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DIZH Fellows


Titles and abstracts in original language


DIZH Fellows 2024

Sven Hirsch

Harnessing digital twins for healthcare

We explore the concept of Digital Twin in Healthcare to virtually reproduce patient-specific patho-physiological systems. We will combine data-driven and model-driven approaches using data assimilation techniques and physics-informed machine learning and exemplify these with cases from the clinic.

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Christian Rapp

Aligning the teaching of academic writing and academic work with the latest generations of mind-enhancing technologies: A Design-Based Research approach

Advances in digital technologies have reshaped research activities, writing, and scholarly work into a new, seamlessly interconnected field of intellectual practices. This project asks what consequences this has for teaching and offers a complete redesign of a traditional course on academic work.

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Alice Aubert

Innovative digital interfaces to support participatory decisions for sustainable development

Deciding for a sustainable future implies trade-offs and requires local decisions processes where the different actors can express their preference on how to address these trade-offs. My project investigates the use of digital interfaces in such deliberative participatory decision processes.

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Michelle Haas

Exergaming: Bridging the gap for rehabilitation after musculoskeletal injury

Re-injury of the knee is related to a lack of explosive training and training volume during rehabilitation, and a lack of psychological readiness. These issues could be targeted by dual tasking during exergaming whose effects on movement pattern, cognition, physis, and motivation will be assessed.

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Yulia Sandamirskaya

Neuromorphic Technology for Embodied AI

Neuromorphic technology enables robots in highly dynamic and human-centered environments. I integrate event-based vision and spiking neural networks on chip to create new algorithms for 3D scene representation and analysis. This will drive projects on vision-driven automation in life sciences.

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Pasquale Cirillo

Machine-Learning-enhanced Climate Risk Measures (MLE-CRM)

Thanks to a unique combination of extreme value theory, Lorenz analysis, and machine learning, the project investigates tail risk and dependence in the cutting-edge area of financial climate risk modeling, providing both the industry and regulators with new reliable tools. A PhD position is funded.

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Andrea Günster

Analyzing Illegal Activity: A Data Science Approach

Current research on legal enforcement mechanisms suffers from overreliance on samples of already-detected offenses. My proposal employs new data science methods to better explain, quantify, and forecast illegal activity.

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David Jaggi

­Detecting Greenwashing: Assessing Green Communication and Technological Trajectories Employing AI and Big Data

This study investigates whether firms' sustainable claims match their actual innovation commitments. I use patent data, corporate communication, and machine learning to assess the alignment between a firm's innovation trajectory and green communication to detect potential greenwashing.

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Michael Jüttler

Digital Gamification in Higher Education

Digital learning plays a central role in higher education. Here, gamification elements offer great potential to influence students' learning processes and outcomes. However, there is a lack of experimental studies that systematically prove these influences. This project addresses this research gap.

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Andreas Schönborn

From linear to circular planning - steps towards a new paradigm in the planning professions

Based on the industrial use of biochar as an example, the project aims to develop a practice-oriented framework that facilitates circular planning by using digital tools. The aim is the transformation of planning and design processes from linear to circular. All planning professions are addressed.

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Malgorzata Anna Ulasik

The Modern Art of Writing: Human-driven versus AI-driven Text Production Processes

The introduction of generative AI tools has caused a substantial transformation of text production. I intend to investigate the new writing strategies by comparing writing processes with and without text generators, and to identify best practices for efficient and effective text production.

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Florian Spychiger

DAO ProTool – A Tool for Prototyping Decentralized Autonomous Organizations

This project develops a DAO Prototyping Tool (DAO ProTool) using agent-based modelling to enable DAO designers to simulate different organizational designs. This leads to a Swiss standard for DAO designs, the kickstart of the European DAO research community, and the prosperity of DAOs in practice.

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DIZH Fellows 2022

"Zoom" without "fatigue"? A pilot study on the use of augmented reality in videoconferencing.

Can the use of augmented reality reduce "zoom fatigue" during video conferences? A pilot study with multilingual individuals and conference interpreters explores this question. The results provide a basis for research and for further development of videoconferencing tools.

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Celina Vetter

Elaboration of a methodology and its implementation for processing biometric data to study human performance in the field

In aviation and other industries most incidents and accidents occur due to human error. To improve this it is necessary to understand the operator's behaviour. A methodology to digitalize human performance is applied in training to enrich feedback about fundamental performance aspects.

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Claus Horn

Next Level Enzyme Engineering

We propose a novel approach to enzyme engineering which leverages the power of artificial intelligence. By reducing the amount of necessary laboratory measurements we can speed up the process and increase performance. This will greatly advance the field and benefits ZHAW, DIZH and society at large.

