Prof. Dieter Rombach, founder of the Fraunhofer Institute IESE, is retiring

Press Releases / November 08, 2018

Today, the Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering IESE in Kaiserslautern said good-bye to its founder and long-time director Prof. Dieter Rombach with a festive ceremony. In 1996, the 65-year-old Rombach founded Fraunhofer IESE, which emerged from the Software Technologie Transfer Initiative (STTI) Kaiserslautern. Prof. Rombach was the director of Fraunhofer IESE until 2014, at which time Prof. Peter Liggesmeyer took over the operative management of the institute. At the end, Prof. Rombach was the Director Business Development at Fraunhofer IESE. “Prof. Rombach made the institute what it is today. He did real pioneer work in the area of software and systems engineering and inspired many researchers all over the world with his research. We wish him the very best for his future”, said Prof. Liggesmeyer.

Prof. Dr. H. Dieter Rombach studied mathematics and computer science at the University of Karlsruhe and obtained his Ph.D. in Kaiserslautern in 1984 – a city to which he returned after several years spent in the United States and to which he remained loyal throughout his career. Since 1994, he held the Software Engineering Chair in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Kaiserslautern and later became director of Fraunhofer IESE. “In recent years, Kaiserslautern has evolved into an important hub for software engineering. At Fraunhofer IESE and at the University of Kaiserslautern we have created the best environment for excellent applied research in this area – and I am very proud of this”, said Prof. Dieter Rombach. In the course of his professional career, he published more than 250 publications, supervised approx. 500 Bachelor’s and Master’s theses, and guided 90 employees to their PhD. Even after retiring from Fraunhofer IESE, he will remain involved in Kaiserslautern and at Fraunhofer IESE: In October of this year, he was appointed Senior Research Professor at the Department of Computer Science of the University of Kaiserslautern, and he continues to provide advice to Fraunhofer IESE as Executive Consultant in the area of Business Development. Furthermore, he is Chairman of the Board of the Science & Innovation Alliance Kaiserslautern (SIAK) and was appointed the first Chief Digital Officer of the City of Kaiserslautern in 2018.

Numerous awards are part of Prof. Rombach‘s career as a scientist: In 1990, he received the “Presidential Young Investigator Award” of the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the United States for his excellent work in the area of software engineering. In 2000, he was awarded the Service Medal of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate for his contributions to the scientific and economic development of the state. In 2009, he was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit on Ribbon of the Federal Republic of Germany, and the University of Oulu, Finland, bestowed upon him an honorary doctorate degree in recognition of his lifetime achievements as a software engineer. For his services to the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, he was awarded the Fraunhofer Medal in 2013. Prof. Rombach provides advisory services to a number of government bodies at the state, federal, and international level on issues concerning research as well as education and training in the area of computer science and on strategic decisions related to software.