Institute of Applied Geosciences

Geosciences at TU Berlin - The Years from 1970 to 2020

In the 1970s, geosciences at the TU Berlin were closely linked to mining sciences. There were five chairs in earth sciences at the Institute of Mining: Mineralogy (Hugo Strunz from 1951 to 1977), Geology and Palaeontology (Werner Zeil from 1960 to 1985), Geology (Eberhard Klitsch from 1970 to 1998), Economic Geology and Raw Materials (Albrecht Wilke 1967 to 1981) and Mine Surveying, Mining Damage Science and Applied Geophysics (Paul Hilbig until 1973). Paul Hilbig was rector of the TU Berlin from 1963 to 1965.

In 1973-1974, new geo-institutes were founded with a total of 13 professorships. The Institute of Mineralogy and Crystallography included 4 professorships (Mineralogy - Hugo Strunz from 1951 to 1977, Crystallography - Kurt Weber from 1974 to 1988 and Ulf Depmeier from 1989 to 1992, Ore Microscopy - Erich Seeliger from 1974 to 1979, Special Mineralogy - Christel Tennyson from 1974 to 1990). The Institute of Geology and Palaeontology also had 4 professorships (Geology and Palaeontology - Werner Zeil from 1960 to 1985, Geology - Eberhard Klitsch from 1970 to 1998, Geology - Heinrich Kallenbach from 1974 to 1985, Palaeontology - Werner Barthel 1974 to 1982). In the Institute for Economic Geology and Mineral Resources, Petrology and Applied Geophysics, another five chairs were combined (Economic Geology and Mineral Resources - Albrecht Wilke from 1967 to 1981, Applied Geophysics - Jörn Behrens from 1974 to 1995, Petrology - Giulio Morteani from 1974 to 1984, Economic Geology and Mineral Resources - Ludwig Hertel from 1974 to 1986, Economic Geology and Mineral Resources - Karl-Heinz Jacob from 1972 to 2004).

A significant restructuring of the geo-institutes took place in 1995. A year earlier, Department VI - Civil Engineering and Applied Geosciences - emerged from Department 16 - Mining and Geosciences. At that time, the various geosciences departments were only divided into two institutes, which were housed at the locations "Ernst-Reuter-Platz" and "Ackerstraße". In the Institute for Applied Geosciences I, the departments were Mineralogy and Crystallography (Klaus Langer from 1978 to 2001), Petrography (Peter-Jürgen Übel from 1980 to 2002), Applied Mineralogy (Irmgard Abs-Wurmbach from 1991 to 2003), Economic Geology and Ore Microscopy (Klaus Germann from 1988 to 2004), Petrology (Gerhard Franz from 1985 to 2016), Raw Materials and Waste Disposal Technology (Helmut Wolf from 1980 to 2006) and Economic Geology and Raw Materials (Karl-Heinz Jacob from 1972 to 2004). The Institute of Applied Geosciences II was formed by the departments of Historical Geology and Palaeontology (Bernd-Dieter Erdtmann from 1986 to 2004), Geology (Eberhard Klitsch), Sedimentology (Johannes Schroeder from 1986 to 2003), Palaeontology (Axel von Hildebrandt from 1983 to 1999), Engineering Geology (Karl Heinz Hesse from 1984 to 1995, Jörn Tiedemann from 1996 to 2015), Hydrogeology (Uwe Tröger from 1989 to 2016) and Applied Geophysics (Hans Burkhardt from 1980 to 2001, Ugur Yaramanci from 1996 to 2016).

As early as 2000, the two institutes were merged into one Institute for Applied Geosciences. Many professorships were discontinued between 1999 and 2005 due to fiscal consolidation measures. In 2003, however, Wilhelm Dominik was appointed as chair of Exploration Geology (until 2019). Between 2016 and 2018, four departments were reoccupied or reoriented with the continuation of Engineering Geology (Tomas Fernandez-Steeger since 2016), Hydrogeology (Irina Engelhardt since 2017), Applied Geophysics (Frank Börner since 2017) and the reorientation of the chair for Applied Geochemistry (Thomas Neumann since 2018). The "Ackerstraße" location was abandoned in 2019 and the geoscience departments have been concentrated at "Ernst-Reuter-Platz" since 2019.


Of course, the history is incomplete without mentioning the many employees in science, technology and administration. Many of these people have shaped the geosciences at TU Berlin just as much as the professors mentioned.

Text: Thomas Neumann