Jūlija Pečerska

Joint Alignment and Tree Inference (JATI) for universal applications from biotech to epidemiology

Sequence alignment and phylogeny inference are interdependent fundamental problems that are often solved as independent tasks. I am developing a combinatorial optimisation method to resolve this circularity and efficiently infer both alignments and trees using an indel model of sequence evolution.

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Michael Mieskes

Digital Traces - The Effects of Digital Methods on Aesthetic Objects

The research project aims to investigate and make visible the aesthetic effects of current digital applications through interdisciplinary exchange. Physical objects are to make the digital influences tangible. A media-theoretical reflection shall show the connections.

Steffi Lehmann

Set-up of a combined in silico/in cellulo screening platform to identify novel anti-fibrotic drugs

Fibrotic diseases, characterized by accumulation of connective tissue, are involved in almost 50 % of deaths in the western world. Yet, efficacious anti-fibrotic therapies are still missing. We will develop an unprecedented, combined digital/experimental platform for anti-fibrotic drug screening.

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Thilo Stadelmann

Stability of self-organizing net fragments as inductive bias for next-generation deep learning

We recently released "A Theory of Natural Intelligence", proposing a possible key to the emergence of intelligence in biological learners. Goal of this fellowship is to develop a technical implementation of the concept of self-organizing net-fragments within contemporary deep artificial neural nets.

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DIZH Fellows 2021

Aline Stoll

Innovationslabor für die digitale Verwaltung Zürich – Aktionsforschung über kollaborative Innovation in Netzwerken

Innovationslabore bieten neue Ansätze für Zusammenarbeit in digitalen Verwaltungen. Das Forschungsvorhaben bringt über einen translationalen Ansatz Grundlagen zu Innovation Capacity in die Praxis. Der Aufbau von Connective Capacity wird am Pilotbetrieb des Innolabs ZH mit Aktionsforschung.

Benedikt Zoller-Rydzek

Digital Firms, Global Taxation, and Location Promotion

In this project, I will investigate the welfare implications of multinational enterprises (MNEs) with digital business models in terms of employment and corporate tax revenues. Additionally, I am going to derive the optimal location promotion policies to attract digital MNEs.

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Cerstin Mahlow

SPPC: Swiss Process–Product Corpus of Student Writing Development

SPPC is a novel longitudinal corpus of L1 student writing, linking automatically annotated and aggregated process data with the resulting product (text) and competence data. It will facilitate the development of teaching interventions with appropriate evaluation measures and strategies for feedback.

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David Lätsch

Algorithmic fairness in child protection decision-making

In an ongoing study, we are using machine learning to predict the efficacy of child protection interventions in the canton of Zurich. In this new project, we will examine the potential for algorithmic bias in our approach and explore statistical and institutional solutions to the problems detected.

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Gernot Boiger

ProcSim - Cloud based Simulation Software for Production Process Optimisation

A modular finite volume simulation model for production processes involving particle-laden flows and Multiphysics dynamic scenarios will be developed. Fusion with our novel Massive Simultaneous Cloud Computing workflow will yield a new generation of digitalized decision aid for process optimization.

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Lukas Tuggener

Practical data efficient deep learning trough contrastive self-supervised learning

Deep Learning is the key building block of most modern AI systems, but its data hunger is a problem - especially from an applied perspective. The goal of this project is to enable data efficient practical deep learning by developing novel contrastive learning methods.

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Michael Zirkler

Wirkung und Gestaltung von Solidarität: auf dem Weg zu einer digital vermittelten Gemeinschaft

Die Gestaltung positiver und nachhaltiger Beziehungen im Arbeitskontext ist für zunehmend digitale Arbeitsverhältnisse zentral. Im geplanten Projekt sollen bestehende Praktiken untersucht, mögliche Transformationsziele entwickelt und konkrete Handlungsempfehlungen für die Praxis erarbeitet werden.

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René Wiederkehr

Automatisierte Verwaltungsverfahren vor verfassungsrechtlichen Herausforderungen: Rationalisierte Interessenabwägung oder digitaler Blindflug?

Automatisierte Verwaltungsverfahren haben vor der Verfassung standzuhalten. Es sind verschiedene Verfassungsgrundsätzen des Verwaltungsverfahrens wie Fairness, Transparenz, Praktikabilität oder Effizienz zu beachten, die in Bezug auf das jeweilige Vorhaben in praktische Konkordanz zu bringen sind.

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Ruprecht Altenburger

UxV@BIM: Autonome Systeme mit Building Information Managementsystemen (BIM) vernetzen

Das grösste Potential hat BIM jenseits der Planung: in Bauausführung und Gebäudemanagement, durch die Automatisierung wiederkehrender Aufgaben, für Datenerhebung und Inspektion. Dieser Entwicklungssprung erfordert autonome BIM-fähige Systeme, deren Design und Kommunikation dieses Projekt definiert.

