Alexander von Humboldt Professorship 2023

Samarjit Chakraborty

Electronics and software applications are not only aspects of our prosperity, but also of our ecological footprint. At the University of Passau, electrical engineer and computer scientist Samarjit Chakraborty will continue working on optimising data acquisition and processing with regard to energy consumption and storing renewable energies in long-lasting battery systems.

  • Nominating University: University of Passau
Portrait of Samarjit Chakraborty
Saturn-ähnliches Dekortationsbild

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Sustainable computing

How can the delivery of goods by drones be made sustainable in the future? Since batteries age over time and need to be disposed or recycled, how should the batteries used in these drones be charged to combine efficiency and sustainability? Answers to such questions require the kind of interdisciplinary approach Samarjit Chakraborty has been pursuing for years. His research area ranges from real-time, embedded and cyber-physical systems to software design and battery management. When designing real-time systems, such as software controlling the engine or brakes in a car, he also has an eye on how to enhance the reliability and the longevity of the electronics and processors on which such software runs.

In addition to developing new electronic architectures and software for electric vehicles (EVs), new battery management systems and methods for reducing battery ageing are central to Chakraborty's research. His research group has developed novel algorithms for equalising the electrical charge in different cells of a battery pack, in order to increase its usability. Using “intelligent cells” where each cell is equipped with sensors and communication interfaces, his group has proposed modular battery packs for EVs that would reduce the cost of batteries and make EVs more affordable in the future. Batteries made with such intelligent cells can also be recycled and even reused more cost effectively, thereby promoting sustainability.

Chakraborty has also worked on mobile devices, such as smartphones, and has developed new power management strategies for applications ranging from computer games to web browsers running on them. Such strategies, along with intelligent battery chargers, not only improve the battery life of phones, but increase their overall usable life by slowing battery ageing.  Other successes from his research – that improve sustainability – are in the domain of healthcare. His group has developed new affordable medical devices, and wireless communication protocols for better contact tracing of contagious diseases like Covid-19. 

With the Humboldt Professorship at the University of Passau, Chakraborty will work at the intersection of computer science and engineering in order to continue his research on sustainable computer technologies and software solutions. The newly created Chair of Sustainable Computing will complete the portfolio of research in the Faculty of Computer Science and Mathematics, in line with the university’s institutional mission of sustainable development, digitisation and global transformation.

Brief bio

After studying computer science in India, Samarjit Chakraborty received his doctorate in electrical engineering from ETH Zurich in 2003. For his dissertation he was granted the ETH Medal and the EDAA Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award. He then became an assistant professor of computer science at the National University of Singapore before joining TU Munich as a full professor of electrical engineering in 2008. Until 2019, he held the Chair of Real-Time Computer Systems there and in parallel led a research group on electric vehicles at the TUM-CREATE Center in Singapore, before moving to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the United States. He is an IEEE Fellow and along with his students has received a number of different awards for his research.