Dr. Rudolf Sollacher has studied Theoretical Physics at Techn. Univ. Munich where he has received his PhD in 1990. After research positions at Niels-Bohr-Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark and Gesellschaft f. Schwerionenforschung, Darmstadt, Germany, he came to Siemens Corporate Technology (http://www.siemens.com/innovation/en/about_fande/corp_technology/index.htm). Here, Dr. Sollacher has been managing cross divisional R&D projects in the areas vehicle traffic management, wireless sensor & actuator networks and recently the Smart Grid application Demand Response.
Monitoring and controlling processes in industry, logistics and urban environments will be done more and more by wireless sensor and actuator networks. Among their main benefits is cost efficiency by avoiding wiring, plug & play behavior and provision of services like localization. These benefits require a long enough battery lifetime and a certain embedded "intelligence". With the current state of the art battery lifetimes of more than 10 years are already feasible; however, these solutions require quite some engineering effort and often are not flexible concerning changing requirements during their lifetime. Progress in this respect requires innovative concepts for energy harvesting, storage and management; examples are combinations of different harvesting techniques or bio-inspired techniques. A promising mean for reducing the energy consumption are wake-up radios; while proven concepts exists their integration into the medium access, networking and application protocols requires further research. MIMO techniques can save energy, can support localization and can improve the reliability of the wireless channel in such networks. Appropriate hardware and protocols have still to be developed. In-network processing in large scale deployments is a must; making it flexible and adaptive to changing requirements is still an open research challenge.