Thomas Gessner Laboratory

Fraunhofer Project Center for MEMS/NEMS devices and manufacturing technologies

© Tohoku University and Fraunhofer Gesellschaft
Obituary On 25 May 2016 the director of our Fraunhofer Project Center for MEMS/NEMS devices and manufacturing technologies at Tohoku University and head of the laboratory Prof. Dr. Dr. Prof. h. c. mult. Thomas Gessner suddenly and unexpectedly passed away at the age of 61 years. Professor Gessner was at the same time director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Electronic Nanosystems ENAS, full professor of the chair of Microtechnology of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology and director of the Center for Microtechnologies of the Technische Universität Chemnitz. Since 2008 Professor Gessner was Principal Investigator within the WPI-AIMR (World Premier International Research Initiative - Advanced Institute for Materials Research). He established an international research group at Tohoku University. Since 2012 Professor Gessner was directing together with Professor Esashi the Fraunhofer Project Center “NEMS / MEMS Devices and Manufacturing Technologies at Tohoku University”, the first Fraunhofer project center in Japan.  In the course of the past 17 years and more, Professor Thomas Gessner has made a great contribution to the Fraunhofer- Gesellschaft in all his fields of activities. These fields of activities comprised the whole range of the activities of a leading scientist in the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. This included excellent scientific achievements and their comprehensive and effective publication, the assumption of professional and staff-related managerial responsibility, and the continuous promotion of talents and junior scientists. An essential aspect was the initiation and the support of strategic cooperation with very different partners from industry, science and politics in order to further develop the applied sciences and to efficiently support business in the context of concrete projects and orders. Thomas Geßssner was born in 1954 in Karl-Marx-Stadt. He studied physics at the Technische Universität Dresden and received a doctor’s degree at the Department of Natural Sciences. He received his postdoctoral lecture qualification in 1989 at the Technische Universität Karl-Marx-Stadt, now Technische Univerität Chemnitz. Thomas Gessner is the author of more than 900 publications, and he filed 136 patents in 48 patent families. For his merits, in 2014 he was honoured with the Fraunhofer Medal and the Medal of Honour of the Technische Universität Chemnitz. With Professor Gessner we not only lose our dedicated and visionary director and the internationally recognized scientist, but also the person and friend Thomas Gessner. Our thoughts are with his family, especially with his wife, his two children and his beloved grandchild. Professor Masayoshi Esashi and Assoc. Professor Joerg Froemel on behalf of all of the members and associated persons of Fraunhofer Project Center for MEMS/NEMS devices and manufacturing technologies at Tohoku University.