Thorsten A. Kern, Prof. Dr.-Ing.

Technische Universität Hamburg
Institut für Mechatronik im Maschinenbau (M-4)
Gebäude O (Eißendorfer Str. 38)
Raum 010, Sekretariat Raum 011

Tel.: +49 (0) 40 42878-4204
Mobile: +49 (0) 175 8136029
E-Mail: t.a.kern[at]

ORCID iD 0000-0002-3336-4383


Thorsten A. Kern received his Dipl.-Ing. and Dr.-Ing. degrees from Darmstadt University of Technology (TUDA), Darmstadt, Germany in the areas of actuator and sensor development for medical human-machine-interfaces (HMIs) in applications like minimally-invasive surgery and catheterizations. He is currently a director at Hamburg University of Technology, Germany, of the Institute for Mechatronics in mechanics.

Previously he worked in Automotive Industry at Continental as a R&D manager for interior components, leading a team of 300 engineers worldwide in the development of Head-Up-Displays. He joined Continental in 2008 covering various functions with increasing range of responsibility in actuator development, motor-development and active haptic device development before shifting towards R&D management and product-management on Head-Up-Displays. Between 2006 and 2008 he was working in parallel in a startup focussing on medical interventions and was finalizing the 1st edition of „Engineering Haptic Devices“, a scientific textbook for mechatronic engineers in system- and component design on haptic HMIs. The textbook was published in a 2nd edition in 2012, and currently undergoes a rework-process for a 3rd edition in 2022.

He joined Hamburg University in January 2019. His interests are especially focussed on all types of electromagnetic sensors and actuators and their system integration towards larger motor- or sensor-systems in high-dynamic applications.


01/2019 - current Director of "Institute of Mechatronics in Mechanics" at Hamburg University of Technology
03/2017 - 12/2018 Head of Product Development Center Head-Up Displays (HUD), Continental Automotive GmbH
04/2012 - 02/2017 Department Head of Center of Competences HUD & Product-Manager HUD, Continental Automotive GmbH
10/2011 - 04/2012 Senior Manager Motor Systems, Continental Automotive GmbH
10/2008 - 10/2011 Manager Motor Systems, Continental Automotive GmbH
07/2007 - 06/2008 Project-leader/design engineer, PolyDimensions
07/2007 - 10/2008 Post-Doc Darmstadt, University of Technology Darmstadt, Impedance Coupling of Human Machine Interfaces
02/2002 - 01/2007 Research Assistant, University of Technology Darmstadt, Assistive Haptic System for Therapeutic Catheterizations



  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Biomedizintechnik (DGBMT)
  • Verband Deutscher Elektrotechniker (VDE)
  • DIN NA 023-00-04 GA und ISO/TC159/SC4/WG9
  • EuroHaptics Society member
  • IEEE member


Books & Book-Contributions

Hatzfeld, Christian, and Thorsten A. Kern, eds. Engineering Haptic Devices, Springer, 2014, ISBN: 978-1-44716518-7

Kern, T.A. (Hrsg.), Matysek; M., Rausch, J.; Rettig, A.; Röse, A.; Meckel, O.; Sindlinger, S.: Engineering Haptic Devices, Springer, 2009,  ISBN: 978-3-540-88247-3

Kern, T.A. (Hrsg.), Matysek; M., Rausch, J.; Rettig, A.; Röse, A.; Meckel, O.; Sindlinger, S.: Entwicklung haptischer Geräte, Springer, 2008,  ISBN: 978-3-540-87643-4

Kern, T.A..: Haptisches Assistenzsystem für diagnostische und therapeutische Katheterisierungen. Dissertation, (2006), Darmstadt, Technische Universität, urn:nbn:de:tuda-tuprints-7613

Rossmann, Torsten [Hrsg.]: Bionik: aktuelle Forschungsergebnisse in Natur-, Ingenieur- und Geisteswissenschaft. Berlin [u.a.] : Springer, 2005, ISBN: 3-540-21890-4


Harms, J.; Kern, T.A. (Accepted 2021): Theory and Modeling of Eddy-Current Type Inductive Conductivity Sensors for Salinity Measurement. MDPI Engineering Proceedings, 8th International Symposium on Sensor Science, online, 17-28 May 2021

Wesselmann, M., Wilkening L., Kern T.: Techno-Economic evaluation of single and multi-purpose grid-scale battery systems, J. energy storage, vol. 32, p. 101790, 2020, [Online]. Available:

