Professor em. Dr.-Ing. Dr.h.c.
Systems Engineering and Human-Machine Systems
University of Kassel
GUNNAR JOHANNSEN is University Professor of Systems Engineering and Human-Machine Systems – he was head of the Laboratory for Systems Engineering and Human-Machine Systems (IMAT-MMS) in the Institute for Measurement and Automation (IMAT) of the Department of Mechanical Engineering in the University of Kassel, in Kassel, Germany, from 1982 to 2006. Since he retired from his duties in teaching and administration in 2006, he concentrates more on research and, particularly, on scientific writing. Further, he is orchestra conductor of Vienna classical and of contemporary music since 1999. His research interests are in human-centered computing, human-machine systems analysis and design, human-centered automation and design, cognitive systems engineering, modelling of human behaviour, human information science foundations of human-computer/machine interactions, graphical, auditory and multimedia user interfaces, gestural control, audio and music technologies, decision support and assistance systems, knowledge engineering, evaluation methods, usability engineering, co-operative work, and interrelations between engineering and music. The main application domains have been vehicular guidance (aircraft, cars), process control (power, chemical, cement plants), mobile robots, telematics, and information logistics.
Gunnar Johannsen was born (1940) and grew up in Hamburg, Germany. He received his Dipl.-Ing. degree (1967) in communication and information engineering (Department of Electrical Engineering) and the Dr.-Ing. degree (1971) in flight guidance and manual control (Department of Transport) from the Technical University of Berlin , Germany. In addition, he studied music for three years within the Sound Engineering curriculum at the University College of Music , Berlin. In 1980, he habilitated (Dr. habil.) and became Private Docent in the teaching area of "Human-Machine Systems of Aeronautics and Astronautics" in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the RWTH Aachen University, Germany. For several years, he studied conducting in Hamburg, Vienna, and Kassel.
From 1971 to 1982, he was division head in the Research Institute for Human Engineering (FGAN-FAT; now -FKIE - EMS) near Bonn, Germany. During longer research stays, he worked in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering; and Coordinated Science Laboratory, now that part in the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology) in the USA (1977 − 1978), in the Kyoto Institute of Technology ( Department of Electronics and Information Science) and the Kyoto University(Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics) in Japan (1995), as well as in the Vienna University of Technology (Institute of Handling Devices and Robotics) in Austria (1999), also supported by the Institute for Composition and Electro-Acoustics (former Institute of Electro-Acoustics, Experimental and Applied Music) of the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna.
During April and May 2004, he was a Visiting Scholar at the Kyoto University in Japan (with Professor Dr. Tetsuo Sawaragi, Department of Precision Engineering, Design Systems Laboratory for Human-Machine Collaboration) in the COE Project "Center of Excellence for Research and Education on Complex Functional Mechanical Systems" of the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) - for this COE Project he has been Honorary Adviser since then until 2007. From mid-September to end-of-October 2004, he was a Visiting Scholar at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada (with Professor Dr. Sidney Fels, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Human Communication Technologies Laboratory).In IFAC (International Federation of Automatic Control), he founded and chaired the Working Group on Man-Machine Systems (1981 – 1990; now Technical Committee on Human-Machine Systems) and was, then, chairman of the Committee on Systems Engineering (until 1993) and of the Coordinating Committee on Systems Engineering and Management (until 1996). He served as Chairman for four of the Human-Machine Systems Symposia in 1982, 1985, 1989, and 2001. He created and was main responsible for the International Workshop on Human Supervision and Control in Engineering and Music in 2001, with an embedded orchestra concert in which he conducted Takemitsu's November Steps (for biwa, shakuhachi, and orchestra; with Junko Ueda and Genzan Miyoshi – Sound Samples 1 2 3).
Johannsen received the title of Docteur
Honoris Causa (Dr. h.c.) on 24. March 2005 from the
Valenciennes et du Hainaut-Cambrésis in
North France. In 1995, he was recipient of a
Japanese-German Research Award (granted by JSPS,
the Promotion of Science). Since 2001, he is Fellow
of the IEEE
(Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers; Systems, Man, and Cybernetics and Computer Societies)
to human-machine systems engineering, cognitive ergonomics,
interface design, and human-centered automation". He was nominated for
the 2007 Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science on
Human-Centered Computing, of The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia,
In addition, he is member of the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery), of the HFES (Human Factors and Ergonomics Society), of the ICMA (International Computer Music Association, until 2004), and of several German professional societies: VDI/VDE-GMA (Gesellschaft Mess- und Automatisierungstechnik; measurement and automatic control), VDE-ITG (Informationstechnische Gesellschaft; information technology), GI (Gesellschaft für Informatik; computer science), GfA (Gesellschaft für Arbeitswissenschaft; ergonomics; until 2007), and DGLR (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Luft- und Raumfahrt; aeronautics and astronautics; until 2007; T5.4 Anthropotechnik).
Gunnar Johannsen was German delegate in the European Cost287-ConGAS Action on "Gesture CONtrolled Audio Systems" (2003 – 2007).
Over the years, he received funds for a large number of research projects from DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft; German Research Foundation), EU (European Commission Research; RD Information Service), VW-Stiftung (Volkswagen Foundation), and industries. He was speaker of the DFG-Graduate College on Work, Technology, and Qualification from 1990 to 1993. Altogether, he supervised 16 doctoral dissertations in his laboratory and participated in many other doctoral committees as evaluator or examiner in Kassel, Braunschweig, Delft, Enschede, Valenciennes, Stockholm, and Johannesburg.
Johannsen is author of Mensch-Maschine-Systeme
(Human-Machine Systems, Springer-Verlag, 1993), co-author of Der
Mensch im Regelkreis: Lineare Modelle (The Human in the
Linear Models, Oldenbourg Verlag, 1977) both in German, co-editor of Monitoring
Behavior and Supervisory Control (Plenum Press, 1976), editor
of three volumes of Analysis, Design, and Evaluation of HuMan-Machine
(Pergamon Press, 1983,
editor of Integrated
Systems Engineering (Elsevier Science, Pergamon Press, 1995),
of three European
Human Decision Making and Manual Control (1982, 1993,
editor of Special Issues of the Journal
of New Music
(Sept. 2002) and the Proceedings
of the IEEE (April 2004), as well as author and co-author of
articles, book and encyclopedia chapters, and conference papers.