Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Leif Kobbelt
Computer Science/Computer Graphics, RWTH Aachen University
Prof. Dr. Leif Kobbelt
© DFG / David Ausserhofer
Leif Kobbelt is an outstanding German computer graphics researcher in the field of geometry processing and one of the most innovative and prolific representatives of his field in the world. Through his work, he makes a significant contribution to meeting the ever-growing demand in our modern information society for the realistic representation of three-dimensional models. To achieve this, he identifies algorithms and data structures that can be used to model, modify, optimise and interactively visualise highly complex 3D objects. His main interest is subdivision schemes and polygon meshes in 3D models, an area in which he has already made pioneering contributions to the analysis and modification of existing polygon meshes (multiresolution modelling) and the generation and optimisation of new high-quality polygon meshes. Kobbelt is also one of the pioneers of point-based graphics, a technique whereby surfaces are represented simply by a sufficient density of points without any information about the connections between the points.
Born in 1966 in Cologne, Leif completed his degree and doctorate in Karlsruhe. After spending time as a postdoctoral researcher in Wisconsin, USA, in 1999 he habilitated with Leibniz Prize winner Hans-Peter Seidel in Erlangen-Nuremberg, after which he joined the staff of the Max Planck Institute for Computer Science in Saarbrücken. In 2001, at the age of 34, Kobbelt became the youngest professor at C4 grade at RWTH Aachen University, since which time he has held the Chair of Computer Graphics. In 2003 he was appointed Director of the Steinbeis Transfer Center for Geometry Processing and Computer-Aided Geometric Design. He is the recipient of several national and international awards, including the DFG's Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize in 2000 and an ERC Advanced Grant in 2013. As a lecturer, Kobbelt inspires students and doctoral researchers from all over the world. He also believes in making his findings available not only to the research community but to a wider audience, for example through open-source software libraries on the internet.