BLUME, H. J.; , KERN T.A; RICHTER, P.: Head-Up-Display Die nächste Generation mit Augmented-Reality-Technik. Zeitschr. ATZ elektronik, Band 04 (2013), Seiten 248-252

Hatzfeld, C.; KERN, T. A.; WERTHSCHÜTZKY,R. Measuring System for Human Force Perception Parameters. Zeitschr. , Sensors & Actuators A: Physical, Elsevier, accepted paper, (2010)

Kern, Thorsten A.; Rörup, Hermke; Werthschutzky, Roland; Tammer, Roland Werthschützky: A remotely controlled lightweight MRI compatible ultrasonic actuator for micrometer positioning of electrodes during neuroethological primate research / Telemetrisch gesteuerter, MRT-kompatibler Ultraschallaktor zur Mikrometerpositionierung von Elektrode. Biomed Tech (Berl), vol. 53, no. 6, (2008), pp. 292-9

KERN, T. A.; HERRMANN, J.; KLAGES,S.; MEISS, T.; WERTHSCHÜTZKY,R. Lösungsansätze für haptische Assistenz bei Katheterisierungen/Methods or Resolution for Haptic Assistance during Catheterization. Zeitschr. Biomedizinische Technik, Band 50 (2005), Seiten 8-13

KERN, T. A.; DOERRER, C.; SCHAEFFER, A.; RETTIG, A.; WERTHSCHÜZTKY, R. Virtuell operieren: Simulation und Darstellung von Kräften bei endoskopischen Eingriffen. Zeitschr. themaForschung, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Band 2 (2002), Seiten 78-83

Peer-Reviewed Conference Papers

Harms, J.; Kern, T.A. (Accepted 2021): Proof of Concept Validation of a Swimming Multi Sensor Platform for In-Situ Ocean Monitoring. Sensor and Measurement Science International 2021, Digital Conference, 3–6 May 2021

Harms, J.; Kern, T.A. (Accepted 2021): Self-Sufficient Modular Multi Sensor Platform for Remote long Time Ocean Observations in Large Quantities. EGU General Assembly 2021, Online, 19–30 April 2021

Shelam, S.; Kern, T. A.: Lichtfeldmessung virtueller Bilder in einer Auflösung oberhalb der Wahrnehmungsgrenze, Licht 2021, Online, Tagung der LitG, 21.-24.03. Bamberg

Liesske, Tim; Schwinning Folke; Kern, Thorsten A.: "Fully Parametrized Electromechanical Design Method and Toolchain for an Automotive Axial-Flux Synchronous Machine." ACTUATOR; International Conference and Exhibition on New Actuator Systems and Applications 2021. VDE, 2021

Kaehler, Dennis; Harms, Julius; Kern, Thorsten A: "Automatic solver selection and solution for CPU based automotive HIL simulations with small step size requirements." ACTUATOR; International Conference and Exhibition on New Actuator Systems and Applications 2021. VDE, 2021.

Abbasimoshaei A., Moghaddam M.M., Kern T.A.: Adaptive fuzzy sliding mode controller design for a new hand rehabilitation robot, in 12th International Conference on Human Haptic Sensing and Touch Enabled Computer Applications, EuroHaptics 2020, 2020, pp. 506–517, doi: 10.15480/882.2955.

Zoller, Ingo; Lotz, Peter; Kern, Thorsten: Novel Thin Electromagnetic System for Creating Pushbutton Feedback in Automotive Applications, Haptics: Perception, Devices, Mobility, and Communication; Lecture Notes in Computer Science Volume 7282, Eurohaptics 2012, pp 637-645

Zoller, Ingo; Kern, Thorsten: Cost-Efficient planar actuator for context-sensitive haptic feedback in an automotive environment, Actuator 2012, Bremen, C 6.3

Hatzfeld, Christian ; Kern, Thorsten Alexander ; Werthschützky, Roland : Design and Evaluation of a Measuring System for Human Force Perception Parameters. In: Sensors and Actuators A: Physical, 162, (2010), pp. 202-209

Hatzfeld, Christian ; Kern, Thorsten A. ; Werthschützky, Roland: Improving the Prediction of Haptic Impression User Ratings Using Perception-Based Weighting Methods: Experimental Evaluation. In: Haptics: Generating and Perceiving Tangible Sensations; Editors: Kappers, Astrid M. L. ; van Erp, Jan B. F. ; Bergmann Tiest, Wouter M. ; van der Helm, Frans C. T.; Lecture Notes on Computer Science (LNCS), 1 (6191). Springer , 

Hatzfeld, C.; Kern, T.A.; Stöhr, I., Werthschützky, R. : Development of a highly dynamic force source. In: Prooceedings of the Eurosensors XIII Conference. 2009 .

