About me

Since 2022, I am leading a "Helmholtz Young Investigator Group" at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), named Data-driven analysis of complex systems (DRACOS), where we aim to understand complex (energy) systems from a data-driven point, mainly via interpretable machine learning and explainable AI.

I started my academic career as a physicist who was more interested in computers than in lab experiments. I wanted to learn about the fundamental rules that govern the world and the universe.

During my studies, I realized that quantum mechanics or astrophysics are much less relevant to our daily lives than complex systems, such as the energy system. Especially with an ongoing climate crisis, I felt the need to act now and contribute something useful to our society.

Hence, I am now combining my abstract thinking about concepts and my computational expertise with my desire to support the energy transition. For me, understanding a system is the first step towards using or modifying it.

Benjamin Schäfer, laughing


(last updated November 2022)



The project “Data-Driven Analysis of Complex Systems for a Sustainable Future (DRACOS)” is the basis for a Young Investigator Group (YIG) funded by the Helmholtz Association (grant no. VH-NG-1727) from January 2022 to December 2026. The project is led by Benjamin Schäfer at the Institute for Automation and Applied Informatics (IAI) at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

More info on Helmholtz-funded YIGs


DAMOSET (With data-driven modelling towards a successful energy transition) was funded within the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions under grant agreement No 840825 from June 2019 to May 2021.