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I chose requirements engineering as a research area in the early 1990s. The experience I gained in several industrial projects indicated that insufficient requirements engineering causes inconsistent, incomplete, and incorrect requirements specifications and is responsible for a significant number of the problems encountered in development projects. It hence became my desire and conviction to sustainably improve the way requirements are elicited, documented, and used in system development.

Since the early 1990s, the area of requirements engineering has evolved considerably. Researchers have developed, validated, and transferred into practice innovative solutions for numerous requirements engineering problems. Many companies have recognised the importance of requirements engineering and, as a consequence, started to put more emphasis on the early "phase" of system development. Universities have also started teaching dedicated requirements engineering courses to both undergraduate and graduate students.

Nevertheless, my industrial collaboration with practitioners, as well as presentations at national and international conferences, indicates that requirements engineering is still performed in an insufficient, inefficient, and ad hoc manner in many cases. Frequently, essential aspects of requirements engineering are still neglected. Even the stakeholders responsible for the development process in an organisation typically have only insufficient, partial knowledge about requirements engineering.