Univention Graduate Prize

To promote the spread of Open Source software in professional environments, Univention awarded the Univention Graduate Prize for nine years in a row. The prize was endowed by Univention and the winners were be selected by an independent jury. The prize was aimed at bachelor and master theses which made the use of Open Source software more appealing to professional users and is open to all disciplines.

Hut Schulabschluss und Papierrolle

Dissertations from all disciplines could be admitted. IT dissertations dealing with the development of Open Source software as well as dissertations about economic aspects of deploying Open Source software, or submissions from the fields of psychology and sociology dealing with group-relevant or society-relevant focuses and also dissertations which investigate the aspects of deploying Open Source software that is relevant to companies or institutions. The main criterion for the assessment is the practical relevance, the innovation, and usability of the respective dissertation.

After nine years, in 2017, the prize will not be continued. Instead of it we are developing a new format at the moment and inform you soon.

Jury 2016

Monika Schnizer - Fujitsu
Holger Koch - DB Systems
Joerg Liebe - Lufthansa Systems
Dr. Steffen Evers - Bosch Software Innovation
Dr. Dieter Hutter - Deutschen Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz (DFKI)
Hans Joachim Baader – Pro-Linux.de

Monika Schnizer – Fujitsu

Holger Koch – DB Systel

Joerg Liebe – Lufthansa Systems

Dr. Steffen Evers – Bosch Software Innovation

Dr. Dieter Hutter – DFKI

Hans Joachim Baader – Pro-Linux.de


The prize winners

Verleihung des Univention Absolventenpreises 2017

This year, the Univention Graduate Prize 2016 was presented at the Univention Summit in Bremen. The high – caliber jury, consisting of Monika Schnizer (Fujitsu), Holger Koch (DB Systel), Jörg Liebe (Lufthansa Systems), Dr. Steffen Evers (Bosch Software Innovation), Dr. Dieter Hutter (DFKI), Hans Joachim Baader (Pro -Linux.de), was largely on site to personally congratulate the winners.

The jury found it hard to decide which one to choose for the third prize. That is why they decided to hand over two third prizes this year.

1. place – Matthias Kastner, Julius-Maximilians-University Würzburg

Matthias Kastner - Gewinner Univention Absolventenpreis 2016

Matthias Kastner won the master’s thesis on the topic ‘synthesis of carbon nanotubes with the help of free electronics and open source’. He received a lot of respect and congratulations from juror Dr. Joerg Liebe from Lufthansa Systems, who is himself a physicist, for his work and the first place of the Univention Graduate Prize 2016.

2. place – Benedikt Christoph Wolters, RWTH Aachen

Benedikt Christoph Wolters - Zweitplatzierter Univention Absolventenpreis

Benedikt Christoph Wolters convinced the jury with his bachelor thesis ‘Distributed Authorization Management for Secure Sensor Data in the Cloud’ and received a lot of recognition for the well-earned second place of the Univention graduate award from Dr. Dieter Hutter of the DFKI.

3. place – Timo Pagel, University of Applied Sciences Kiel

Timo Pagel - Drittplatzierter Univention Absolventenpreis

‘The evaluation and implementation of DevOps strategies to increase the security of web applications for start-ups’ is the exciting topic of the master thesis of Timo Pagel, which brought him the third place of the Univention graduate award. Praising this work, juror Holger Koch from DB Systel gave him the prize.

3. place – Roman Matzutt, RWTH Aachen

Roman Matzutt - Drittplatzierter Univention Absolventenpreis

With his master thesis on ‘Design and Implementation of Secure Decentralized Bitcoin Mixing’, Roman Matzutt also won in the Univention graduate award, which third prize he received happily from our CEO Peter Ganten.

Peter Ganten, Philipp de Graaff, Philip Wendland, Sergej Schumilo

In the scope of the re:publica in Berlin, the three winners of 2015 were presented their Univention graduate prizes on May 6. Their works were chosen from a large number of submitted dissertations by an independent jury. The topics of these 3 winning works covered a wide spectrum from the development of an Open Source environment for controlling AR.drones and the development of free drivers for smartcards up to the development of a framework for automated analysis of security vulnerabilities at USB interfaces.

1st place – Philipp de Graaff, Goethe University Frankfurt / Main

1 platz Absolventenpreis 2015 Peter Ganten, Philipp de Graaff

In the scope of his dissertation “Universelle Kontrolle und Überwachung einer AR.Drone 2.0 auf Basis eines offenen und erweiterten Toolkits” Philipp de Graaff from the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main developed an environment that allows the development of uncomplicated programs to control drones, even without having deep knowledge of drone technologies. By using this toolkit, users can write programs that allow drones to perform different actions like mapping of landscapes, delivering small goods or even the automatic search for, e.g., broken transmission lines.

2nd place: Philip Wendland – Technical University Ilmenau

2 platz Absolventenpreis 2015 Peter Ganten Philip Wendland

In his bacherlor thesis “Entwicklung eines Java Card Applets und OpenSC Treibers für Smartcards”, Philip Wendland developed Open Source-based middleware and drivers for smartcards that can be used for hardware-based protection against security vulnerabilities in cryptographic functions. By doing this, Wendland issued a new generation of smartcard software that works without any proprietary components.

