2020 TU Women’s Award for Katja Bühler

  • By Claudia Vitt
  • 2020-03-04
  • Award
  • Women in Informatics
  • Excellence

On 4 March 2020, Katja Bühler was honored for her innovative work on biomedical image processing and her inspirational role for female students.

Dean Gerti Kappel and award winner Katja Bühler.
Dean Gerti Kappel and award winner Katja Bühler.
Picture: Luiza Puiu, luizapuiu.com

Since 2015, TU Wien honors female graduates who, through their socially, economically or scientifically relevant careers, have been an inspiration and role model for female pupils and students, thus breaking the cliché of the male domain of technology. The TU Women’s Award brings role models in front of the curtain so that young women can seek guidance for their education and career planning. “We want to show what women achieve, and inspire the next generations of female technicians. It is all about the visibility of our successful female graduates with their great careers and projects,” says Anna Steiger Vice Rector Human Resources and Gender, describing the motivation behind the award. Award winner Katja Bühler was selected by a top-class jury from politics and business - Marion Gebhardt, Head of MA57, Martina Denich-Kobula, Regional Chairwoman “Frau in der Wirtschaft” Vienna, Georg Kapsch, President of the Federation of Austrian Industries and Anna Steiger, Vice Rector Human Resources and Gender.

Role Models Wanted

Brigitte Ratzer Head of the Department for Gender Competence, and Vice Rector for Human Resources and Gender, Anna Steiger, welcomed the guests at TUtheSky to present the fifth TU Women’s Award. In her laudatory speech TU Wien Informatics Dean Gerti Kappel described the “fascinating, exciting but also challenging world of a woman in science”, and emphasized that women like Katja Bühler made a significant contribution to changing society’s perception of technology, especially in socially relevant areas like informatics. “The proportion of women in computer science is stagnating. I am therefore pleased that the award goes to a woman with an impressive professional career, who is committed to promoting young talents and who demonstrates with her team that the proportion of women can be actively managed. Young women can orientate themselves on this”.

We Need More Women in Informatics

Katja Bühler, Area Coordinator Complex Systems and Head of Biomedical Image Informatics Group, VRVis, accepted the award - a sculpture specially made by the Institute of Production Engineering and Photonic Technologies - enthusiastically: “I didn’t expect this at all! It’s a great award and a great honour.” She holds a doctorate in Informatics from TU Wien Informatics, and studied mathematics at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology before. Her professional career took her from Karlsruhe via Caracas (Venezuela) to TU Wien Informatics and finally to VRVis. “I would not be standing here if I did not have certain people behind me: My family and my great team.” Incidentally, the latter has a high proportion of women, because Katja Bühler is convinced that “women should have a say in the digital change, and for this we need more women in informatics.” Bühler is an expert in biomedical image processing. Together with her research team and partners from industry and science, she has been implementing projects with a focus on computational radiology and life sciences for over 15 years. She focuses on interdisciplinary research that combines classical machine learning and artificial intelligence for data and image processing with visual computing to enable cooperation between humans and computers (“Human-Centered AI”). Research results of the group help e.g. radiologists and physicians worldwide to optimize diagnostic processes. Neuroscientists can easily combine and analyze very large amounts of data to gain insights into the functionality of the brain.

Congratulations, Katja Bühler!