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Computer scientist wins 2019 Südwestmetall Prize

Jan Burchard has developed a new testing method for computer chip quality control

Freiburg, Apr 10, 2019

Computer scientist wins 2019 Südwestmetall Prize

Dr. Stefan Wolf (links), chairman of Südwestmetall, presents the prize on Jan Burchard. Photo: Südwestmetall/Wagner

Dr. Jan Burchard is Freiburg’s winner of the Südwestmetallpreis 2019. Every year, the association of metal and electrical industry employers in Baden-Württemberg awards the prize of 5,000 euros to a researcher at each of the universities in the state. The Südwestmetallpreis goes to work which is significant for the world of industrial work and its socio-political conditions. Burchard, this year’s winner, is a computer scientist. He receives the prize for his doctoral thesis, Applying Advanced SAT-Based Techniques to Circuit Testing.

Burchard has developed algorithms which make it possible to discover production errors in computer chips which have passed quality control without raising any alarms. Computer chips today are made up of the tiniest structures only a few nanometers across - transistors.  The remarkable thing about Burchard’s doctoral thesis is that in it, he is the first one to identify specific physical defects - such as a non-conducting transistor - in connection with switching behavior over time. For instance, he takes into account the time delay of the electronic processes in the chip and the interplay between them.

Burchard was at the University of Freiburg from 2010 to 2017. He received the Christoph Rüchardt scholarship for outstanding performance during his Bachelor’s studies. He also distinguished himself in his Master's degree in 2015, winning the Verein Deutscher Ingenieure (VDI) sponsorship award in the Black Forest district for his outstanding scientific results. Since 2017, he has been working as a software development engineer at Mentor a. Siemens Business.


Dr. Jan Burchard
Institute of Informatics
University of Freiburg
Phone: 0761/203-8157