Digital transformation is the logical continuation to the fourth phase of the industrial revolution. Digitisation is a general phenomenon which is characterised by long-term structural change in production and markets, such as the use of fossil energies for generating electricity and powering on machines or the targeted modification and recombination of molecules in chemistry. Digital transformation includes the holistic effects of digital technologies on organisational and economic framework conditions and their implementation in products and services. Digitisation not only encompasses customer expectations and experiences as well as operational business processes, but also the interactions between business models. This means that digitisation affects customer interaction, service provision and service offerings alike. There is no evidence of a slowdown of digital developments and the associated macroeconomic and social changes. On the contrary, we must expect self-perpetuating interdependencies and feedback effects as well as an acceleration of change processes and their consequences for everyday life and the professional world. This is why the Board of Trustees of the Rudolf-Diesel-Medal (Dieselkuratorium) has decided to focus on this topic within the scope of its doctoral program titled “Digital transformation in the industrial sector”.

The dissertation topic represents an original contribution to scientific progress within a specific field. The research topic must be related to the subject focus of the doctoral program and fit into one of the research areas.

Current doctoral program: “Digital transformation in the industrial sector”

The research idea can be originally developed by the candidate or in consultation with the supervisors from the Technical-Scientific Council of the Board of Trustees of the Medal (Dieselkuratorium). The topic of the dissertation project must be presented to the head of the research area in the form of a research proposal. In addition to demonstrating the link to the subject focus of the research program, the level of innovative content is key for a content-related assessment of the project.

Research Areas

Subject focus: IP management

The role of IP in Industry 4.0

Prof. Dr. Alexander J. Wurzer  





Subject focus: Innovation management

Organization of innovation and value creation from digital, production-related data

Prof. Dr. Thorsten Posselt
(only German)




Subject focus: Future design

Business model innovation in digital change

Prof. Dr. Gunther Herr 
(only German)