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QE LaB - Quality Engineering Lab

  • Head: Prof. Dr Ruth Breu, Institute of Computer Science
  • Grant recipient: University of Innsbruck
  • Funded 2009 - 2016
  • Partners: Comarch Solutions GmbH | iteratec GmbH | ITH icoserve technology for healthcare | Kapsch CarrierCom AG

Controlling tomorrow’s IT

In the Laura Bassi Centre QE LaB, Ruth Breu, Head of the Institute of Computer Science at the University of Innsbruck, works on making the next generation of cooperative IT systems easier to control and less prone to failure.


Quality engineering in computer science is the sum of measures that make a system more secure and more reliable. It is an issue of the utmost importance these days, as “cooperative IT” is approaching – a historical leap in technology not unlike the introduction of the Internet. New, IT-controlled networks open up undreamt of possibilities for exchanging data: registered doctors with their own practice exchanging patients’ data with hospitals, cars communicating with traffic jam control or toll charge systems. Smooth processes are essential here, as they are the basis for the functioning of society. This is why the topic of IT security keeps gaining in importance. With Ruth Breu in charge, QE LaB will develop technologies to assure the quality of a new generation of cooperative IT systems. The Centre combines excellent research with economic usability.

Rearranging markets

New technologies in IT have enabled unlimited networking of information. As a result, cooperative applications unknown until now are currently being created. Comparable to the spreading of the Internet about 15 years ago, the innovative IT systems have the potential to rearrange markets, to create new business models and to make cooperation between people more efficient. As a consequence, however, the demands on the quality of these cooperative systems are tremendously high, especially with regard to security and reliability. QE LaB aims to develop methods to continually monitor and control the quality of these systems of the future. A further concern of the Laura Bassi Centre of Expertise QE LaB is to interest more women in computer science. To this end, Ruth Breu and her team will convey a realistic image of the discipline, with a focus on team work, communication and knowledge work.

Visionary computer scientist makes software more reliable

Ruth Breu was born and raised in Berchtesgaden, Bavaria. After her graduation in Computer Science at the University of Passau, she worked as a research associate at the Munich University of Technology, where she qualified as a university lecturer in 1999. She worked as a freelance software technology consultant for well-known financial service and telecommunications companies for some years, before she was called to the University of Innsbruck in 2002. Her Research Group Quality Engineering provides solutions for software security and prepares engineers for work outside university. The research group exchanges knowledge with industrial partners on a regular basis and carries out top-level research work. Since 2004, over 20 projects funded by third parties and work on approximately 200 research papers have been carried out in cooperation with companies. The Research Group Quality Engineering is currently made up of 30 employees, which makes it Austria’s largest computer science research group headed by a woman. Even though the proportion of women studying Computer Science in Austria is only about 10%, it is over 30% in Ruth Breu’s research group. With her Laura Bassi Centre she is in touch with the latest IT developments: ”The cooperative systems that are currently being developed constitute a quantum leap in computer science, and our research at QE LaB is right at the centre of things. At the same time, we are planning targeted measures to rid computer science of the image of pizza-eating PC junkies to make more women study this exciting subject and take their place in designing the future.”