Meiss, T.; Kern, T.A.; Sindlinger, S.; Werthschützky, R. : HapCath - Highly Miniaturized Piezoresistive Force Sensors for Interior Palpation of Vessels during Angioplasty. In: IFMBE Proceedings. 2009 , S. p. 228 ff.

Meiß, T.; Budelmann, C.; Kern, T.; Sindlinger, S.; Minamisava, C.; Werthschützky, R.: Intravascular Palpation and Haptic Feedback During Angioplasty,Worldhaptics 2009, Utah, pp.380-381.

Meiß, T.; Kern, T.A.; Klages, S.; Minamisava, C; Wang, Y; Werthschützky, R. : The Influence of the Packaging on an In-Vivo Micro-Force Sensor.2008 . Conf. Proc. Eurosensors, Dresden, pp. 1557-1560 

Klages, S.; Kern, T.A.; Meiss, T.; Werthschützky, R. : Experimental Rig for the Application of a Piezoelectric Ultrasonic Actuator in a Medical Environment. In: Conference proceedings: Actuator 2008, 11th International Conference on New Actuators and 5th International Exhibition on Smart Actuators and Drive Systems, 9- 11 June 2008, Bremen, Germany. 2008 , S. 977-980.

Erp (van), J. B. F.; Kern, T. A. : ISO’s Work on Guidance for Haptic and Tactile Interaction. Eurohaptics Conference, Madrid (2008), in “Haptics: Perception, Devices and Scenarios, Manuel Ferre (Hrsg.), p.p. 936-940

Kern, T.A.; Schaeffer, A.; Werthschützky, R. : An Interaction Model for the Quantification of HapticImpressions. Eurohaptics Conference, Madrid (2008), in “Haptics: Perception, Devices and Scenarios, Manuel Ferre (Hrsg.), p.p. 139-145

Kern, T.A.; Werthschützky, R. . : Studies of the Mechanical Impedance of the Index Finger in Multiple Dimensions. Eurohaptics Conference, Madrid (2008), in “Haptics: Perception, Devices and Scenarios, Manuel Ferre (Hrsg.), p.p. 175-180

Kern, T.A.; Werthschützky, R. : Messtechnische Erfassung der mechanischen Impedanz der menschlichen Hand. Arbeitskreis der Hochschullehrer Messtechnik (AHMT), Paderborn, (2007) , S. 14-25.

Meiß, T.; Kern, T. A.; Klages, S.; Werthschützky, R.; Bartuch, H. : A Novel, Highly Minaturized Force Sensor for Force Feedback During Catheterization. SENSOR + TEST (2007)

Meiß, T.; Kern, T. A.; Klages, S.; Werthschützky, R.; Bartuch, H. : Fertigung eines Miniaturkraftsensors mit asymmetrischem Grundkörper zur Anwendung bei Katheterisierungen. In: MikroSystemTechnik KONGRESS 2007. Dresden 2007 .

Kern, T.A.; Klages, S.; Meiss, T.; Werthschützky, R. : Closed loop stability analysis of an assistance system for catheterization. Proceedings of IEEE World Haptic Conference, Japan , (2007) , S. 597-598.

Klages, S.; Kern, T.A.; Meiss, T.; Werthschützky, R. : Piezoelectric Ultrasonic Actuator for a Haptic Display for Catheterisation. Proceedings of IEEE World Haptic Conference, Japan , (2007) , S. 586-587.

Röse, A.; Kern, T.A.; Eicher, D.; Schlaak, H.F. : INKOMAN: An intracorporal manipulator for minimally invasive surgery Concept and Structure. Tagung Biomedizinische Technik (2006), Zürich

Klages, S.; Kern, T.A.; Meiss, T.;Werthschützky, R.: HapCath: Design of the user interface of a haptic display for catheterisation Tagung Biomedizinische Technik (2006), Zürich

Meiss, T.; Kern, T.A.; Kages, S.; Werthschützky, R.: HapCath: Miniaturized Force Sensors for Catheterization Tagung Biomedizinische Technik (2006), Zürich

Klages, S.; Kern, T.A.; Meiss, T.; Schemmer, B.;Werthschützky, R. Application and Design of a Piezoelectric Ultrasonic Actuator. Tagung Actuator (2006), Bremen, Band 2.4, Seiten 320-323

