equivalent of the German Research Foundation's Leibniz Prize, as it were. What does this mean to you? I view this award as great recognition of my scientific achievements to date. I am absolutely delighted to receive this award. At the same time, it compels me and spurs me on to take on new challenges and improve the quality of my research to an even greater degree.
You are a member of the board of directors of the LOEWE Centre known as CASED, which specialises in IT security. Can you reveal what you are currently working on there? One of my current working topics is "designing language-based security". This involves designing programming concepts that help embed security-related properties in the software right from the development stage as an integral part of it - i.e. by design. Another topic deals with learning from documented security gaps in existing software so that we can derive recommendations for the secure development of new software systems.
You were born in Albania, studied in Tirana and arrived in Germany via the USA. You have been teaching and conducting research in Darmstadt since 2000. What role does your international career play in the scientific context? Internationality is an integral part of my life and especially my work. Internationality plays a key role in computer science, and it is an important prerequisite for being awarded the ERC Advanced Grant. I have almost exclusively presented my work at international conferences and published articles in international journals. I am actively involved in the design and review process for several international conferences and journals in my field of expertise. My research team is also international, and the working language in the team is often English.
You are responsible for the Graduate School at CASED. What kind of advice would you like to give young researchers? I would always recommend that they tackle ambitious goals boldly and with passion and focus on quality at all times.
- Head of the Graduate School at the LOEWE Centre CASED
- Dean of the Department of Computer Science at the Technical University Darmstadt
- Was awarded the ERC Advanced Grant in 2012