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Outstanding Technical Contributions Award 2004 – Leif Kobbelt

Leif Kobbelt is the recipient of the first Eurographics “Outstanding Technical Contributions” Award in recognition of his outstanding work on geometric modeling, subdivision and geometry processing.

Leif Kobbelt completed his PhD at the University of Karlsruhe (Advisor H. Prautzsch) in 1994. After a postdoc stay with Carl de Boor (Univ. Madison, Wisconsin) he joined H.-P. Seidel’s group at the University of Erlangen in 1996 and completed his Habilitation in 1999. Shortly after joining MPI Informatik as an associate professor (C3) in 1999, he received an offer for a full professorship from RWTH Aachen and moved to Aachen in 2001.

Leif Kobbelt’s early work focused on subdivision surfaces where he made several fundamental contributions, including his algorithm for interpolatory subdivision on quad nets with arbitrary topology (EG’96), his Sqrt(3) subdivision algorithm (Siggraph’00) and his significant body of work on variational subdivision and discrete fairing.

With the advent of 3D scanner technology, the acquisition and processing of very large unstructured 3D data sets has become an important topic of research with high practical relevance, and Kobbelt’s work has significantly influenced the state of the art: Ideas from subdivision and mesh decimation paved the way for powerful multiresolution techniques on arbitrary meshes, and Kobbelt et al.’s Siggraph’98 paper on interactive multi resolution modeling on arbitrary meshes is a widely cited milestone in this development. A very intuitive framework for real-time freeform modeling in a similar spirit has just been presented at Siggraph’04.

Other important contributions are his work on remeshing (shrink wrapping EG’99, feature sensitive remeshing EG’01, a remeshing approach to multiresolution modeling SGP’04), on shape modeling with point sampled geometry (Siggraph’03, EG’04), and his algorithms for feature sensitive surface extraction from volume data (Siggraph’01) and for the automatic restoration of polygonal models (ACM TOG’04).

Leif’s work combines sound mathematical analysis with a thorough understanding of the relevant problems, and significant implementations. His results have helped to shape the newly emerging field of 3D geometry processing, and he has been instrumental in setting up the Symposium on Geometry Processing Series in 2003.

He is the very model of a first-rate graphics researcher, and Eurographics is pleased to recognize Leif Kobbelt with the 2004 Outstanding Technical Contributions Award.