Fascinated by Abstraction: Visual Computing Researcher Martin Riegelnegg´s Drivers for his Work
Between computer science and music: VRVis researcher Martin Riegelnegg covers a broad range of disciplines. He is fascinated by identifying similarities in patterns, which enable him to derive fundamental structures. At any moment, he can count on his curiosity and the joy he finds in developing processes.
The range of topics that computer scientist Martin Riegelnegg has dealt with at VRVis so far is very diverse, ranging from 3D surface visualizations of Mars and the development of a fully automated system for analyzing construction drawings for train components to the digitization of reinforcement inspections on construction sites and construction site documentation with legged robots. In this context, he benefits greatly from the fact that he likes to immerse himself intensively in new fields. He came to studying computer science in a somewhat unconventional way; Martin had studied piano before and produced his own music.
He has always been interested in computers, code and programming. He has also created own applications. With the goal of "properly acquiring these skills," Martin Riegelnegg then enrolled at the TU and graduated in 2019 with a bachelor's degree in media informatics and visual computing. He does not regret the decision to (professionally) swap the keys for the keyboard, because he really enjoys computer science and his work at VRVis.
Image Processing and Analysis to Quickly Build Train Spare Parts from the 3D Printer
Martin Riegelnegg is currently working on his diploma thesis. He is focusing on a use case that is part of the AM4Rail project at VRVis. As a member of the Geospatial Visualization, Semantic Modeling and Acquisition research group, Martin is developing a system to digitally assess the potential for manufacturing spare parts for train transportation by additive manufacturing. In other words, this system will use image processing and semantic analysis of technical drawings - some created by hand and date from the 1950s to current CAD models - to derive geometric properties automatically to the greatest extent possible. This is then used to make a technological assessment of whether the parts can be produced fast and cost-effectively using the 3D printing. This provides great potential for moving towards a climate-neutral future and enables efficient maintenance for rail traffic.
Talking and thinking through ideas together to meet project goals
Collective work within a team is important and highly productive for Martin Riegelnegg. He can discuss varying approaches with his colleagues and thus, among other things, identify problems earlier in projects or obtain confirmation for his solution. In his job, he builds on communication and exchange, which is quite different from the common image of computer scientists who spend a large part of the day alone and in silence in front of their computer screen. Martin appreciates the community at VRVis; like him, many of the researchers are highly curious and interested. So they regularly exchange or share papers, new publications, and concepts. Cooperation is an important, fundamental aspect of visual computing research at VRVis.
Not just working off predefined tasks
Martin Riegelnegg joined VRVis and thus landed in informatics research via an internship. He has been employed at VRVis for a little more than one and a half years and appreciates the creative freedom and the opportunity to contribute ideas - even more than in previous jobs. Martin has also completed his bachelor's thesis in the context of a VRVis project. Here, he has developed digital tools that provide researchers with a sense of scale in three-dimensional planetary environments. The results of his thesis are used practically in the interactive 3D visualization tool PRo3D, thereby Martin has achieved one of his personal goals in research: to create a solution for a 'real-life' problem. The PRo3D software is "on board" with the current NASA mission to Mars and is also used by planetary geologists at Imperial College London to perform their research.
Next steps: Diploma and PhD
Martin Riegelnegg wants to stay committed to research and is considering starting a PhD program after completing his diploma. With his motivation to try out new ideas, to explore different solutions and to find correlations, there is certainly not a thing to prevent him from doing so.