Ernst Zander Price 2024

The Ernst Zander Prize 2024 was awarded on May 8, 2024. This prize, donated by Prof. Dr. Ernst Zander, is awarded annually for outstanding scientific achievements (primarily dissertations) from all faculties of the Ruhr University, in particular from the Faculties of Economics, Law and Engineering. The award-winning theses are selected by the Board of the Alwin Reemtsma Foundation, which includes the Chancellor of the Ruhr University, who also presented this year's award, on the recommendation of the Institute of Management (ifu) at the Ruhr University Bochum.

This year, as in previous years, the prize was shared. The winners were Dr Matthias Grot (“Decision Support for Emergency Medical Service Location Planning Using Simulation-Optimization”, supervisor: Prof. Dr Brigitte Werners) and Dr Jan David Hendricks („Rechtsdurchsetzung mittels Legal Tech-Plattformen“ (supervisor: Prof. Dr Katharina Uffmann).


Dr. Matthias Grot was a research assistant at the Chair of Operations Research at the Ruhr University Bochum under Prof. Dr. Brigitte Werners from October 2018 to July 2023. He currently works as a data scientist in the Strategy, Data and Analytics department at Barmer.

Dr. Jan David Hendricks worked as a research assistant at the Chair of Civil Law, Corporate Law and Family Business Law at the Ruhr University Bochum under Prof. Dr. Katharina Uffmann from October 2019 to December 2023. He is currently in his legal traineeship.

The photo shows from left to right: Dr. Christina Reinhardt, Dr. Matthias Grot, Dr. Jan David Hendricks and Prof. Dr. Brigitte Werners.
©ifu, Feldmann

Decision Support for Emergency Medical Service Location Planning Using Simulation-Optimization

In recent years, the number of emergency services deployed in Germany has risen steadily. Climate change and associated extreme weather events such as heatwaves and demographic change are among the main reasons for the rising number of emergencies. For critical emergencies in particular, the earlier initial medical care is provided, the higher the patient's chances of survival. To this end, contact between rescue personnel and patient must be established as quickly as possible. The closer an available ambulance is to the scene of the emergency, the faster first aid can be provided. Decisions regarding the appropriate number and positioning of ambulance stations and ambulances are a prerequisite for efficient operational emergency care. However, resources such as ambulance stations, ambulances and qualified medical personnel are limited in order to meet demand. There is therefore a need for continuous evaluation of the underlying care network to ensure that the available resources are used efficiently and the best possible quality of care is guaranteed.

Dr. Grot develops innovative optimization approaches to investigate various aspects of strategic and tactical site planning in the context of time-critical emergency care. The optimization models are implemented and solved using one of the leading standard software for mathematical optimization GUROBI and then evaluated using simulation. The optimization models decide on the positioning of a limited number of rescue stations and ambulances as well as the allocation of urban areas or plan squares to the rescue stations in order to evaluate the quality of care under various aspects. The focus is on efficiency criteria such as the degree of coverage, which describes the proportion of all emergency interventions that are reached within a specified time, fairness criteria that take into account equal coverage of all urban areas and holistic considerations of the distribution of all coverage times. The consideration of uncertainty in all models leads to an adequate representation of reality. The results of the simulations use anonymized real operational data to show the implementation of the optimal solutions in the respective context and their effects on the criteria for assessing the quality of supply. In this way, various decisions can be examined and the resulting consequences analyzed in order to support decision-makers in their work.

Rechtsdurchsetzung mittels Legal Tech-Plattformen (Law enforcement using legal tech platforms)

Legal tech and law enforcement. The first - legal tech - is a term that has been on everyone's lips in the legal services market in recent years. After InsurTech, FinTech and MedTech, digitalization and automation have also arrived in the legal market with Legal Tech. This is associated not only with research-based curiosity and fascination, but also with existential concerns. The other - law enforcement - concerns nothing less than the foundation of the rule of law: every right is worthless if it cannot be enforced. This applies to individual claims as well as to the overall legal system. But what connects legal tech and law enforcement?

Dr. Hendricks examines this connection by first identifying gaps in the traditional system of private law enforcement and working out their causes on the basis of behavioral economics and empirical findings. Gaps exist in particular in the case of particularly low damage amounts due to rational disinterest on the part of claimants and in the case of mass damages, in which there is usually a David versus Goliath situation between the tortfeasor and the injured party. In a second step, a new service model of legal tech providers is presented that supports claimants in enforcing their rights and complements the existing legal services infrastructure of lawyers, legal expenses insurers and litigation funders. The positive effects of these service providers on the identified legal enforcement gaps, but also the dangers posed by their business model, are analyzed. Based on these findings, the legal framework for legal services is evaluated and comprehensive reform proposals are developed in order to close the overall legal enforcement gaps and eliminate points of friction with lawyers' professional law.