Dr. Ronny Hartanto is not only one of our most successful graduates, he has also played a double role as a trailblazer, being both one of our first MAS students and our very first PhD at the department of computer science. This is why we are especially glad he agreed to share some of his experiences in an alumni portrait.
Ronny was born in Indonesia and he taught himself some programming skills while still at school. He then enrolled at Brawijaya University in Malang for his Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering. In 2002 he came to the Rhein-Sieg area for a one-year practical training at wohland.de in Troisdorf. During this time, he started looking for a suitable masters programme - and found the newly established postgraduate programme in "Autonomous Systems" at Bonn-Rhine-Sieg University.
He led a busy life at H-BRS, studying, working as a research assistant, teaching and helping other international students as a study buddy while at the same time leading the b-it bots RoboCup team to international success. His PhD thesis "Fusing DL Reasoning with HTN Planning as a Deliberative Layer in Mobile Robotics" has been awarded the FBTI prize in 2012. Following his time at H-BRS, Ronny Hartanto worked at the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) in Bremen. In February 2015 he has been appointed professor of Computer Engineering at the faculty of technology and bionics at Rhein-Waal University in Kleve.
Here are some of his recollections of his time at H-BRS:
About my time at H-BRS
Looking back at my time at H-BRS as student or as research associate / teaching assistant I have a lot of memories, most of which are nice ones. I had a great time and pleasure during that time. I learnt a lot from the master programme “Autonomous Systems”. It was a master by research programme, which gave me the opportunity to work together with the Fraunhofer scientists during my master. I had the opportunity to learn about autonomous robots and applied the knowledge directly to the real robot. During my time as a research associate in the masters programme, I participated actively in the XPERO project, a FP6 european project. Within this project, I gained new experience in working in a european consortium which consisted of six partners.
One of my best experiences was within the b-it-bots RoboCup team. It was really nice to work together with colleagues and students preparing for the RoboCup competitions. There were many nights and days spent during the competition. During one of the competitions, I had thought in my mind: "Why should I participate again this time?". But this thought lasted only a short moment, few milliseconds, the other time was spent for programming “Johnny”. At the end of the competition we were cheered up with the competition results. The team was working really hard for those results.
World Champions: Ronny and Johnny with their team in 2009 at the RoboCup World Cup in Graz
I had a great time working as a research associate in the H-BRS. The colleagues from the computer sciences department were nice and team players.
Are you still in touch with your former colleagues from H-BRS?
Yes, I am still in contact with both former co-students and colleagues, especially Profs. Witt and Plöger and my fellow student Iman Awaad.
Is there any advice you would like to share with our current students?
During the first semesters, there is some "boring stuff" waiting for you, but you really need these basics to come to terms with the interesting topics that await you later in your course. So my advice is to have some stamina at the beginning of your course.
Once you have mastered the basics, I would advice you to find out which branches of computer science are most fascinating for you and develop an in-depth knowledge of the things you are really interested in.