David Rupprecht

It is people who have made the Ruhr metropolitan region what it is today. And it is people who will shape the Ruhr valley of tomorrow. One leading light in the transformation is David Rupprecht. 

Who messed with the clocks? That would be David Rupprecht, back in his school days. Working from his basement computer room, he used his IT skills to adjust the radio-controlled clocks in his school. This gave him more time to spend in the basement. Today, he works to make it harder for others to worm their way into IT systems. Aged 33, born in Braunschweig and now resident in Bochum, he works to improve the security of cellular networks. He is one of many leading lights to emerge from the extensive cybersecurity excellence cluster in the Ruhr valley.

Responding to our questionnaire, David Rupprecht explained how his professional work is helping shape the transformation in the Ruhr metropolitan area.


My formal professional title is Research Associate. In other words, I’m a postdoc. But above all, I’m also an entrepreneur.

My work is concerned with keeping cellular networks secure. We find and fix security gaps in the communication between smartphones and networks. Cellular radio security is important for our everyday communication because it affects not only your personal cellphone but also communications such as those between vehicles, or in critical infrastructures or smart factories.

What I find most exciting about my research is the impact it can have. When we find and fix a security gap in the standard, we’re securing millions or even billions of devices and protecting their users.

For me, transformation means learning from mistakes in order to shape a better future. In the context of cellular radio security, this means in concrete terms that the security gaps we find today can be avoided in tomorrow’s networks.

I and my colleagues are helping shape the transformation (in the Ruhr valley) through our work ...

... by collaborating internationally to address cross-border problems.

... by increasing the general standard of security, thereby creating a safer future.

... by working directly with students from around the world and with all kinds of backgrounds and showing them prospects for the future.

... and because thanks to my start-up, I’m no longer just working on research problems – I also get the chance to address and solve real-life problems.

David Rupprecht, Postdoc at Ruhr-University Bochum, Credit: HGI/CASA, Tim Kramer

Without my Institute’s research, things would be pretty boring! In particular, Bochum wouldn’t be famous for first-class security research and the whole world would be that little bit less secure. Plus, I wouldn’t now be bursting with ideas and getting my company off the ground.

For me, my profession is an opportunity to realize my full potential and really “nerd out” each and every day. It also gives me a chance to share my enthusiasm with colleagues and students, thereby multiplying it.

To me, collaborating with other scientific institutes in the Ruhr valley means dialogue with other groups, other backgrounds, other subject areas. Not to mention diversity, short distances and short train journeys, plenty of expertise within easy reach … and never being far from a good currywurst.

For me, the Ruhr valley means honesty and easy, straightforward exchanges, culture, and a region that’s become my second home. It’s also the perfect incubator for young companies, and that makes it the ideal environment for my start-up.

Header: Michael Schwettmann

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