History of the Institute of General Electrical Engineering

The history of the institutes of electrical engineering at the Faculty of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering in Rostock began in 1953 together with the foundation of the Institute of Electrical Systems aboard Ships. At the time, this institute was the only one at the simultaneously established subject area Marine Electrical Engineering, which was renamed Faculty of Naval Engineering in 1953. In the beginning, this institute was situated tentatively in a former building of the industrial school at Parkstraße.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Heinrich Huckstorf (ca. 1955)
Doz. Ing. Gerhard Vehrenkamp (ca. 1955)

Its first headmaster was Prof. Dr.-Ing. Heinrich Hucksdorf (1898-1966), the previous head of the power station in Rostock. Since 1951/52, he already had had teaching assignments at the Faculty of Naval Engineering in the academic areas of thermodynamics, air conditioning systems, and heat plants aboard ships. Further lecturers were Doz. Ing. Gerhard Vehrenkamp (mechanical technology, machine elements, standardization, technical drawing) and Dr. Lothar Hahn (materials of electrical engineering). On 1st October 1954, the Institute of Electronic Systems aboard Ships was renamed Institute of Marine Electrics, and one year later again Institute of General and Experimental Electrical Engineering. In this context, the Institute of Electrical Systems aboard Ships and three more electrotechnical institutes. The Institute of General and Experimental Electrical Engineering became the Institute if General Electrical Engineering in 1962 with Prof. Huckstorf still as the chair. Therefore, the Institute with the same name may be considered as the seed of electrotechnical education at the University of Rostock.

In 1959, the institute moved into the new building of the Faculty of Naval Engineering (renamed Technical Faculty in 1962), situated in the developing Südstadt district (Albert-Einstein-Str. 2), which ensured ideal spatial conditions for teaching and research. The Institute is still located in the same building. Early research subjects were dedicated to shipbuilding and general maritime affairs, respectively. Major works have been accomplished in the fields of radio interference suppression aboard ships, electromagnetic wave propagation under water as well as the application of synthetic materials as isolation and construction materials in electrotechnical systems aboard ships. In 1961, the institute’s staff consisted of twelve research associates and five technicians (of whom four were trainees) as well as one administrative employee.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Siegfried Wagner

After Prof. Huckstorf had retired, Dr.-Ing. Siefried Wagner (before: TU Dresden) became a professor and the head of the institute on 1st September 1964. He had already held lectures on the fundamentals of electrical engineering in the prior two years. The research was focused on the physics of thin films that had the aim to develop cold cathode tube lights, as well as contributions to plasma physics in order to create electric energy with the help of thermionic converters.

The following subjects were taught at that time:

The Field of Marine Electrical Engineering:

  • Prof. Wagner: Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering, Electrical Alternating and Switch Processes, Theoretical Electrical Engineering
  • Doz. Vehrenkamp: Machine Elements, Mechanical Technology, Technical Drawing
  • Doz. Dr. Hahn: Materials of Electrical Engineering – in the fields of Shipbuilding and Fisheries Technology

Marine Mechanical Engineering and Agricultural Engineering:

  • Doz. Vehrenkamp: Grundzüge der Elektrotechnik

In the course of the higher education reform in the GDR in 1968/1969, the Technical Faculty, the subject of Marine Electrical Engineering and all institutes were closed.

[Translate to English:] Prof. Dr. rer. nat. habil. Otto Fiedler
[Translate to English:] Dr. rer. nat. Johann Gätke (1970)

In place of the subject, the section Technical Electronics with the discipline automation engineering with the basic field of studies Electrical Engineering was formed. A little later, the section Technical Electronics was divided into scientific departments that partly replaced the previously closed institutes as for example the department of General Electrical Engineering founded in 1970 that continued the work of the former institute with the same name. Head of the scientific departments was Prof. Dr. sc. techn. S. Wagner. In 1974 Prof. Wagner transferred to the former Technical University Karl-Marx-Stadt (now Technical University Chemnitz). In his place, Prof. Dr. rer. nat. habil. Otto Fiedler was assigned on 1st September 1974 who also took the position as head of the scientific department. Dr. rer. nat. Johann Gätke was the institute’s senior assistant at that time. On 1st September 1986, Prof. Dr. sc. techn. Heinz-Eberhard Albrecht was appointed for the professorship for General Electrical Engineering.

A restructuring of research with a focus on measuring and sensor technology was connected to these appointments. Especially important were the flow velocity, flow and particle size measurements with the areas of

[Translate to English:] Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Heinz-Eberhard Albrecht
  • magnetic-inductive procedures
  • acoustic procedures
  • optical procedures (laser measurement technology, CCD sensors, spatial filter technology)

with applications in marine technology, oceanography, in the field of coastal protection, water and port engineering as well as experimental marine engineering and medical technology for non-invasive flow measurement and for investigations of flow fields as well as velocity and contour measurements of moving macroscopic and microscopic objects.

Research results were widely published:

Measuring station in the laboratory for acoustic flow measurement
Measuring station in the laboratory for laser measuring technology

After the German Reunification, the Institute of General Electrical Engineering was re-established in October 1992. Prof. Fiedler was head of the institute until May 1996. After that Prof. Dr.-Ing. Habil. Heinrich Krambeer took the position and was succeeded by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Nils Damaschke in 2006. The following professorships were established:

  • Theoretical Electrical Engineering
    Prof. Dr. rer. nat. habil. Otto Fiedler (until September 1997)
    Prof. Dr. rer. nat. habil. Ursula van Rienen (since October 1997, before: Technical University Darmstadt)

  • General Electrical Engineering
    Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Heinrich Krambeer (since August 1994, before: Technical University Wismar)
    Prof. Dr.-Ing. Nils Damaschke (since 2006)

  • Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering
    Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Johann Gätke (until September 2000; lectureship until March 2001);
    afterwards conversion of the professorship to Technical Electronics and Sensor Techniques
    Prof. Dr. rer. nat habil. Hartmut Ewald (since December 2001, before: University of Wismar)

  • Didactics of Technology with a focus on Electrical Engineering
    Conversion to Didactics of Technology – professional training
    Prof. Dr. Friedhelm Eicker (since October 1996; before: University of Bremen).
    This professorship was outsourced from the Institute of General Electrical Engineering in 1997 and continued as an autonomous department within the department of Electrical Engineering

In research, the abovementioned academic fields are still active, partly with slightly different aims of application. The laboratories were refurnished and significantly modernized within the course of the University renewal program.

With Prof. van Rienen, the area of Numerical Simulation of Electromagnetic Fields came to the institute. In the course of the establishment of course Computational Engineering, the range of classes was extended. In January 2004, the Faculty of Engineering Sciences was divided into the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Marine Engineering and the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology.

Research at the institute is strongly dependent on surrounding requirements, which shows in a number of former members who founded companies which are based on procedures and devices that have been developed at the institute.