Joachim Hagenauer

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr.-Ing. E.h.

Former professor of communications engineering
TUM School of Computation, Information and Technology

born July 29, 1941


Scientific work

With his theoretical as well as applied research, Joachim Hagenauer was a major contributor to the development of efficient techniques of coding and decoding signals in transmission systems. He generated significant contributions to the development of modern digital communications transmission for mobile phones and the internet. In the area of theory, Joachim Hagenauer’s interest lay in information theory and the theory of errorcorrecting codes. In the past, he focused his research on the “turbo principle” in communications engineering and, most recently, on information and communications theory in regard to its uses for research queries in genetics. In 2001, he was the first German academic to become the president of the renowned US Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Information Theory Society. He received one of the most distinguished academic awards in the field of engineering: the IEEE’s Alexander Graham Bell Medal. At TUM, the name Joachim Hagenauer is closely connected to the successful creation of the international master of science in communications engineering (MSCE), which is recognized worldwide. He served as director of this program from 1998 to 2008. In 2005, he was named a “highly-cited researcher” by the Thomson Citation Index. Joachim Hagenauer has been a member of the board of trustees of TUM’s Institute for Advanced Study (TUM-IAS) from 2007 to 2014. Since 2011, he has also served as conflict mediator between doctoral candidates and their mentors as well as a reporter for appeals proceedings at TUM.


Short biography

1963 – 1968 Studies in theoretical electrical engineering, TH Darmstadt
1974 Doctorate in electrical engineering, Technical University of Darmstadt
1975 – 1976 Post-doctoral fellow at IBM’s TJ Watson Research Center, New York, USA
1977 – 1981 Research associate at the Institute of Communications Technology of the German Test
and Research Institute for Aviation and Space Flight
1981 – 1990 Director of the Department of Communications Theory at the Institute of Communications
Engineering, German Aerospace Center (DLR)
1986 - 1987 Visiting researcher at AT & T Bell Laboratories, Holmdel and Murray Hill, New Jersey, USA
1993 – 2006 Professor of communications technology, TUM


Memberships and honors

Senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) (1987)

Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Information Theory Society and the IEEE Communications Society (1992)

Founding member of the academic advisory council of the Institute for Experimental Mathematics of University of Essen (1989-1996)

Chairperson of the professional council “Informations- und Systemtheorie” of the Information Technology Society (ITG) (1990-1996)

Elected peer reviewer for the German Research Foundation on digital communications systems (1995-2000)

President of the Information Theory Society, IEEE (2001)

Member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities (since 2002) and chair of the “forum technology” committee (2004-2014))

Member of the National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech) (since 2003)

Member of the board of directors of the “Internationales Begegnungszentrum der Wissenschaft München” (2005-2016)

Chair of the awards committee Vodafone Foundation (2000-2009)

Member of the academic advisory board of DOCOMO Eurolabs (Communications Laboratories Europe GmbH) (2007-2010)

Member of the academic advisory council of Munich Aerospace (2001-2017)

Member of the board of directors of the Eduard Rhein Foundation (2006-2012)


Research stays

Research stay, AT&T Bell Laboratories, Holmdel und Murray Hill, USA (1986-1987)

Visiting professor, Technische Universität Wien, Austria (2001)

Visiting professor, Universität Klagenfurt, Austria (2007)



  • Erich Regener Prize from the German Test and Research Institute for Aviation and Space Flight (DFVLR) (1981)
  • Otto Lilienthal Prize (1985)
  • Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) (1992)
  • International E.H. Armstrong Award from the IEEE Communications Society (1996)
  • Heinz Meier-Leibnitz Medal from TUM (2003)
  • Alexander Graham Bell Medal from the IEEE (2003)
  • Honorary doctorate from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (2006)
  • Honorary ring from the Association for Electrical, Electronic and Information Technologies (VDE) (2006)
  • Science Prize from the Information Technology Society (ITG) (2014)
  • IEEE Information Theory Society Aaron D.Wyner Distinguished Service Award (2019)

You can download "Explanations of honors and awards" here [PDF 215 KB]