Kern, T.A.; Klages, S.; Meiss, T.; Werthschützky, R. Study of the Influence of Varying Diameter and Grasp-Forces on Mechanical Impedance for the Grasp of Cylindrical Objects Eurohaptics, (2006), Paris, S. 113 bis 118

Kern, T.A.; Klages, S.; Meiss, T.; Werthschützky, R. HapCath: Forces acting on guide-wires during vascular navigation calculated with a viscoelastic vessel-model Tagung Biomedizinische Technik (2006)

Schaeffer, A.; Rettig, A.; Bisler, A.; Bockholt, U.; Kern, T.A.; Petra, S.; Kramer, M. Entwicklung einer Therapieeinheit für Patienten mit HWS Verletzungen Anhand Virtual Reality Technik und computergestützter Kraftrückkopplung. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Chirurgie, 122. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Chirurgie München (2005)

Kern, T. A.; Herrmann, J.; Werthschützky, R. Concept of an Auxiliary System for Catheterization with Active Haptic Perception of Endovascular Walls. Tagung Biomedizinische Technik, Band 49 Ergänzungband 2 (2004), Seiten 100-101

Doerrer, C.; Kern, T.; Weber, T.; Werthschützky, R. Actuator-Sensor-System for a Haptic Display to Operate Machines. TagungMechatronics, University of Twente, (2002), Seiten 1181-1183

Invited Talks

Kern, T. A. Optimization of Head-Up Display Systems; In: Visual And Display Technologies, May 2017, Europe

Kern, T.A Requirements and design considerations for the measurement of haptic object properties; In: Procedia Engineering, Editors B. Jakoby and M.J. Vellekoop, vol. 5, (2010), pp. 592-596

Kern, T. A. : Chancen für Sensorik in haptischer Messtechnik und gekoppelten Sensor-Aktor-Systemen; 9. Dresdner Sensor-Symposium, Forschungsgesellschaft für Messtechnik, In: Dresdner Beiträge zur Sensorik, Hrsg. Gerlach G. u. Hauptmann P., vol. 39, (2009), pp. 37 – 45

Patents & Patent-Applications

KERN, THORSTEN ALEXANDER; SCHLÜTER, MICHAEL: Messinstrument Für Eigenschaften Eines Strömenden Mediums DE 102019209199 26.06.2019

KERN, THORSTEN ALEXANDER: Device For Producing A Hologram WO 2019/238881  15.06.2018

KERN, THORSTEN ALEXANDER: Device For Producing A Hologram WO 2019/238876  15.06.2018

JACHENS, ARNE; KERN ,THORSTEN ALEXANDER; SCHÖPPER, MARKUS; HABERMEHL, KAI: Apparatus For Displaying A Virtual ImageWO 2019/238895  15.06.2018

HABERMEHL KAI; KERN, THORSTEN ALEXANDER; SCHÖPPER, MARKUS; JACHENS, ARNE: Apparatus For Displaying An Image WO 2019/238894  15.06.2018

SCHÖPPER, MARKUS; KERN, THORSTEN ALEXANDER; HABERMEHL, KAI; JACHENS, ARNE: Anzeigevorrichtung Für Einen Computer DE 102019208633  15.06.2018

KOLLOCH, ULRICH; SCHÖPPER, MARKUS; KERN, THORSTEN ALEXANDER: Optical Waveguide With Protection Against Condensation Water For A Device For Generating A Virtual Image WO 2019/238829  15.06.2018

SCHÖPPER, MARKUS; KERN, THORSTEN ALEXANDER; HABERMEHL, KAI; JACHENS, ARNE: Gerät Zur Anreicherung Der Realität Mit Zusatzinformationen DE 102019208636  15.06.2018

KERN, THORSTEN ALEXANDER: Optical Waveguide For A Display Device WO 2019/238826; US 2021/0096364  15.06.2018

KERN, THORSTEN ALEXANDER; VON SPIEGEL, WOLFF: Apparatus For Generating A Virtual Image Having Field Point Dependent ApertureWO 2019/238842   15.06.2018

KERN, THORSTEN ALEXANDER;;WILLE, FELICITAS: Optical Waveguide For A Display Device WO 2019/238885 15.06.2018

KERN, THORSTEN ALEXANDER: Optical Waveguide For A Display Device WO 2019/238823 15.06.2018

KERN, THORSTEN ALEXANDER; RICHTER, BJÖRN PABLO: Device For Displaying A Virtual Image WO 2019/238258  15.06.2018

