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28. 02. 12
Prof. Roland Rühle passed away

The former director of HLRS Professor Roland Rühle passed away on February 25, 2012. Prof. Rühle was a key figure in high performance computing simulation at the University of Stuttgart for three decades. He was the first scientist to correctly predict the outcome of the Three Mile Island incident long before the reactor could be opened using his own simulation approach. His results were based on the simulation system RSYST which Prof. Rühle developed and which was used by research and industry alike over decades.


Prof. Rühle created the High Performance Computing Center as the first German national supercomputing center in 1996. Until his retirement in 2003 he was director of the center and established its worldwide reputation as a lighthouse of engineering simulation. In 1995 Prof. Rühle took a leading role in establishing the HWW – a public-private-partnership that helped bringing supercomputing power to the regional industrial players like Daimler and Porsche. Until 2011 Prof. Rühle served as the director of HWW.

With the death of Prof. Rühle the HLRS loses its founder and most important promoter. He was convinced from early on that simulation was a key technology for decades to come. His keen insight into the concepts and structure of computer science paired with his excellent skills as a physicist and an engineer allowed him to break new ground in the field of simulation. As a director he was a strong personality. For the staff members of the centers and groups he was responsible for, he was both a personal and a highly esteemed intellectual advisor. Four of his PhD graduates received offers of professorships at German and US universities. Supercomputers and simulation were his scientific passions. But more than that, he was an outstanding tutor and excellent friend to his many employees and PhD students over three decades. 

Prof. Rühle got a diploma degree from the University of Stuttgart in 1964 and soon after joined the Institute for Nuclear Energy and Energy Systems. In 1967 he took responsibility for a working group on data management and numerical methods. In 1973 Prof. Rühle earned a doctoral degree in energy engineering from the University of Stuttgart. In 1975 Prof. Rühle was granted a professorship for computer science in mechanical engineering. His work in simulation and supercomputing moved him to the position of scientific director of the computing center of the University of Stuttgart (RUS) in 1986 and in 1992 he took responsibility as the sole director of the center. Since 1991 he was the director of the chair for computer simulation and visualization at the Institute for Computer Applications for the University of Stuttgart.