Rudolf Schwarte, Father of Photonic Mixer Device, Died at the Age of 82

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University of Siegen, Germany, and the Center for Sensor Systems (ZESS) mourn for Prof. Dr. Rudolf Schwarte death on March, 7, 2021, at the age of 82.

In 1981 he accepted the call as a professor at the Institute for Telecommunications at the University of Siegen, where he taught and researched as head of the institute until 2007. In 1988 he founded the “Interdisciplinary Center for Sensor Systems NRW (ZESS)”, a focal point of today’s sensor research in Siegen, and was also its chairman until 1998.

He is considered the father of “fast” 3D vision and is the inventor of the Photonic Mixer Device (PMD) technology, which forms the technological basis of various spin-offs from ZESS (S-Tec and today’s successful company PMD-Technologies). He received several patents for this development and was nominated for the Research and Innovation Prize of the Federal Republic of Germany. With more than 50 patents, Prof. Schwarte was one of the world’s leading researchers in his discipline. In 1995 and 1997, the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia awarded him the innovation prize.

In 2005 he was awarded the Cross of Merit 1st Class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany by the Secretary of State for Science, Hartmut Krebs.

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