Klaus Zechner (Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University) is a senior research scientist in the Natural Language Processing Lab in the Research & Development division of ETS. Since joining ETS in 2002, he has been pioneering research and development of technologies for automated scoring of non-native speech. He holds 20 patents on technology related to the SpeechRater® automated speech scoring system, which he and his team have been developing at ETS. SpeechRater is currently used operationally as a contributory scoring system along with human raters for the TOEFL iBT® Speaking assessment and as the sole scoring system for the TPO™ Speaking assessment. Additionally, SpeechRater is licensed by multiple external clients to support English language learning.
Zechner has authored more than 80 peer-reviewed publications in journals, book chapters, conference and workshop proceedings, and research reports. He co-edited a book on automated speaking assessment that was published by Routledge in 2019. The book provides an overview of the current state-of-the-art in automated speech scoring of spontaneous non-native speech.