PICMET '20 Keynotes


"Digitalization Mitigates Climate Change and Moves Us to a Sustainable Future"

Dr. Dietmar Theis, Honorary Professor, Technical University of Munich, PICMET Fellow, Germany

Progress in containing the growing risk to the planetary environment – i.e. the uncontrolled increase in anthropogenic global warming – will depend strongly on the deployment of the arsenal of the digital revolution.

Digital technologies play a vital role in accelerating decarbonization efforts with ever-growing impact on cost-effective clean energy technologies. The electricity sector is at the heart of this digital transformation. So far electricity was generated in large power plants, transferred through transmission and distribution networks and flowing one-way to end users in the residential, commercial, industrial and transport sectors. Digitalization is enabling and accelerating the shift towards efficient, renewable, clean energy technologies and a multi-directional, distributed energy system (smart grids).

Digitalization is also transforming road transport, where connectivity and automation (alongside further electrification of mobility) could dramatically reshape the sector. Connectivity also provides a wide range of opportunities to link industrial facilities to their surroundings, thus facilitating the reuse and recycling of materials along value chains. Real-time information on the availability of local waste streams can boost system efficiency. This presentation will try to highlight some essential features of the digital change towards sustainability and point out some of the associated risks.

Dr. Dietmar Theis

Dr. Dietmar Theis is an Honorary Professor at the Technical University of Munich, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, where he has been teaching since 1994. He obtained a Master´s degree (Diploma) in Physics from the Technical University Berlin and a Doctoral degree in Solid State Physics from the same University. For his PhD work he was awarded with the Scheel-Prize of the German Physical Society.

In 1977 Dr. Theis joined Siemens´ Research Laboratories (Corporate Technology) where he worked on optoelectronics, mainly light emitting diodes and flat panel displays, later on power semiconductors. He published more than forty technical research papers. Since 1995 he was responsible for R&D marketing communication, R&D policy and government relations as well as university liaisons. He edited the Siemens´ R&D Journal “Pictures of the Future” and was involved in the company´s technical foresight activities. Dr. Theis was elected as a member of the Engineering Academy of the Czech Republic in 2006 and served as an R&D advisor to the CEO and the Head of the Supervisory Board of Siemens.

In 2008 Dr. Theis has retired from Siemens and now continues his professional life as a consultant to several European Scientific and Engineering Associations and as a university lecturer. He keeps contributing to European Foresight Projects and acts as an R&D advisor to companies. In summer 2019 Dr. Theis was elected a PICMET Fellow.


























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