New Helmholtz Young Investigator Group at IAI (Benjamin Schäfer)privat

New Helmholtz Young Investigator Group at IAI

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  • Date: 2022-01-13
  • We welcome Dr. Benjamin Schäfer, who joined the IAI from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) near Oslo on 01.01.2022.


    Dr. Schäfer won one of nine Helmholtz Young Investigator Groups in the 2021 selection process. The new group named “Data-driven analysis of complex systems (DRACOS)” will be funded with a total of 1.5 million euros from January 2022 to December 2026 and is assigned to the research area Energy System Integration (ESI).


    The aim of the research is to solve complex problems of our time, focusing on sustainability and especially the energy transition and the power grid. Methodologically, the new group combines exploratory data analysis, physical modeling and machine learning methods. One focus here is on the interpretability of the models: Instead of “black box” predictions, transparent models will be developed. For example, the algorithm should explain which external factors, such as the feed-in of photovoltaic systems, the current electricity price or the time of day, are relevant for a prediction of the power grid frequency or consumption. This transparency then enables synergies from machine and human models: Where is the machine better than the human? What can we learn from this for our human models and thus make them better?