"There is only one option: victory, tie or defeat"
(Franz Beckenbauer)


"Emperor" Franz surely meant it in a different way when presenting the always interested, yet puzzled public with this inartfully expressed statement.

We will use the opportunity to present this statement in the proper light. There is only one option to write a dissertation while doing a full-time job at the same time: hard work, hard work, hard work. We are delighted that our college Christoph Schwietering successfully achieved his doctoral degree.

His first degree he got in 2004 at the RWTH Aachen at the faculty for civil engineering. His emphasis here was on traffic engineering. Afterwards, he went to Austria where he worked as a traffic engineer in charge of the start-up and the operation of the traffic control systems of the ASFINAG and as a project manager for software projects.

In summer of 2008 he became one of our colleagues at the Heusch/Boesefeldt GmbH.

Since 2006 he also has worked on his dissertation supervised by Prof. Dr. Steinauer, head of the Institute of Road and Traffic Engineering of the RWTH Aachen. On the 1st of July 2010 he successfully finished his studies and exams.

Prof. Dr. Steinauer, Dr. Schwietering, Prof. Dr. Busch


The dissertation with the title <Method to determine the probability of breakdown on motorways and its application in traffic control> deals with capacity as the essential value for the description of the traffic flow on motorways. It is dependent on different road, environment and control conditions. The dimensions of capacity influencing conditions presented in standard literature, in part, rest upon few studies based on small amounts of spatial and temporal data.

While so far capacity often has been regarded as a deterministic value for given conditions, current studies show that instead, capacity is a stochastically distributed value. This is to say, that with the traffic density increasing, the risk for a breakdown in the traffic flow is increasing as well.

Based on the stochastic description of capacity, aim of the research paper had been to formulate generally valid statements on the influence of different conditions. The developed model is universally applicable and does not need an elaborate calibration. The gathered results on the probabilistic description of capacity were secured statistically and processed to be applicable in traffic planning and traffic control in particular. An algorithm was developed which is able to anticipate breakdowns in speed and thus facilitates a preventive influencing of the traffic course.

If you are interested in this topic, do not hesitate to contact Dr.-Ing. Schwietering.