Leibniz Prize for Prof. Holger Boche


Prof. Holger Boche, Director of the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute alongside Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim Grallert from 2005 to 2010, made a major contribution to mobile communications. In 2008 he was awarded the renowned Leibniz Prize of the German Research Foundation (DFG).

In 2008, the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize went to Prof. Dr. Ing. Dr. rer. nat. Holger Boche, who was Director of the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute at the time. His research drove the expansion of mobile networks forward. His work was focused on technologies intended to increase spectral efficiency. He achieved this by means of multi-antenna systems and channel-adjusted resource allocation.

Boche demonstrated academic potential from an early age: He was born in Schwedt in 1966 and, when he was a 23-year-old student, he won the first prize at the “Mathematics Olympics” (Mathematik-Olympiade) organized by the Mathematical Society of the GDR. At the beginning of his working life, he had already completed his vocational baccalaureate diploma to become a measuring, control, and regulation technician in a petroleum plant. He then studied information technology at the Technical University Dresden, starting in 1986. From 1990, he added a degree in mathematics – by which time Boche was already working as a research associate. In 1994, after obtaining his undergraduate degrees, he was awarded the academic title of Dr.-Ing. and, in 1998, Dr. rer. nat. He completed both doctorates with the accolade summa cum laude.
He wrote his second dissertation without supervision and entirely on his own: it caused quite the stir in the mathematics faculty of the Technical University Berlin when he submitted a completed dissertation on the subject of complex approximation theory. The title of his doctoral dissertation was “Investigating complex approximation.”

In 1998, Holger Boche became head of department at the Heinrich Hertz Institute. From then on, he was responsible for the field of broadband mobile communication networks. In 2005, he was appointed Institute Director alongside Prof. Dr. Grallert. He also managed the associated German-Sino Lab for Mobile Communications. Before he accepted a professorial position at the Technical University Munich in 2010, he also worked as professor for wireless communication at the Technical University Berlin.

Holger Boche received the Leibniz Prize in 2008 for his unsupervised mathematics dissertation. The dissertation dealt with interpolation problems relevant to mobile communication. Prof. Frank Pobell, President of the Leibniz Association, had high praise for the recipient during the ceremony: “In his scientific career, Mr. Boche most authentically embodies the Leibnizian ideal of a close connection between theory and practice and a strong interdisciplinary approach. It is hard to imagine a more worthy recipient of the prize awarded by the Leibniz Association in the spirit of its namesake.”