With the completion of my Ph.D. in computer science at the University of Bamberg, also my time in Bamberg is ending. It has been longer than I expected, with more than ten years, which makes up one third of my entire life. I am looking back to an enjoyable time, during which I “grew up” academically, with three different academic degrees, but I am not sad that things finally end. It is time to move onwards to new horizons! In my case, the horizons are hopefully coloured by northern lights (though sadly that’s unlikely), since I am moving northbound. My new home will be the city of Karlstad, where I will join the department of computer science at the university of Karlstad and start working as a postdoctoral research fellow in software engineering in May 2016. I am now two weeks away from leaving Germany with mounting chaos in my appartment. I am feeling a little uneasy with all the things (or rather people) I leave behind. After all, I might be leaving Germany for good. Nevertheless, excitement predominates and I am looking forward to Sweden! Kanske ska jag äntligen lära mig att tala svenska på allvar.
I cannot leave without saying goodby and thank you to my time in Bamberg. I do that quite concisely in the acknowledgements of my Ph.D. thesis, so here they come:
First and foremost, I want to thank my supervisor, Prof. Dr. Guido Wirtz, for giving me far-reaching freedom in the pursuit of my research interests. I deeply thank him for integrating me into the research work of his group already at times when I was still a Bachelor student. This gave me the opportunity to experience academic life and to learn how to do research early on. I am very grateful to Prof. Dr. Schahram Dustdar for reviewing my thesis as external examiner. Moreover, I am thankful to Prof. Dr. Sven Overhage and Prof. Dr. Gerald Lüttgen for critical feedback as members of my dissertation committee.
I am indebted to my Ph.D. colleagues Matthias Geiger, Simon Harrer, and Stefan Kolb. Not only have they provided an enjoyable working atmosphere, but also countless helpful discussions on all aspects of work. Moreover, we started several joint projects, which have influenced my dissertation. I want to thank Simon Harrer for his cooperation in the development of our conformance benchmarking tool betsy. Matthias Geiger helped sharpen my approach with his knowledge on BPMN and has also contributed to betsy. I am thankful to Stefan Kolb for his work on adapter synthesis in his master thesis, which I supervised, and for our cooperation in adapting my framework for measuring installability to Platform-as-a-Service environments. I owe thanks to many more Ph.D. students and friends of different subject areas of the faculty. Special appreciation goes to Cornelia Schecher. Being the intermediary between me and the travel expenses department, her support has been of tremendous help. Furthermore, I am obliged to all students of the University of Bamberg who have contributed to my work through software projects or theses, including Andreas Vorndran, Mathias Casar, Adrian Bazyli, Annalena Bentele, Christian Kremitzl, Lea-Louisa Maaß, Frederick Müller, Severin Sobetzko, and Matthias Weiß.
I am highly grateful to Prof. Dr. Claes Wohlin and the team of the Software Engineering Research Lab at the Blekinge Institute of Technology for welcoming me in their group during my Ph.D. studies. The impressions I got during my stay and the discussions with the members of the group have helped to shape my view on my research topic.
Last but not least, I am thankful to my family, specifically to my brother Wolfgang without whose guidance I might never have attended higher education and reached this level of expertise, and to my parents, who raised me to be an independent person. But most of all, I want to thank my beloved wife Regina. Her moral support during the dire parts of the thesis project, her minute help in my travel organization, and her ability to free my mind after long hours of work have been invaluable. Finally, while I am at it, I want to take this opportunity to thank Radiohead for the beautiful music they keep making.