STEM-Award IT 2019
Next Generation Mobility
Intelligent mechanical systems, artificial intelligence, internet of things and process innovation for a clean and safe mobility that is automated, comfortable, affordable and everywhere accessible

STEM-Award IT 2019

ZF and audimax honored four award winners for their outstanding final theses

A mix of excitement and anticipation was in the air. The decisive question was: Who won the race for the STEM-Award IT 2019 with their final thesis? The jury chose Jonas Vith and his master thesis on ›Efficient Implementation to Ensure Long-Term Security for Automotive Applications‹. The audience applauded energetically. A radiant smile spread to Jonas face. He proudly accepted the STEM-Award trophy and the cheque for 3,000 euros. »I didn't expect to take first place«, he revealed after the award ceremony. »When I applied, I didn't even expect to get a prize at all.«

A difficult decision for the jury

The participants of the STEM-Award IT 2019 had not made it easy for the jury: The level of all submitted works was constantly high. Even so high that the jury could have awarded prizes to other participants: »Unfortunately, we had to sort out two to four entries that in my opinion would have been worthy of an award«, said jury member Dr. Frank Keck, Managing Director of the ZF subsidiary Zukunft Mobility GmbH. All in all, however, the members of the jury agreed quite quickly. »The decisive and most important criterion that we considered when selecting the winners was their innovative strength«, said Prof. Dr. Florian Lang, head of the automotive information technology course at Constance University of Applied Sciences. The second most important criterion was the industrial relevance of the work and, finally, the scientific approach. Although Martin Lauer-Schmaltz's final thesis on the navigation of blind joggers was less relevant for the automotive industry, the idea and work of the jury were so convincing that they decided to award a special prize for it.

A wide range of topics

In general, the task ›Next Generation Mobility: Intelligent mechanical systems, artificial intelligence, internet of things and process innovation for a clean and safe mobility that is automated, comfortable, affordable and everywhere accessibleopened the door to a wide spectrum of topics for which STEM theses could be submitted. The third placed Christian Barthelme dealt with the topic ›human-machine interfaces for the interior of an autonomous taxi‹. And Maike Obenhaus, who finished second and was the first woman to receive an award in the STEM Award IT competition, dealt with ›SAR and Optical Landmark Extraction for High Definition Road Maps‹.

According to jury member Frank Keck, the decisive factor in Jonas Vith's final thesis taking first place was the fact that the student had thought about theory and practice at the same time. With this and the innovative power of his work, he won over the jury. Whether special prize, first, second or third place - all winners had a special reason to be happy after the award ceremony and were able to celebrate their success together.

With the STEM-Award IT 2019, ZF and audimax MEDIEN honored the authors of the best final theses in the broadly based field of mobility. Prize money of 3,000, 1,500 and 1,000 euros was awarded for the best works. The winners also made valuable contacts with top-class ZF personnel decision-makers. The competition was open to students and graduates of STEM subjects. The STEM Award IT 2019 was already the 20th STEM Award. audimax STEM Award, which is available in five categories, such as the women's STEM Award, STEM Award IT Safety or STEM Award Technology.


ZF is a globally active technology group that supplies systems for the mobility of passenger cars, commercial vehicles and industrial technology. With a comprehensive technology portfolio, ZF offers integrated solutions for established automobile manufacturers and mobility providers. One focus of further development of ZF systems is digital networking and automation. ZF lets vehicles see, think and act.

ZF is represented with 149,000 employees at around 230 locations in 40 countries. In 2018, ZF achieved sales of EUR 36.9 billion. Every year, the company spends more than six percent of its sales on research and development.

You want to learn more about the career opportunities at ZF? Visit: ZF.COM/CAREERS.

STEM and audimax

The magazine audimax contains helpful articles for students, graduates and school students on the subjects of study, student life and careers.

MINT Zukunft schaffen

The initiative MINT Zukunft schaffen (STEM creating future) has devoted itself to one of the most pressing problems facing the German economy, namely the lack of skilled professionals in STEM subjects. In response, it offers a broad platform for a wide range of individual initiatives. We have been actively involved since its foundation.