Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Mario Trapp

Director of the Franhofer IKS

Prof. Dr. Mario Trapp
Prof. Dr. Mario Trapp, director of the Fraunhofer IKS

Prof. Mario Trapp is Executive Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Cognitive Systems IKS.

In 2005, he obtained his PhD from TU Kaiserslautern, where he also did his habilitation in 2016. He also joined Fraunhofer IESE in 2005, where he started off as a head of department in safety-critical software before becoming head of the Embedded Systems division from 2009 to 2017. After being appointed Acting Executive Director of Fraunhofer ESK (now Fraunhofer IKS) in Munich on January 1, 2018, he assumed this role on a permanent basis on May 1, 2019.

In addition to this, Mario Trapp has been a Full Professor at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) since June 1, 2022. He is the Resident Professor for Engineering Resilient Cognitive Systems at the School of Computation, Information and Technology CIT. Prior to this, he taught as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the TU Kaiserslautern.

For many years, Mario Trapp has been contributing his expertise to the development of innovative embedded systems in the context of successful partner projects, in cooperation with both leading international corporations and small and medium-sized enterprises. Currently, his personal research focuses on safety assurance and resilience for cognitive systems, which form the technological basis of many future scenarios such as Industrie 4.0 and automated driving.

Mario Trapp has authored numerous international scientific publications. He is also a member of the Bavarian State Government’s Council on AI (Bayerischer KI-Rat) and the Bavarian State Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy’s AI — Data Science (KI — Data Science) expert panel.


Mario Trapp is the author of numerous scientific publications. You can find an overview here:

Mario Trapp appointed to TU Munich

Since June 1, 2022, Mario Trapp, director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Cognitive Systems IKS, has been a full professor at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). He is part of the Faculty of Computer Science as holder of the Chair of Engineering Resilient Cognitive Systems. This means that Mario Trapp will also be a professor at the future TUM School of Computation, Information and Technology.

The habilitated computer scientist has headed Fraunhofer IKS since January 2018 and previously taught as an adjunct professor at the Department of Computer Science at TU Kaiserslautern.



The researchers at Fraunhofer IKS apply the term "resilience" to optimize the benefits of a system while maintaining safety in uncertain, unknown, and changing contexts. 

New blog series on resilience by Prof. Dr. Mario Trapp

In view of the current crises, the term resilience is currently receiving considerable attention. However, even in connection with technical systems and software reliability, the term has played a much discussed role for several years. The increased use of artificial intelligence has made this role even more important. Read the four-part blog-series by Mario Trapp on our Safe Intelligence Blog:


The Story of Resilience, Part 1 / 29.9.2022

Understanding resilience

Resilience is a key ingredient for lifting cars, industrial manufacturing and medical devices to the next level. It is far more than a fancier synonym of dependability. And the aspect that resilience is standing for is essential for building cognitive systems. That's why resilience is the focus of a new series on the Safe Intelligence Blog. In the first part, we will look behind the term and clarify why resilience is so important and why it is more than just a synonym for dependability.


The Story of Resilience, Part 2 / 27.10.2022

The complexity challenge

Resilience is the key ingredient for the next generation of cognitive cyber-physical systems. In this article, part 2 of our series on resilience, we look at the character of complexity to better understand where to start engineering in order to manage this complexity.


The Story of Resilience, Part 3 / 16.11.2022

Understanding self-adaptive systems

What are the basic principles of self-adaptive systems? This is the basic prerequisite for bringing the concept of resilience to life. Part 3 of our series.


The Story of Resilience, Part 4 / 30.1.2023

Adaptive safety control – why it's the icing on the cake

Safety is a property of a system and its environment. That's why predicting a system's context is so important to safety engineers. In this fourth and final part, we add the missing ingredient by taking safety engineering to the next level.

