This means they completed school, their studies and their doctorates exclusively with distinction. After this top performance, the chemist Thomas Schlatzer and the two computer scientists and twin brothers Erich Kobler and Reinmar Kobler received their doctorates “sub auspiciis Praesidentis rei publicae” on July 14th in the Assembly Hall of Graz University of Technology (TU Graz) in the presence of Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen. The presence of the Federal President at the doctoral graduation ceremony is traditionally an honour in Austria for all those who have followed this path of best performance from school to university studies to doctorate.
Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen presented the Ring of Honour with the federal eagle of the Republic of Austria: “I warmly congratulate the three new doctors on their success. What they have achieved is not even possible for one in a thousand of all academics. For years, one and a half decades to be exact, they have accomplished top academic and scientific achievements. For this, they deserve our respect.
The Rector of TU Graz Harald Kainz emphasized that a doctoral graduation “sub auspiciis Preasidentis rei publicae” is only bestowed on very few people in their academic career. “The very special success of the three doctoral candidates is not only based on talent and diligence, but is also the result of extremely high motivation, enthusiasm for the subject, discipline and the necessary support in the private and university environment. TU Graz is proud to produce such outstanding graduates.”
Thomas Schlatzer was born in Voitsberg, Styria, in 1994. He already showed great interest in chemistry during his school days at B(R)G Köflach and won the bronze medal at the International Chemistry Olympiad in Washington, USA, in 2012. After passing his general qualification for university entrance, Thomas Schlatzer completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in chemistry as a NAWI Graz student at TU Graz and the University of Graz. During his Master’s degree and until the completion of his doctorate, he worked at the Institute of Organic Chemistry at TU Graz. Thomas Schlatzer is currently working as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Oxford on the development of new methods for the sustainable production of organofluorine compounds, which play a central role in medicine and materials. He found a balance to his studies with hobbies such as hiking, skiing and travelling.
I first became aware of the opportunity for this award towards the end of my Master’s degree. But I never specifically worked towards it. It has always been important to me to give my best and my enormous interest or enthusiasm for chemistry has always made learning easier.
Erich Kobler was born in Grieskirchen in Upper Austria in 1989. After passing the general qualification for university entrance in mechatronics at Linz Technikum (HTL Paul Hahn Straße) and the Bachelor’s degree in telematics at TU Graz, he did an English course in New Zealand for several months. Back at TU Graz, Erich Kobler completed his Master’s degree in telematics and his doctorate in computer science. During his time at the Institute of Computer Graphics and Vision, Erich Kober was very active in both research and teaching. He is currently a senior lecturer at the JKU in Linz, and over the summer he will move to the University of Bonn, where he will conduct research at the interface between image processing and medicine and investigate interconnections between classical methods of image processing and machine learning.
During the studies, there has always been time to meet friends and do sports together - running, cycling, sailing. However, I have always regarded all studies as a full-time job. My wife would say that my work and research were and are my hobby. I am very grateful to have a brother who sees the world very similarly. It is great that we can celebrate this achievement together.
Reinmar Kobler, like his twin brother Erich Kobler, was born in Grieskirchen, Upper Austria, in 1989. After completing his general qualification for university entrance in information technology at Technikum Linz (HTL Paul Hahn Straße), he also enrolled in telematics at TU Graz. During his Master’s degree (telematics) and his subsequent doctoral studies (in computer science), he worked on brain-computer interfaces (BCI). He was a founding member of the student team Graz BCI racing team, which competes together with severely paralysed pilots in international BCI races; from 2018 to 2019 he took on the role of team leader. Currently, Reinmar Kobler lives in Kyoto (Japan) and does post-doctoral research at the RIKEN research institute on robust pattern recognition methods for analysing neuroimaging data.
This award was never my goal, then when I realized towards the end of my doctoral studies that it was within reach, my attitude changed. A special motivation was also to know that my twin brother Erich could also get it. To receive this award together, but for our individual achievements, is very special.