Katharina Roß



Dr. Katharina Roß

Group leader “Reliability of learning systems”
Fraunhofer Institute for High-Speed-Dynamics, Ernst-Mach-Institut, EMI, Germany

SAFETY4RAILS = Data-based analysis for safety and security protection for detection, prevention, mitigation and response in trans-modal metro and railway networks


Railways and Metros are safe, efficient, reliable and environmentally friendly mass carriers, and they are becoming even more important means of transportation given the need to address climate change. However, being such critical infrastructures turns metro and railway operators as well as related intermodal transport operators into attractive targets for cyber and/or physical attacks. The SAFETY4RAILS project delivers methods and systems to increase the safety and recovery of track-based inter-city railway and intra-city metro transportation. It addresses both cyber-only attacks (such as impact from WannaCry infections), physical-only attacks (such as the Madrid commuter trains bombing in 2014) and combined cyber-physical attacks, which an important emerging scenarios are given increasing IoT infrastructure integration. SAFETY4RAILS concentrates on rush hour rail transport scenarios where many passengers are using metros and railways to commute to work or attend mass events (e.g. large multi-venue sporting events such as the Olympics). When an incident occurs during heavy usage, metro and railway operators have to consider many aspects to ensure passenger safety and security, e.g. carry out a threat analysis, maintain situation awareness, establish crisis communication and response, and they have to ensure that mitigation steps are taken and communicated to travellers and other users. SAFETY4RAILS will improve the handling of such events through a holistic approach. It will analyse the cyber-physical resilience of metro and railway systems and deliver mitigation strategies for an efficient response, and, in order to remain secure given ever-changing novel emerging risks, it will facilitate continuous adaptation of the SAFETY4RAILS solution; this is validated by two rail transport operators and the results supporting the re-design of the final prototype.

About the Speaker

Katharina Ross studied Mathematics and Geography at Ruprecht-Karls-University of Heidelberg and received her PhD (Dr. rer. nat.) at Friedrich-Schiller-University of Jena in 2013 for the thesis: “Multi-scale Model for Transport Coefficients in Heterogeneous Fractured Media” in the field of Computational Hydrosystems in a joint project together with the Global Research for Safety (GRS) in Braunschweig for modelling the groundwater transport of radionuclides. Since 2016 she is working for Fraunhofer EMI, first as research associate and responsible person for the project “EDEN” within the Department “Safety Technologies and Protectives Structures” and focussed there on modelling and evaluation of the possible damage effects on infrastructure after natural and man-made hazards and an efficient resilience management. In 2018, she worked for the Strategic Management within Fraunhofer EMI and since 2019, she is the leader of the group „Reliability of learning systems“ that focusses on AI-based systems and the reliability of its predictions. In 2019, she coordinated the proposal SAFETY4RAILS (GA No. 883532) with 31 partners.