Graduate Institute

Jascha Knack is the first registered doctoral student under the new doctoral law

GI erster Doktorand PK NRW Jascha KnackStA 20230908 foto juri kuestenmacher 18.JPG

Wednesday 13 September 2023

In November 2022, the State Ministry for Culture and Science granted the doctoral college of the universities of applied sciences in North Rhine-Westphalia the right to award doctorates. Now the technical processes have been set up and those interested in doing a doctorate can enrol at the H-BRS according to the new procedure. One month later, from 1.10.23, it will also be possible to enrol at the PK NRW.
GI erster Doktorand PK NRW Jascha KnackStA 20230908 foto juri kuestenmacher 22.JPG

Computer scientist Jascha Knack made a start and enrolled online with the new procedure in the first week of September. After successfully checking his documents, Gertrud Roman, who is responsible for doctoral students in the Registrar's Office, and Prof. Rainer Herpers as Director of the Graduate Institute were able to welcome him on Friday, 8 September as the first PK NRW doctoral student registered at the H-BRS.

In his PhD project, which is supervised by Prof. Martin E. Müller, Knack is researching how machine learning can be used to break down complex, self-contained software into smaller, coordinated modules (so-called microservices), which can then be developed and improved better and faster.

GI erster Doktorand PK NRW Jascha KnackStA 20230908 foto juri kuestenmacher 09.JPG

Monolithic software architectures can be inefficient to evolve and complex to scale in their lifecycle. Therefore, software developers are looking for ways to transform them into more efficient and easily scalable microservices.

This process is not only complex and time-consuming, but is also a human capacity challenge for large software systems. In his PhD project with the working title "Machine learning assisted decomposition of monolithic software architectures into microservices", Jascha Knack deals with the question of how machine learning techniques can help to recognise complex dependencies and patterns in existing code bases and generate suggestions for an optimal division into microservices. This research makes it possible to speed up the process of architectural transformation, minimise errors and improve the overall performance of applications. This is an important step towards more agile and future-proof software development.

Previously, it was also possible for doctoral researchers to formally register as as students at the university. However, this was voluntary and offered cooperative doctoral researchers various advantages such as the semester ticket and discounted canteen meals. For doctoral students with PK NRW, enrolment is now obligatory and does not take place via the Graduate Institute, but directly via the Apollo enrolment system and the Registrar's Office. Interested parties can find out exactly how enrolment works on the Graduate Institute's homepage.

GI erster Doktorand PK NRW Jascha KnackStA 20230908 foto juri kuestenmacher 27.JPG

Photo Juri Küstenmacher
(f.l.t.r.): Youssef M. Youssef, also PhD candidate at H-BRS and currently applying for enrolment, supervisor Prof. Dr. Martin E. Müller, PhD candidate Jascha Knack, the first to enrol according to the new procedure with PK NRW, Gertrud Roman, working at the registrar's office, Prof. Dr. Rainer Herpers, director of the graduate institute, Miriam Lüdtke-Handjery and Dr. Rita Cornely, both working at the graduate institute. 


Contact Graduate Institute


Sankt Augustin


F423 , F425, F427


Grantham-Allee 20

53757, Sankt Augustin

Opening hours

Mondays to Fridays: 9am-1pm by telephone or on campus with prior appointment


Contact to the Registrar's Office


Campus Sankt Augustin: Grantham Allee 20, 53757 Sankt Augustin // Rooms E039 - E040 & E044 - E048

Campus Rheinbach: Egermanstr. 1, 53359 Rheinbach // Rooms 1.304 - 1.305

Opening hours

Telephone consultation hours: Monday - Friday: 10:00 - 12:00, Monday - Thursday: 14:00 - 15:00

Personal consultation hours by appointment only