TU Wien Informatics

In Memoriam: Professor Manfred Brockhaus

  • By Andreas Krall / Theresa Aichinger-Fankhauser (edt.)
  • 2023-11-08

We mourn the passing of Emeritus Professor Manfred Brockhaus (1935 – 2023).

In Memoriam: Professor Manfred Brockhaus
Picture: Nicole Brockhaus

We mourn the loss of Emeritus Professor Manfred Brockhaus, who passed away on October 24, 2023.

In 1966, Manfred Brockhaus completed his studies with a dissertation “On Systems for Generating Favorable Pulses for Data Transmission” (“Über Systeme zur Erzeugung günstiger Impulse für die Datenübertragung”) supervised by Professor Hans Schüßler at the University of Karlsruhe. He continued his scientific career at the University of Karlsruhe, where he developed the HYDRA multiplex operating system for the electronic computing system EL X8 with Horst D. Wettstein at the end of the 1960s. Already in these early stages of his career, he focussed on developing compilers.

In 1972, Manfred Brockhaus was appointed head of the newly founded Institute for Information Technology (Institut für Informationstechnik) at TU Wien’s institutional predecessor, Technische Hochschule Wien. In the 1970s, Professor Brockhaus, together with his fellow professors Hans Jörg Stetter, Wilhelm Barth, and Helmut Kerner, established the informatics degree program.

With lectures such as “Operating Systems,” “Database Systems,” and “Compiler Construction,” Professor Brockhaus covered essential areas of practice-oriented informatics. The lecture “Introduction to Programming” also familiarized computer scientists, mathematicians, physicists, and computer engineers with the fundamental principles of structured programming using Pascal. The rapid development of informatics, with only reluctantly granted resources, presented the then-institute chair with the difficult task of providing both a foundation for the curriculum and advanced training. Despite this, with an impressive number of doctoral students, Professor Brockhaus provided valuable personnel for the academic and economic sectors.

His stoically calm demeanor and dry humor helped to effectively address the challenges of the burgeoning field of informatics. He was known to be very approachable and friendly, someone who based his actions on compromise and consensus. Manfred Brockhaus ended his university career in 2002 by becoming an emeritus professor after 30 years at TU Wien.

Manfred Brockhaus was an excellent jazz pianist who, towards the end of his career, combined his passion for music with informatics – incorporating his expertise as a computer scientist into the production of computer-generated music.

We mourn with the bereaved and extend our deepest condolences to the family of Professor Manfred Brockhaus. He will be missed greatly.

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