Dr. Carl Adam Petri -- Bio

With his seminal dissertation entitled "Kommunikation mit Automaten" (Communication with Automata), Dr. Carl Adam Petri created a completely new scientific method and theory which transcends a range of disciplines including mathematics, computer science, engineering, chemistry, manufacturing, medicine, economy and many more. This new branch of science, which initiated a myriad of research projects, PhD dissertations, books, research and experience papers, is widely known under the name Petri nets. The theory behind Petri nets supports fundamental investigation of the laws of information flow in distributed systems, be they technical, organizational, social or economic systems.

Petri nets and its concepts have been extended and developed, both in theory and applications. Petri nets have been used to model, visualize and analyze process and design abstractions in many technical and organizational disciplines. There are even ISO standards, used in the process industry, which require models based on Petri nets. The milestones Dr. Petri set and the impact he had on industry and academia are further emphasized by more than 20 members of the research institute he headed at GMD – the former German National Research Institute in Computer Science, now part of the system of Fraunhofer Institutes – who have become professors at renowned international universities. Dr. Petri’s personality and scientific work have also been honored by an illustrious number of awards including:

• The Bundesverdienstkreuz I. Klasse der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Order of Merit, 1988),
• Honorary Professor at University of Hamburg (1988)
• Elected Member of Academia Europaea (London, 1989),
• Konrad-Zuse-Medal for outstanding contributions to the development of Informatics (1993)
• Member of New York Academy of Sciences (1997)
• Werner-von-Siemens-Ring for outstanding merits in Natural Sciences and Technology (1997)
• First grant of the Carl Adam Petri Distinguished Technical Achievement Award by the Society for Design and Process Science (1998)
• Doctor Honoris Causa awarded by the University of Zaragoza (1999)
• Commandeur in de orde van de Nederlandse Leeuw (2003)