In 1955, Friedrich Wilhelm Gundlach took over the administration of the Heinrich Hertz Institute, a position he held until 1972.
The electrical engineer Friedrich Gundlach was born on February 2nd, 1912, in Berlin. His father was a concert pianist. Gundlach attended the renowned high school “Askanisches Gymnasium” in the city of his birth, a school that had already produced quite a few famous graduates. After studying electrical engineering at TH Berlin, he became an assistant at the Institute for High Frequency Technology under Heinrich Fassbender, who also took over management of the HHI for Oscillation Research in 1937. In 1938, Gundlach obtained his doctorate with honors on the topic “The behavior of a Habann tube as negative resistance.”
The dissertation awakened his interest in the drift behavior of electrons in high-frequency devices. This field would dominate his professional career in industry and research for the rest of his life. Following his university education, he first worked as a laboratory engineer and later as group leader for the development of drift tubes at the long-established Berlin-based company Julius Pintsch. Four years later, he moved to the subsidiary company Funkstrahl GmbH. The Constance-based company was mainly manufacturing goods for the armament industry, at that time. Gundlach, for instance, worked on radar systems for submarines at the company.
After the war, Gundlach resumed his academic career. In 1947, he habilitated at the TH Karlsruhe and became a private lecturer at this university. His Grundlagen der Höchstfrequenztechnik (Principles of Maximum-frequency Technology), which was published in 1949, and Taschenbuch für Hochfrequenztechnik (Pocket Book of High-frequency Technology), which he wrote together with Hans Heinrich Meinke, are still regarded as standard reference works. The authors of the best dissertations in the field of high-frequency technology are still honored with the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Gundlach-Award at the TU Berlin every year. Gundlach directed the Heinrich Hertz Institute from 1955 until 1972.