KERN, THORSTEN ALEXANDER; SCHÖPPER, MARKUS; VON SPIEGEL, WOLFF; JACHENS, ARNE: Device For Displaying A Virtual ImageWO 2019/238259  15.06.2018

FINGER, ECKHARD; SPIEGEL, WOLFF VON; JAKOBY, OLIVER; KLOFT, MICHAEL; KERN, THORSTEN ALEXANDER Anzeigeeinrichtung Für Ein Kraftfahrzeug, Insbesondere Head-up-display DE 102014214767  28.07.2014

KERN, THORSTEN ALEXANDER; KISSEL, ROBERT WOLFGANG; ZOLLER, INGO Anzeigeeinrichtung DE 102013224895  04.12.2013

FINGER, ECKHARD; KERN, THORSTEN ALEXANDER; SCHAPER, THOMAS Head-up Display DE 102013218088  10.09.2013


KERN, ALEXANDER THORSTEN; ZOLLER, INGO: Operator Control Device US 2014/0197938  17.08.2011

KERN, THORSTEN ALEXANDER; ZOLLER, INGO: Operating Device CN 103765347 A 25.07.2011

KERN, THORSTEN ALEXANDER: Operating Device CN 103733158 A 26.07.2011

KERN, THORSTEN ALEXANDER; WALTHER, ANDREAS: Magnet Assembly WO 2012/085051  22.12.2010

KERN, THORSTEN ALEXANDER: Dateneingabevorrichtung Eines Kraftfahrzeugs DE 102011088196 B4 09.12.2011

KERN, THORSTEN ALEXANDER; ZOLLER, INGO: Bedieneinrichtung DE 102011082142  05.09.2011


KERN, THORSTEN ALEXANDER Bedieneinrichtung DE 102011110471  17.08.2011


ENTENMANN, VOLKER; KERN, THORSTEN ALEXANDER; REISINGER, JOERG; SENDLER, JOCHEN: Bedieneinrichtung Für Ein Kraftfahrzeug Und Verfahren Zum Ansteuern Einer Haptikeinrichtung DE 102011018897  28.04.2011

ZOLLER, INGO; KERN, THORSTEN ALEXANDER: Operating Device CN 102741783 09.02.2010


KERN, THORSTEN A: Device For Form-fit Coupling Of Multiple Instruments To Equipment With Haptic Feedback, Comprises Coupling Function, And Combination Of Friction Clutch For Repeated Taking Of Parking Position Is Provided DE 102008013496  10.03.2008

KERN, THORSTEN A: Haptic Impression Producing Device For Laparoscopic Surgical Simulation, Has Upper And Lower Joints Fastened At Pivot And Working Points, Where Cartesian Movements Of Kinematic Device Are Transformed Into Rotatory And Translatory Movements DE 102008013495  10.03.2008

WERTHSCHUETZKY, ROLAND; MEISS, THORSTEN; KERN, THORSTEN; KLAGES, STEPHANIE: Force Sensor For The Detection Of A Force Vector EP 2040636 A2 06.07.2006

WERTHSCHUTZKY, ROLAND; MEISS, THORSTEN; KERN, THORSTEN; SINDLINGER, STEPHANIE: Force Sensor And Method For Detecting At Least One Force Component US 2010/0024574  29.06.2006

KERN, THORSTEN ALEXANDER: Apparatus And Method For Detecting A Haptic Impression WO 2007/134579 A2 18.05.2006

KERN, THORSTEN; ROERUP, HERMKE; TAMMER, ROLAND: Telemeterically Controllable Positioning Device For Microelectrodes EP 1872716  28.06.2006

BOCKHOLT, ULRICH; BISLER, ALEXANDER; KRAMER, MICHAEL; KERN, THORSTEN; RAUSCH, JACQUELINE; SCHAEFFER ALBERT: Vorrichtung Zur Beeinflussung Einer Kopfbewegung Einer Person DE 102004020817 B4 28.04.2004

KERN, THORSTEN: Electrodynamic Drive Unit WO 2004/098029  28.04.2003

HERRMANN, JOERG; KERN, THORSTEN Medical Device Comprising A Longitudinally Extended Implement WO 2004/067053 A2 28.01.2003

KERN, THORSTEN; MEIS, THORSTEN: Kraftsensor, Kraftsensoreinheit, Langgestreckte Einrichtung Und Verfahren Zum Erfassen Einer KraftDE 10335313  01.08.2003