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University mourns Christoph Rüchardt

Former rector of the University of Freiburg dies at age 88

Freiburg, Mar 02, 2018

University mourns Christoph Rüchardt

Christoph Rüchardt. Photo:Michael Spiegelhalter

Prof. Dr. Christoph Rüchardt has died. He was 88 years old. Rüchardt was rector of the University of Freiburg from 1987 to 1991. He was also a full professor of organic chemistry at the university from 1972 to 1996. The current rector, Prof. Dr. Hans-Jochen Schiewer, and the dean of the Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy, Prof. Dr. Manfred Jung, said in a statement, “In Christoph Rüchardt, the University of Freiburg has lost an internationally renowned scientist and a highly esteemed individual.”

As rector of the University of Freiburg, Rüchardt initiated, among other things, the founding of the Faculty of Applied Sciences, which is today known as the Faculty of Engineering. The Center for French Studies, the Institute of Computer Science and Social Studies (IIG) and the Freiburg Materials Research Center (FMF) were also established during his tenure. In his own research, Rüchardt contributed to the fundamental knowledge of reaction processes and short-lived reaction intermediates, including carbon cations and radicals in particular. He also solved basic questions of structure and thermochemistry.

Rüchardt received many awards for his scientific achievements and service to the University of Freiburg. Among his honors are the Adolf-von-Baeyer-Memorial Medal of the “Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker” (Society of German Chemists), the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s Werner Heisenberg Medal, an honorary doctorate from the Université de Haute-Alsace, and the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, 1st Class. He was a member of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the German National Academy of Sciences, the Leopoldina, and the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Even after he retired with emeritus status, he maintained close ties to the university and its faculty, especially the Institute of Organic Chemistry.