3rd place: Sergej Schumilo – University of Applied Sciences Münster

3 platz Absolventenpreis 2015 Sergej Schumilo, Peter Gaten

In his bachelor thesis “Konzeption und Implementierung einer QEMU- und KVM-basierten USB-Fuzzing Infrastruktur” Sergej Schumilo developed a GPL-licensed, new USB-fuzzing framework that allows the systematic scanning of all available USB drivers for security issues. What is also outstanding is that discovered vulnerabilities are automatically documented in a reproducible format so that detected errors can be quickly re-enacted and fixed.

The Univention graduate prize was presented to the three winners at the start of the LinuxTag 2014 on 8th May 2014. In the scope of their dissertations they developed practice-oriented Open Source software which can be used to improve the possibility for deploying this type of software in business and industrial settings considerably.

1st place – Sebastian Roland, Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences

In his bachelor dissertation “Use of X.509 certificates for smartcard-based SSH user authentication”, Sebastian Roland deals with the problem of secure authentication of users with X.509 certificates and the automation of the SSH key management. The objective of Sebastian Roland’s dissertation was to evaluate how an existing PKI (public key infrastructure) including smartcard technology which generates and manages the X.509 certificates for users automatically can be used for SSH user authentication. The automation and use of synergies translates to considerable cost savings for companies. At the same time, the security in the management and use of the key material is increased considerably.

2nd place: Dennis G. Jansen – University of California Berkeley, School of Law

Dennis G. Jansen’s Master dissertation „Contribution Agreements’ Flexibility in Outbound Licensing“ is an in-depth investigation into contribution agreements in US licensing legislation. It concerns an Open Source software license which allows a project to publish individual contributions from project members under multiple licenses as well. In his dissertation, Dennis G. Jansen refers to fundamental problems in the use of contribution agreements in US law and in a second stage develops a possible supplementary clause, which allows a legally viable combination of the contribution agreement with different licenses without a license compatibility test in advance.

3rd place: Raphael Hiegsen – Hamburg University of Applied Sciences

The objective of Raphael Hiegsen’s Bachelor dissertation „libcppa on SIMD machines – GPGPU computing using transparent C++11 actors and OpenCL“ is to make graphics processing units (GPUs) that have developed from dedicated pipelines into groups of data-parallel, programmable cores in recent years programmable from a higher abstraction level. The basic idea behind the investigation is the unification of general purpose computing on graphic processing units (GPGPU) with the actor model that creates an abstraction via parallel systems and offers the possibility of developing distributed, error-tolerant systems.

The Univention graduate prize was presented to the three winners at the inauguration of the LinuxTag 2013 on 22nd May 2014. All three winners developed practice-oriented Open Source software, which, among other things, contributes to the improvement of day-to-day software as found in navigation systems and networks or the simplified programming of robots.

1st place – Alexander Bertram, Wedel University of Applied Sciences

The jury awarded first place to Alexander Bertram’s dissertation “AntScout – Dynamic routing on OpenStreetMap” In the scope of his dissertation, Bertram prototypically implemented a special algorithm for dynamic traffic navigation in the Open Source navigation system “OpenStreetMap”. Thanks to Mr Bertram’s implementation, Open Source-based navigation systems are able to take current particularities like traffic volume, the risk of jams or landmarks that might be of interest to the driver into consideration when calculating the optimal route.

2nd place: Andreas Hübner – Ruhr University of Bochum

Second place went to Andreas Hübner’s degree dissertation “SRSTP – A Security Enhancement for IEEE 802.1D”. In his dissertation, he improved the failsafe performance of networks and was able to increase data speed at the same time. Hübner’s further development of the IEEE 802.1D protocol also integrated cryptographic procedures for authentication checks. For example, this expansion can be used to improve the security of wireless routers considerably.

3rd place: Filip Müllers – University of Bonn

The jury awarded third place to Filip Müllers for his dissertation “Implementation of a graphic interface for support in robot software development in ROS”. In his dissertation, he developed the graphic user interface “rxDeveloper” for the programming of applications for robots. Users can use this intuitively via “drag and drop” to compile functions as graphs, combine them with features and edit them. The program then allows immediate running and testing of the developed functions.

Entry conditions

All university dissertations (Master or Bachelor) which make an innovative contribution to the field of Linux and Open Source software are eligible for submission. The dissertations must be written in German or English and have been assessed in 2014, 2015 or 2016 when submitted. The following documents must also be submitted:

  • The author’s CV in table form
  • A one-page abstract (max. two pages)
  • The complete dissertation
  • Proof that the work has been assessed and the degree completed (e.g., assessment report and Master or Bachelor or equivalent degree certificate)
  • Specification of the Open Source license, insofar as software is developed in the scope of the dissertation

By submitting his/her documents, the participant consents to Univention’s publishing his/her name and the abstract of the dissertation if it is awarded first, second or third prize.

The other documents are required purely for the verification of the formal criteria and/or the assessment of the dissertation. They are provided to the members of the jury by Univention. The information is not used for any other purpose and is especially not provided to third parties.