In memoriam Günter Springer

Completely unexpectedly, we received the sad news that Günter Springer, our long-time director of the University Computing Center and board member of the IT Center of the Thuringian Universities (HS-ITZ), passed away on June 25, shortly after his 68th birthday. Just a few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to bid him farewell into his well-deserved retirement in the new building of "his" computer center – an event that very many current and former companions gladly took advantage of to remember together once again and to say thank you for more than 50 years of service at TU Ilmenau. There are certainly very few people at our university who did not know and appreciate Günter Springer as head of the UniRZ. Even at the end of his many years of service at the TU Ilmenau, he had ideas and plans for a fulfilling and well-deserved retirement. He still promised to drop by every now and then and "...definitely [to] follow this from a distance in the future".

Mann vor Monitor mit seinem Bild Tom Sauer
Günter Springer was part of our university for more than half a century and played a decisive role in shaping it

Günter Springer was part of our university for more than half a century and played a decisive role in shaping it. As early as 1971, he began training as a "skilled worker for electronic data processing" with a specialization in "programming assistant" at the then Technische Hochschule (TH) Ilmenau. In 1981, he also graduated from the TH Ilmenau with a degree in mathematics, computer technology and economic cybernetics and subsequently worked as a system programmer for the first UNIX derivatives in the Organization and Computer Center and, from 1986, as head of the "Production" department.

In the years of the political change in 1989/1990 he took over numerous tasks in the transformation of the TH Ilmenau to a scientific university, also beyond the computer center.

From 1993, Günter Springer headed the University Computer Center of the TU Ilmenau, first on a provisional basis and since the end of 1995 officially. From 2014 until his retirement at the end of March 2023, he was also Chief Information Officer of the university and was thus responsible for the further development, implementation and control of the IT strategy of the entire university, including IT security.

In the last few years of his work at the TU Ilmenau, he was actively involved in shaping the new IT service center, the groundbreaking ceremony for which took place on May 16, 2019. In doing so, he not only created a new "home" for the previous university computer center. The building is also one of the two core locations and offices of the IT Center of Thuringia's universities, of which Günter Springer had been the founding chairman since 2015. It is to his credit and thanks to his foresight and persuasiveness that the Thuringian universities operate a joint cross-university IT center.

As UniRZ director and CIO, Günter Springer has shaped the data center and IT at the TU Ilmenau and far beyond like no other. With visionary ideas and perseverance, he ensured at an early stage that the data center offered services centrally in a modern and efficient manner, while at the same time aligning them with the needs and interests of teaching and research. He was widely networked and represented in many IT-relevant committees of the German university landscape. From 2008 to 2010, for example, he was also chairman of the ZKI Association of Centers for Communication Processing in Research and Teaching – and held in high esteem by everyone far beyond Thuringia.

Günter Springer spent more than 50 years at the TU Ilmenau and the TH, 29 of them as head of the university computer center – such careers are hardly to be found nowadays. He was committed to his TU, always for the cause and for the people. He was one of the personalities who have left a lasting mark on the university since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Surely everyone has his personal memories of him and with him, but the picture of the bearded cyclist with helmet and (often yellow) jacket on the way to the computer center will remain in the memory of many.

Unfortunately, he will not be able to see the full completion of his last major university project, the occupation of the new computer center. A new, modern home for his data center and team were a matter close to his heart. At least he was able to experience the Grace Hopper building in its almost ready-for-occupancy form and celebrate his farewell into a well-deserved retirement there, which he himself described as a great gift on this occasion. When the grand opening takes place this fall, he will certainly be with us in thought.

We will always honor his memory. Our deepest sympathy goes to his family, his relatives and all colleagues who were close to him.

For those who would like to express their condolences with a few personal words, a book of condolences will be available at the University Computing Center beginning July 3, 2023. Those who are not on site are also welcome to contribute from afar.

Appropriate mails, pictures or similar can be sent to or We will print them out and add them to the book of condolence.