Short CV/Education and training

  • Since 2019
    Head of KIT Academy for Responsible Research Teaching and Innovation, ARRTI

  • Since 2015
    Professor for Philosophy of Engineering, Science, and Technology, KIT; head of research group Philosophy of Engineering, Technology Assessment, and Science – PhilETAS (former WTP), ITAS, KIT

  • 2012 – 2015
    Professor for Philosophy of Engineering, TU Delft

  • 2009 – 2012
    Head of the research group Ethics for Energy Technologies (eet) at the Human Technology Centre (HumTec), RWTH Aachen University, Germany; professor for energy ethics, Institute of Philosophy. Research topic: Simulation and models in the sciences, technology assessment

  • 2010
    Acting Chair of the philosophy of science and technology, Institute of Philosophy, University of Stuttgart, Germany (summer semester)

  • 2007
    Doctor of Natural Sciences (Dr. rer. nat.), summa cum laude, University of Münster

  • 2006 – 2008
    Senior Research Fellow in global risk modelling, University of Oxford, UK, Faculty of Philosophy. Research topic: Ethical and epistemological aspects of decisions made under risk and uncertainty

  • 2005 – 2006
    Visiting researcher, Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, Nice, France. Research topic: Numerical study of the movement of particles in turbulent flows

  • 2003 – 2004
    Research associate, Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of Münster, Germany. Research topic: Analytical description of turbulent flows

  • 2003
    PhD, summa cum laude, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg

  • 1995 – 2001
    Diplom degree in physics and Magister degree (MA) in philosophy from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany; also studied at the University of Liverpool, UK

  • 1995
    Abitur (A-levels) at the Hans Sachs Gymnasium (grammar school), Nuremberg, Germany

Selected publications

  • Hillerbrand, R.; Roeser, S. (2016). Towards a Third ‘Practice Turn’: An Inclusive and Empirically Informed Perspective on Risk. In: Franssen, M., Vermaas, P. Kroes, P., Meijers. A.: Philosophy of Technology after the Empirical Turn, Springer.

  • Hillerbrand, R.; Roeser, S.; Peterson, M.; Sandin, P. (2013). Essentials of risk theory. Springer, Abstract.

  • Hillerbrand, R.; Roeser, S.; Peterson, M.; Sandin, P. (2012). Handbook of Risk Theory. Epistemology, Decision Theory, Ethics and Social Implications of Risk. Springer,Abstract.

  • Hillerbrand, R. (2012). Order out of Chaos? A Case Study in High Energy Physics. Studia Philosophica Estonica 5(2), 61-78.

  • Hillerbrand, R.; Reitinger, C.; Dumke, M.; Barosevcic, M. (2011). A conceptual framework for impact assessment within SLCA. The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment 16(4), 380-388. Abstract.

  • Hillerbrand, R. (2009). Epistemic Uncertainties in Climate Predictions. A Challenge for Practical Decision Making, in: Intergenerational Justice Review 3, pp. 94-100.

  • Hillerbrand, R., Ghil, M. (2008). Anthropogenic climate change: Scientific uncertainties and moral dilemmas, in: Physica D 237, pp. 2132-2138.

  • Hillerbrand, R. (2008). Stochastic suspensions of heavy particles, in: Physica D 237, pp. 2037-2050.

  • Bec, J., Cencini, M., Hillerbrand, R. (2007). Clustering of heavy particles in random self-similar flow, in: Physical Review E 75, 025301(R), 4 pages.

  • Bec, J., Cencini, M., Hillerbrand, R. (2007). Heavy particles in incompressible flows: the large Stokes number asymptotics, in: Physica D 226, pp. 11-22.

Complete list of publications

Selected projects

  • Ethics of technology

  • Ethics for energy technology

  • Modelling in the sciences

  • Philosophy of simulation

  • Scientific reductionism

  • Capability Approach

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

  • Reviewer for Climatic Change and Science and Engineering Ethics

  • Speaker for the Junge Akademie (academy of young scientists), a joint project of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW) and the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, and member of the executive committee, since 2010

  • Student liaison for the German National Academic Foundation and assisting in selection seminars, since 2010

  • Member of the HumTec steering committee, since 2009

  • Member of IESP (International Expert Group on Earth System Preservation), since 2008

  • Member of the advisory board of the Lifeboat Foundation, since 2008

  • Member of the review board for research funding (final selection board), The Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence, since 2007

  • Member of the selection committee for a Research Fellow, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford, UK, 2007

  • Member of the physics department advisory board, University of Münster, Germany, 2006

  • Member of the search committee for a professor of applied physics, University of Münster, 2006

  • Equal opportunity representative for the physics department, University of Münster, 2004 – 2006

  • Elected member of the physics department advisory board, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany, 1998 and 1999

  • Member of physics department student association, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, 1995 – 1999

Media coverage

  • Interview im SRF zu 10 Jahren nach Fukushima

Tedx talks on


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  1. "The Topic of Ethics Was Hardly Touched"

    Rafaela Hillerbrand discusses her field of technology ethics, her impressions of the German Ethics Commission on a Safe Energy Supply, academic neutrality and the plan to include technology ethics into the engineering curriculum. Hillerbrand is a junior professor for philosophy at the RWTH Aachen and head of the interdisciplinary research group Ethics for Energy Technology (HumTec).

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