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DIZH Fellows 2020

Alireza Darvishy

Accessible digital map and navigation for pedestrians with disabilities


The aim of this research is to develop concepts for accessible urban trip planning and navigation for pedestrians with visual and mobility impairments, and to implement two proof-of-concept mobile application for accessible trip planning and map exploration.


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Annina Zysset

Serious Game Approach to improving Writing Skills in School-Aged Children


Impaired handwriting is one of the most common learning disabilities in school children and prevalent in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Serious educational games offer a promising approach to motivate children to train regularly, even those who have difficulties in writing.


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Carmen Koch

Digital Literacy für Forschung und Beratung – Anforderungen und Handlungsfelder für das wissenschaftliche, nicht-kommunikationsprofessionelle ZHAW-Personal


Das Projekt bezweckt die Ausarbeitung eines "Digital Literacy Modells und Assessmenttools". Darauf basierend wird die Digital Literacy des nicht-kommunikationsprofessionellen, wissenschaftlichen Personals der ZHAW bestimmt und entsprechende Handlungsfelder für die ZHAW-Departemente ausgearbeitet.


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Christian Rapp

Digitalisation and academic writing – new practices and theory development


Writing technology is developing at a breath-taking pace. However, there is a lack of empirical studies that reveal what these technologies mean for writing methodology and pedagogy, and of theoretical work guiding the understanding of digital writing within the academic domain.


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Christiane Hohenstein

Digitale Möglichkeiten der Inklusion an Hochschulen / Digital opportunities promoting inclusion in Academia


Die Digitalisierung der Hochschullehre hat enormes Potenzial für die Inklusion von unterrepräsentierten Gruppen wie hörbehinderten Studierenden. An der Schnittstelle zwischen digitaler Transformation und inklusiven Kommunikationsmodi könnten alle Studierenden profitieren.


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Christoph Bauer



Die Klassifizierung von therapeutischen Interventionen ist elementar für Praxis und Forschung. Dafür gibt es aber keine für die Praxis geeignete Applikation. Daher soll eine für die Praxis geeignete Applikation für therapeutische Interventionen (Physio-App) entwickelt werden.

Elsa Liste Lamas

LeKoD-CH: ein Schweizer DaF/DaZ-Lernendenkorpus für die Spracherwerbsforschung, -didaktik und -förderung


Im Projekt wird die Version 1.0 des Korpus LeKoD-CH, das erste frei zugängliche, umfangreich annotierte Schweizer DaF/DaZ-Lernendenkorpus, aufgebaut. Das Korpus, welches regelmässig erweitert und optimiert wird, wird als wichtige Quelle für Spracherwerbsforschung, -didaktik und -förderung dienen.


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Fatemeh Mohammadi Amin

Real-time dynamic digitalization of Human-Robot Collaboration environments and human-oriented predictive collision avoidance


Enhancing safety and productivity as a main challenge in Industry 4.0 can be addressed by a digital representation of the working zone, human motion prediction and upfront collision avoidance which propose to deliver intrinsically safe and productive systems.


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Marcello Righi

Fully digital framework for design optimization of mechanical systems under uncertainty


In the conventional optimisation, a digital model of a "system" (FEM, CFD etc.) is parametrised and optimized. We propose a fully digital framework in which Artificial Intelligence is exploited to make Multi-Disciplinary Optimisation more practically useful an take Uncertainty into account.


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Maryam Rezayati

Safe and Cognitive physical human-robot digitalization and collaboration (pHRC)


In this proposal, we aim to address the main challenges of pHRC and propose our solution that how digitalization and AI can be used to tackle the critical problem which does not allow pHRC to be productive and useful for manufacturing especially small medium sized enterprises.


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Regina Betz

Carbon Market Toolkit: Building trust and transparency for a net-zero emissions world


Carbon markets are both vanguards and cautionary examples of digital transformation, producing large amounts of data while highly fragmented and poorly regulated. Leveraging AI methods, we propose to develop a toolkit to increase transparency, reduce abuse to increase trust and boost good practices.


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Ricardo Chavarriaga

Good practices for responsible development of AI-based applications in healthcare


This project will identify proven methods, practices and standards that support responsible research and development of AI systems for health. They will be tested in use cases from medical imaging and neurotechnology, publicly released and published as a guideline of recommended best practices.


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Victor Garcia

Digital Tools for Codon Optimization: Exploring biotech's potential for negative emissions technologies


This project proposes to develop mathematical models that optimize protein production of a gene that stems from one organism in a different organism. The focus protein is suberin, a decay-resistant biopolyester, which stores carbon in soil through roots, serving as negative emissions technology.


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Wolfgang Tress

Laboratory 4.0 – Digitization in applied materials research


How can machine-learning approaches complement physics-based modelling of solar cells? How can lab automatization with digital assistants based on artificial intelligence make creative research more efficient? This DIZH fellowship is looking for answers to these questions.


