In Memoriam Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Dieter Kreß

The Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology mourns the death of Prof. Dieter Kreß, who passed away on April 19, 2023, at the age of 88. Prof. Kreß was head of the Fundamentals of Communications Engineering  Group from 1993 to 2000. With Prof. Kreß, the TU Ilmenau loses a passionate university teacher and accomplished expert who left deep traces in his many years of activity at the university in teaching and research, but also in his high level of commitment to a pleasant togetherness.


Prof. Kreß' professional development was closely linked to the TU Ilmenau and in particular to the Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology. After graduating from high school, he studied telecommunications engineering ("Fernmeldetechnik) from 1953 in the first matriculation class of the newly founded "Hochschule für Elektrotechnik Ilmenau" and became an assistant at the "Institut für Fernmeldetechnik" after graduating in 1959. In 1965, he received his doctorate with a topic on network theory and habilitated in 1975 with a thesis on the transmission of digital signals on cables. Since1973 he was professor of communications engineering ("Nachrichtentechnik"). The supervision of more than 30 doctoral students and several post-doctoral students, the publication of numerous technical papers in journals and at scientific conferences, as well as three textbooks in the field of communications theory have proven him to be an accomplished expert. After the political turnaround, he was able to successfully continue his research work with funding from the German Research Foundation and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Students appreciated his lectures because he was able to convey even complicated theoretical relationships in a clear manner and to arouse interest in technical problems. He had the gift of conveying facts precisely and of presenting the core of a matter with pinpoint accuracy. His "aunt-emma-model" on the photon arrival process or the "cows in the village pond" in connection with the average value, for example, remain unforgettable. Even after the end of his employment at the TU Ilmenau, Prof. Kreß continued to be active in teaching as a passionate university lecturer.

In addition to his scientific activities, Prof. Kreß took on a variety of tasks within the framework of academic self-administration. His cooperation in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology which was newly founded after the reunification, was characterized by constructive contributions. As a member of the Senate, he represented the interests of the faculty and was actively involved in raising the profile of the university. He was elected head of the Institute for Communication and Measurement Technology ("Institut für Kommunikations- und Messtechnik") and held this position for ten years. He was also intensively involved in the redesign of the Electrical Engineering and Information Technology course and in the conception of the postgraduate course "Telecommunications Manager". With numerous lectures at scientific institutions in Germany and abroad, Prof. Kreß has made an important contribution to consolidating the position of the TU Ilmenau in the German and international university landscape; his involvement in various national and international scientific societies has also contributed to this.

His professional competence, his integrity and collegiality, his humor, but also his reserved manner were highly appreciated by members of the faculty and the university. Prof. Kreß was always a reliable, pleasant and, in the best sense, modest interlocutor. The professors and the staff of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology will keep Prof. Dieter Kreß in honorable memory.