Creator of internationally visible beacons - Prof. Dieter Rombach awarded Federal Cross of Merit

Press Release / 30.11.2009

Prof. Dieter Rombach, executive director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering IESE in Kaiserslautern, has been awarded the Federal Cross of Merit on Ribbon, which is one of Germany’s highest civilian decorations bestowed by the German President. Rombach received this honor from the hands of the Minister President of Rhineland-Palatinate, Kurt Beck, at a ceremony held at the State Chancellery in Mainz on Monday, 30 November 2009. In addition to Rombach’s outstanding services to software engineering and to the interdisciplinary cooperation of science and business, particularly his great contribution to the quality of the competitiveness of Rhineland-Palatinate and Germany was recognized.


The vision to make the Kaiserslautern region one of the leading IT sites in Europe has become a reality, said the Minister President in his statement. Today, this vision is being filled with life by more than 800 scientists at various institutes, institutions, and university chairs in Kaiserslautern.

Prof. Dieter Rombach, who, as a graduated mathematician, has always been an advocate of systematic processes, saw software and systems development as an engineering task very early in his career. With the first Chair for Software Engineering, which was established in 1992, he has created an internationally visible beacon at the University of Kaiserslautern and for the science hub Kaiserslautern. Beck added that his achievements have made a major contribution to the image of Rhineland-Palatinate as an active and innovation-oriented state.

In 1996, Prof. Rombach founded Fraunhofer IESE, an applied research institute that enjoys high international reputation today and is considered one of the top addresses for global research and development activities in this area. “His advice and his experiences are sought everywhere“, continued Kurt Beck, adding that Rombach regularly works as a consultant, auditor, and advisor for the industry and provides innovative ideas to different institutions, committees, and government entities.

His commitment in establishing a large new European research center for the international agricultural machinery manufacturer John Deere in Kaiserslautern also deserves special emphasis. An additional 200 research and development jobs in Kaiserslautern may be generated from this in the mid-term.

Beyond his professional activities, Prof. Rombach is also active in an honorary role for the city of Kaiserslautern, the soccer club 1. FC Kaiserslautern, as well as for the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. As a member of the Round Table involved in the development of PRE-Park and together with different companies, scientists, and the Kaiserslautern Economic Development Agency, he sets the course for the further development of the city. As chairman of the FCK Board of Directors, one of his areas of interest is the integration of sports and science.

For his professional activities, Prof. Rombach has already received several awards. In 2000, he was awarded the State Order of Merit. For his long-standing work in the area of software engineering, he was appointed a Fellow of IEEE, the worldwide professional organization of approx. 400,000 electrical engineers and computer science engineers, in 2003. In May 2009, the university of the Finnish city of Oulu awarded him an honorary doctorate degree for his lifetime achievements as a software engineer.

Fraunhofer-Institute for Experimental Software Engineering
Fraunhofer IESE is one of the worldwide leading research institutes in the area of software and systems development. A major portion of the products offered by our collaboration partners is defined by software. These products range from automotive and transportation systems to telecommunication and telematics equipment, from information systems and medical devices to software systems for the public sector. Our solutions allow flexible scaling. This makes us a competent technology partner for organizations of any size – from small companies to major corporations.
Under the leadership of Prof. Dieter Rombach and Prof. Peter Liggesmeyer, the past decade has seen us making major contributions to strengthening the emerging IT location Kaiserslautern.
In the Fraunhofer Information and Communication Technology Group, we are cooperating with other Fraunhofer institutes on developing trend-setting key technologies for the future.
Fraunhofer IESE is one of 60 institutes of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Together we have a major impact on shaping applied research in Europe and contribute to Germany’s competitiveness in international markets. As part of the Fraunhofer Center Kaiserslautern, the institute is officially a "Selected Landmark 2009" in the contest "365 Landmarks in the Land of Ideas".