Dirk Balfanz graduated with a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Dortmund in 1992. He achieved the engineering doctoral degree in 2002 with his thesis about automated generation and usage of geo-metadata.
From 1993 – 1996, he worked in the area of digital wireless communication at the BOSCH Telecom company. He took part in ETSI standardisation of the DECT standard and specifically worked in the implementation of the first DECT-based phone systems at BOSCH Telecom.
In 1996, he joined the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics as a researcher in the field of metadata technology for geographic information systems (GIS). He carried out projects in the area of geodata management and geodata retrieval and supported with his work the standardisation of the ISO 19115 geographic metadata standard.
From 2001 until 2006, he has been the head of the research department “Mobile Information Visualization” at the Computer Graphics Center (ZGDV e.V.) in Darmstadt. As the leader of a team of computer scientists, designers and engineers, he was responsible for research and development in the area of mobile, context-sensitive multimedia data processing and visualisation, and project manager of European and German research projects.
In the years from 2003 to 2008 he was Director of the “MAP-Forum”, being the legal follow-up entity of the former German research project “MAP - Multimedia Workspace of the Future”, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Labour.
From end of 2006 until mid 2016, Dirk was working at CAS Software AG in Karlsruhe. Until mid 2011 he was Head of Innovation and Research Management, responsible for the strategic acquisition and management of European and German research projects in alignment with the company’s innovation strategy. After 2011 he was Managing Director of the business unit CAS Education, developing and providing campus management solutions for universities.
September 2016 Dirk started as Scientific Director of the Centre for Congnitive Science at the Technical University of Darmstadt.