IEEE Information Theory Society Aaron D. Wyner Distinguished Service Award for Joachim Hagenauer

Our former chair Joachim Hagenauer is the recipient of the 2019 IEEE Information Theory Society Aaron D. Wyner Distinguished Service Award. The Award honors an individual who has shown outstanding leadership in, and provided long-standing, exceptional service to, the Information Theory community.

Joachim was active in information theory at an early stage in his career. As a postdoc in the mid-1970s, he worked on codes for magnetic recording at IBM in Yorktown Heights. Since then, he was a strong promoter of information theory through his research, presentations, committee work, and educational activities and initiatives. Joachim spent 16 years at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Oberpfaffenhofen (south of Munich) before becoming Chair of Communications Engineering at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) in 1993.

Joachim has served ITSoc in several important roles. He was elected to the Board of Governors in 1995 and became its President in 2001. He took on numerous service roles in Europe and Germany, including executive committees of the Eduard-Rhein Foundation and the Mannesmann (now Vodafone) Mobile Radio Foundation for Research. At TUM, he was the founding director of the Master of Science in Communications Engineering program, which was the first all-English Master program in Bavaria. The program continues to attract over 80 students per year to Munich to study communications engineering and electronics, including coding and information theory.

Joachim is particularly well-known for his research on convolutional codes, turbo codes, analog decoding, and applying information theory to biology. He is a recipient of the IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal (2003), the VDE Ring of Honor (2006), and the VDE/ITG Science Prize (2014). Joachim has been a member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities since 2000.