Send email Copy Email Address
Michael Backes | © Tobias Ebelshäuser

Tobias Ebelshäuser

Eva Michely

CISPA-Director Professor Michael Backes named ACM Fellow

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the most important scientific society for computing, has named CISPA founding director Professor Dr. Dr. h. c. Michael Backes ACM Fellow. This honor is bestowed on select ACM Members who have distinguished themselves through outstanding accomplishments in computing and information technology. Backes is recognized for his groundbreaking contributions to information security and privacy.

Michael Backes is the founding director and CEO of the CISPA Helmholtz Center for Information Security. Founded in 2018, CISPA is the 18th Helmholtz Center in the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers. In his research, Backes focuses on novel methods for protecting personal data, trustworthy methods for machine learning and universal solutions for software and system security. His research results have shaped these scientific fields both nationally and internationally, as impressively evidenced by over 300 peer-reviewed and much cited publications in renowned international journals and conference proceedings.

His papers have earned Backes internationally renowned scientific awards and honors, in particular the ERC Synergy Grant, which is Europe's most highly endowed EU research award, the Karl Heinz Beckurts Prize, an ERC Starting Grant, the Caspar Bowden Privacy Award, the IEEE Fellowship, as well as various Career Awards and Best Paper Awards. His research results have regularly been translated into highly innovative applications that have brought him widespread attention beyond the scientific community. Backes was the first German to receive the MIT TR35 Award, which recognized him as one of the top 35 researchers and innovators in the world under the age of 35 (across disciplines) whose “accomplishments are poised to have a dramatic impact on the world as we know it”. Michael Backes holds an honorary doctorate from the Université de Lorraine. He is also “Zukunftsbotschafter” and honorary citizen of the city of St. Ingbert.

The appointment as an ACM Fellow is of particular importance to Backes. “ACM Fellows are nominated and appointed from among their peers. This recognition therefore directly expresses the appreciation of the research community, about which I am very pleased”, Backes says. The nominations are reviewed by a distinguished selection committee. Only the top 1 percent of ACM Members are named ACM Fellows.

“I am delighted that Michael Backes has received such a prestigious recognition for his creative and forward-looking research. His appointment is also a significant milestone for CISPA: it shows how successfully the teams there are working to develop solutions for key issues in our digital world, be it the protection of private data or the security of communication systems, for example for autonomous driving. Michael Backes is a key driver in this endeavor for which he has been internationally recognized and acknowledged for years”, says Helmholtz President Otmar D. Wiestler.