Researcher, group leader and professor in structural safety and reliability at TUM from 1968 to 2008.
Prof. Rüdiger Rackwitz was an outstanding scientist and engineer, who initiated and developed many of the state-of-the-art methods in structural reliability and risk assessment for civil engineering systems. He pioneered many practical applications and was pivotal in implementing modern safety concepts in the Eurocode.
Prof. Rackwitz is one of the most respected scholars in our field due to his many scientific achievements as well as his visionary ideas, which have inspired and shaped many of the leading figures in the reliability and risk community. In addition, his integrity, his dedication and his modesty make him a role model for other scientists.
The following laudation held by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) on the occasion of an award ceremony illustrates the role Prof. Rackwitz had in the research and engineering community:
"The 2008 Alfred M. Freudenthal Medal is presented to Rüdiger Rackwitz, Dr. Ing. (Technical University of Munich) for seminal contributions to the development of the modern theory of structural safety and reliability and risk-based optimal design, and for his leadership in both academia and industry in developing and applying probabilistic design criteria. Professor Rackwitz has been an international leader for more than 40 years in developing new theories of the behavior of structures under uncertainty. His work has advanced the fundamental understanding of reliability modeling, providing insight into safety performance during earthquakes, windstorms, blast and other man-made and environmental loadings. His research is unique in that he is very highly respected among mathematicians and theoreticians for his contributions to new theories and algorithms (some of which bear his name), and also among practitioners and code personnel for his refinement of practical models and calibration for applications. Many of his advancements have under-girded the development of a new generation of probabilistically based codes for the European Union. Professor Rackwitz has contributed generously his time serving on numerous professional committees, many of which he chaired, and organizing international workshops and conferences. While leading an institute at the Technical University of Munich, he has guided the education of many of today’s stars in structural reliability around the world."
In Memoriam Professor Dr. -Ing habil. Rüdiger Rackwitz
Published in Structural Safety, 40, 2013
Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Rüdiger Rackwitz. (PDF 2MB)
Published in Bauingenieur, 87, 2012, p. 484 [in German]