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DIZH Fellows 2019

Alexander Posth

ESG 4.0 – Enabling Sustainable and Responsible Investment leveraging AI and Big Data


The identification of optimal Sustainable Investing strategies is still hampered by a profusion of technical and methodological challenges. We propose to utilize patent data and AI to boost Green Finance to a new level of efficiency in mitigating global threats as climate change, and pollution.


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Alice Delorme Benites

Machine translation literacy for academics – Pilotstudie zur linguistischen Evaluation der NMT-Übersetzbarkeit von Texten


Das Projekt untersucht das Potential von maschineller Übersetzung (NMT) für wissenschaftliche Texte (Abstracts, Papers usw.) zu Publikationszwecken, indem handfeste sprachliche Kriterien zur Evaluation und Verbesserung der NMT-Übersetzbarkeit erarbeitet werden.


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Andreas Hefti

Designing and measuring digital competition


Dieses Projekt untersucht den digitalen Wettbewerb von Wirtschaft und Politik mittels Methoden der Mikroökonomie (VWL), der Psychologie (Attention) sowie der IT (digital auctions). Im Kern steht u.a. ein Beitrag zu Digital Market Design und Data Science (measuring digital attention).


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Beatrix Emo

A digital platform for socio-spatial tools


Digital spatial tools are useful to evaluate proposals for urban development and transformation in terms of their likely impact on society. This project proposes a novel digital platform to disseminate such spatial tools amongst relevant stakeholders (architects, planners, developers, local authorities, scientists and the public).

Cerstin Mahlow

Writing Technology for the 21st Century


Writing is essential for societal participation. I will create a systematic overview of research on current digital writing tools & provide important insights into how writers use them, helping us to better understand their needs & identify important challenges for research into digital text production.


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Josef Spillner

Smart Cities & Regions Services Enablement (SCReSE)


Software für Smart Cities wird bisher konventionell entwickelt. Auf Basis serverloser und dispergierter Datenströme lassen sich technisch überzeugendere und gesellschaftlich akzeptiertere Smart-City-Dienstleistungen aufgleisen. Dieses Projekt liefert dafür den Beleg in Form eines Prototypen.


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Julia Dratva

Digital Child Health Booklet (DCHB)


Digital public health lacks child-centeredness. DCHB provides digital access to child health data and information for public and practice. The applicant will develop a DCHB data concept, investigate ethical, social and technical aspects, and establish digital child health monitoring and research.


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Jürg Meierhofer

Design of human-machine interactions in autonomous digital service ecosystems (socio-technical systems)


The interaction of humans and machines is a central component of value creation in future socio-technical service ecosystems. In the proposed project, methods for the design of these systems will be developed, which will play a central role in the digital society.


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Marcela Ruiz

Can virtual reality systems help us to design software as we talk? Automating the task of requirements specification


Software systems are omnipresent in digital transformation process. Speeding up the time-to-market while ensuring high-quality software products are of ·crucial value to ensure successful digital transformation. We face this challenge by involving virtual reality systems for software design.


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Mathias Bonmarin

Digital dermatology – Studying the impact of digitalization on dermatologists, patients and healthcare


The goal of this fellowship is to study the impact of the digitalization of dermatology on the society. The result will be a white paper to inform and guide the various stakeholders as well as a proposal for the first industry or foundation endorsed Swiss chair in digital dermatology.


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How the digitalisation will transform dermatology

Matthias Templ

Anonymisierung und Schätzung des Re-ldentifizierungsrisikos personenbezogener Daten


Die Auswertung personenbezogener Daten mit Machine Learning und Deep Networks versprechen neue Erkenntnisse, jedoch muss dem Datenschutz Rechnung getragen werden. Zentral sind Forschungsfragen bzgl. der Anonymisierung von personenbezogenen Daten und der Schätzung des Risikos vor deren Verwendung.

Michael Gemperle

Chancen und Potenziale digitaler Technologien in der Geburtshilfe


Das Forschungsvorhaben untersucht, wie Gynäkologen/-innen und Hebammen die Potenziale und Herausforderungen digitaler Technologien in der Betreuungs- und Beratungsarbeit wahrnehmen und bringt auf dieser Grundlage mögliche künftige Anwendungsmöglichkeiten und Empfehlungen hervor.


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Nico Ebert

Usable Privacy: Kontextbezogene Datenschutzhinweise für Benutzer von Apps


Unternehmen wie Apple oder Signal nutzen kurze, kontextuelle Datenschutzhinweise als Ergänzung zu umfangreichen, oftmals ineffektiven Datenschutzerklärungen. Im Vorhaben soll die Gestaltung und Wirkung dieser Kurzhinweise mittels App-Prototypen in einem quantitativen Forschungsdesign untersucht werden.


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