Other blog articles by and about Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Mario Trapp

On our blog you will find numerous articles by our colleagues about the research topics of Fraunhofer IKS. Here are the blog articles by and about director Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Mario Trapp:


Software Engineering

"AI and software engineering complement each other"

Software engineering is indispensable for turning an idea based on artificial intelligence (AI) into a usable product. But software engineering can also benefit from AI. Mario Trapp, Director of Fraunhofer IKS, explains how this works in both directions.



From Functional Safety to Holistic Safety

At safetronic®, experts from the automotive industry met again to discuss challenges and trends. Although the safety of automated vehicles and the associated safety assurance of AI are currently in the public spotlight, the experts had a different perspective. For them, a well-known topic is experiencing a revival and is emerging as a new trend topic: model-based system safety engineering (MBSE).



"Teaching and training young people is the best part of my job".

Institute Director Mario Trapp, is a professor at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), more precisely at the Faculty of Computer Science. In this interview, he tells us more about his chair and his goals in research and teaching.


Artificial Intelligence

Why safety matters

Machine learning poses an enormous challenge in terms of safety. Without a viable concept for safety, many excellent ideas do not even reach the market. But what does safety actually mean? One point is very important here: safe AI is less about AI itself, but rather safety engineering.


The four-plus-one safety architecture

Errors in autonomous vehicles endanger people and can quickly lead to accidents with serious injuries and even traffic fatalities. Accordingly, stringent safety standards must be established for cognitive systems and the artificial intelligence (AI) they contain.



A paradigm shift on the automotive market?

In the automotive market, traditional manufacturers and new players from the software world are engaged in a neck-and-neck race. Who comes out on top in the end will be decided not only by technological innovation, but above all by how secure the technologies are.



"We have to maintain a view of the overall safety concept"

Apl. Prof. Dr. habil. Mario Trapp, Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Cognitive Systems IKS, talks about the competencies of the institute that make cognitive systems safe.

Articles by and with Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Mario Tapp

Here you will find recent articles that Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Mario Tapp has written for various media or for which he has been interviewed.



When will we get the autonomous car?

In an interview with SWR Aktuell, Institute Director Prof. Dr. Mario Trapp explains the current state of autonomous driving. Because although there are already vehicles that can drive autonomously, this only applies in very controlled environments. Read or hear more in the interview.



Robocabs and autonomous driving

Germany was supposed to bring autonomous driving functions into regular operation by 2022 and thus become the flagship country and pacesetter for self-driving cars. What the current status is and how realistic the automation of our roads is explains Prof. Dr. Mario Trapp, Institute Director of Fraunhofer IKS, in an interview with radioeins. Hear more in the interview


Digitale Welt

From AI to Safe Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is already shaping our everyday lives in many areas of application. A competition for the best technology has long since emerged, with many economic, industrial, legal and social consequences. In an interview with LMU's Digitale Welt Magazin, Mario Trapp talks about improving AI technology in terms of functionality and safety.


Süddeutsche Zeitung

Artificial intelligence in Germany

As part of the High-Tech Agenda, Germany is to become a stronghold for artificial intelligence. The strengths of the location lie above all in the transfer to the economy. Artificial intelligence is to be smoothly integrated into German engineering. In an interview with the SZ, Mario Trapp explains exactly how and what the current status is.


ARD alpha - Campus Talks

How robotic cars drive without accidents

Getting a critical audience excited about a research topic in just 13 minutes. That's the concept behind Campus Talks on ARD alpha. In his talk, Institute Director Mario Trapp explains how artificial intelligence can become safe enough for road traffic or medical technology.



How Black Box AI becomes transparent

"How reliable is artificial intelligence really?" This is the question addressed in an article by Markus Strehlitz in the Industrieanzeiger. In the interview, institute director Mario Trapp explains how the research institute safeguards non-transparent AI systems so that the benefits of AI can be leveraged to the full.


Barrytown Blog

"We can't make any guarantees about how AI will work".

In an interview with Markus Strehlitz, Institute Director Mario Trapp explains how safe artificial intelligence (AI) is today and how the institute is working to secure AI for security-critical areas as well.