CISPA is currently in the founding process to join the German Helmholtz Association as a new member. It is consequently undergoing significant organizational changes, which are not yet reflected on this webpage.

For further information on the above mentioned founding process, please refer to the official press release by the State Chancellery of Saarland.

Recent News on the Transformation Process


The location of the first construction phase has been agreed upon. For further information, please refer to the official press release .

14. April 2015

2015 German-American Frontiers of Engineering Symposium

CISPA Director Michael Backes is a scientific chair of the annual symposium of the German-American Frontiers of Engineering (GAFOE). Since 1998, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) brings together outstanding engineers from academia and industry under the age of 45 from the USA and Germany. Michael Backes and Matteo Maffei will present and discuss our ongoing CISPA research in the field of privacy protection and privacy enhancing technologies.

The 2015 German-American Frontiers of Engineering Symposium will be held April 16-18 at the Steigenberger Hotel in Potsdam, Germany.  About 60 outstanding engineers under the age of 45 will meet for an intensive 2-1/2 day symposium to discuss cutting-edge developments in four areas: Protecting User Privacy in the Age Big Data, Nano-to-Micro Robotics, Synthetic Membranes and their Applications, and Particle Accelerators and their Applications. The event facilitates international and cross-disciplinary research collaboration, promotes the transfer of new techniques and approaches across disparate engineering fields, and encourages the creation of a transatlantic network of world-class engineers.

This program is carried out in cooperation with the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. The National Academy of Engineering would like to express its gratitude to The Grainger Foundation and the National Science Foundation for their support of the 2015 GAFOE Symposium.

2015 German-American Frontiers of Engineering

April 16-18, 2015

Steigenberger Hotel Sanssouci

Potsdam, Germany


(Order of sessions and speakers TBD)

Symposium co-chairs:  Cynthia Barnhart, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Peter Moser, RWE Power AG


Session Co-chairs: Michael Backes, Saarland University, and Nick Feamster, Princeton University

Understanding Politically Motivated Adversaries: Targeted Threats and Censorship Product Fingerprinting
Phillipa Gill, Stony Brook University

Human Factors in Big Data Security and Privacy
Matthew Smith, University of Bonn

Towards Provable Privacy Guarantees in the Age of User Profiling
Matteo Maffei, University of Saarland

The Tor Project
Roger Dingledine, The Tor Project


Session co-chairs: Sarah Bergbreiter, University of Maryland, and Samuel Sanchez, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems

Molecular Machines under Tension: Bionanomechanics with Optical Tweezers
Erik Schäffer, University of Tübingen

Designing Synthetic DNA Walkers
Jong Hyun Choi, Purdue University

Nanorobot Propulsion in Biological Fluids
Peer Fischer, University of Stuttgart

PiezoMEMS-Enabled mm- to cm-Scale Robotics
Ronald Polcawich, US Army Research Laboratory


Session Co-chairs:  Daniela Leitner, Michigan State University, and Julia Herzen, Technical University Munich

Engineering and Industrializing Superconducting Particle Accelerators
Matthew Johnson, Michigan State University

Development of High Field Superconducting Magnets
Helene Felice, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

X-ray Nano-Diffraction Meets Materials Science
Christina Krywka, Institute of Materials Research, Helmholtz Zentrum Geesthacht

Development of Laser-Driven High-Energy Particle and Radiation Sources
Jörg Schreiber, Ludwig-Maximilian-University of Munich and the Max-Planck-Institute for Quantum Optics


Session Co-chairs: Kathryn Beers, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and Martin Bram, Forschungszentrum Juelich GmbH

Synthetic Membranes: Basic Principles and Challenges of Large-Scale Production
Chinedum Osuji, Yale University

How Membrane Technology Contributes to Biotechnology and Life Sciences
Abhishek Roy, Dow Chemical Company

Efficient Gas Separation with Inorganic Membranes
Stefan Wagner, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

The Role of Liquid Electrolytes and Solid Membranes in New Battery Systems
Phillip Adelhelm, Justus Liebig University Giessen