Karl-Heinz Hoffmann

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Dr. h.c. mult.

TUM Department of Mathematics
Former professor of applied mathematics

born July 18, 1939


Scientific work

Karl-Heinz Hoffmann made exceptional contributions to applied mathematics and mathematical modeling. His work concerned itself with analysis, numerics and the optimization of problems regarding thermomechanics and fluid mechanics, particularly for the modeling of phase transitions. The work also has been and continues to be in close contact with developments in continuous casting and crystal pulling and, since the middle of the 1990s, with developments in biology and nanotechnology, particularly concerning usage in medicine. His numerous stays as visiting researcher in many European countries, Russia, the USA, Canada, South America, China and Australia demonstrate his international renown. His important achievements in business management manifest themselves in, for example, his decisive dedication to the conception and establishment of the natural sciences at the University of Augsburg in the 1980s and the establishment of the caesar international and interdisciplinary research center in Bonn in 1998. Additionally, he worked in numerous academic organization and foundations. From 1990 to 1996, he was a member of the German Council of Science and Humanities; from 1994 to 1996 he served as its chair. In 1998, he was appointed to the selection committee of the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation. Since 2006, he has been taking part in the German Research Foundation’s (DFG) Collaborative Research Center (SFB) “Optimal control of cryopreservation of cells and tissues”. Karl-Heinz Hoffmann was spokesperson for TUM’s Emeriti of Excellence program from 2006 to 2011, and has been president of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities since 2011.


Short biography

1960 – 1965 Studies in mathematics and physics, universities of Marburg and Freiburg
1968 Doctorate in mathematics, LMU, Munich
1975 – 1981 Professor of mathematics, Free University of Berlin
1978 Appointment to the University of Marburg
1981 – 1991 Professor of mathematics, University of Augsburg
1992 – 2007 Professor of applied mathematics, TUM
since 2011 President of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Munich


Memberships and honors

Member of the academic advisory board of the Weierstrass Institute for Applied Analysis and Stochastics (WIAS) – an institution of the Leibniz Association, Berlin Vice President of the Universität Augsburg (1984-1986)

Member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts (Academia Scientiarum et Artium Europaea), Salzburg (1989)

Member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina (1995)

Member (1990-1996) and Chairperson (1994-1996) of the German Council of Sciences and Humanities

Member of the Bavarian academy of science and humanities (1997)

Member of the selection committee of the Krupp Foundation (since 1998)

Member of the Bavarian Consortium for High Performance Scientific Computing (FORTWIHR) (1992-1998)

Spokesperson for Collaborative Research Center (SFB) 438: Mathematical modeling, simulation and verification in material-oriented processing and intelligent systems (1997-1999)

President of the Association of German Mathematicians (DMV) (1997-1999)

Member of the German Council of Science and Humanities (1990-1996)

Member of the Central Selection Committee of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (1998-2000)

Member of the board of trustees of the Free University of Berlin (since 2001) Academic advisory council AGORA, University of Jyväskylä, Finland (since 2001)

Chairperson of the German Accreditation Council (DAR) (1999-2003)

Member of the “Landeshochschulrat Brandenburg” (2001-2004)

Member of the Minerva Centers committee of the Max Planck Society (1997-2005)

Founding director of the Caesar Foundation, Center of Advanced European Studies and Research, Bonn (1998-2005)

Chair of the academic council of the Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing (IWR)), Heidelberg University (1996-2006)

Member of the technology advisory committee of Berlin (2000-2006)

Member of the Accademia Nazionale Virgiliana, Mantua, Italy (since 2012)



  • Karl Heinz Beckurts Prize (1990)
  • Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize from the German Research Foundation (1991)
  • Honorary doctorate from the TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Saxony (1999)
  • Honorary doctorate from the University of Augsburg (2001)
  • Alwin-Walther-Medal from the TU Darmstadt (2002)

You can download "Explanations of honors and awards" here [PDF]