Press Release 013/2012

Grant for KIT Business Process Management Specialist

Dr. Silvia von Stackelberg Is Granted Scholarship for Postdoctoral Lecture Qualification under the Margarete von Wrangell Program
Widmet sich nun ihrer Habilitation: Dr. Silvia von Stackelberg (Foto: privat)
Dr. Silvia von Stackelberg is now working on her postdoctoral lecture qualification. (Photo: private)

Dr. Silvia von Stackelberg is granted a scholarship for postdoctoral lecture qualification under the Margarete von Wrangell Program. The business process management specialist from the Chair for Information Administration Systems at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) focuses on “Privacy in Workflow Management Systems”. These IT systems automatically coordinate a sequence of tasks, for instance in business processes. Work of von Stackelberg focuses among others on data protection. 

With the Margarete von Wrangell program, the state of Baden-Württemberg supports excellent female scientists on their way to postdoctoral lecture qualification. First, the position of the scientist is funded for two years by the State Ministry of Science, Research, and the Arts and the European Social Fund. Then, funding is taken over by KIT for another year.

Workflow management systems automatically control and coordinate processes. Such systems are applied in many business sectors and in everyday life, for instance, when ordering a book from the library or organizing examinations at universities.

Privacy aspects are highly important in open, distributed workflow management systems. “If personal data are managed, legal requirements for data protection have to be considered,” says Silvia von Stackelberg. As a rule, users of these systems would need the data owners’ permission when using their personal data. “So far, workflow management systems do not support privacy aspects adequately, such as individual restricted authorization to access personal data,” explains von Stackelberg.

Consequently, data owners cannot influence actively the use of their personal data in workflow management systems and design rules according to their personal wishes. For instance they cannot specify conditions for notifications or exclude certain persons from access to their data. In her research project “Privacy in Workflow Management Systems”, the scientist therefore studies how these systems can be extended by data protection features. The project covers the conception of an access control mechanism taking into account the workflow-specific access rights for individual actors and limitations of personal data use. Moreover, von Stackelberg develops mechanisms to dynamically integrate the data owners in workflows. To study preferences and needs of users, the scientist will carry out application-specific user experiments. “Users will be able to exercise individually their right of informational self-determination,” emphasizes von Stackelberg.

Since April 2010, Silvia von Stackelberg has been working as a post-doc at the Chair for Information Administration Systems of KIT. After studying Business Informatics at the University of Bamberg, she worked as a scientist at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Publication and Information Systems, Darmstadt, in the areas of Multimedia Database Management Systems, XML, meta data, and Semantic Web. Silvia von Stackelberg was conferred her Ph. D. by the Technical University of Darmstadt for a thesis on Resource Management for Interactive Multimedia Applications.


Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 10,000 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 22,800 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.

sk, 27.01.2012

Margarete Lehné
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