Terms such as artificial intelligence and autonomous systems are now part of everyday language. The first computer science course in Germany was established in 1968 at the TU Darmstadt by Winfried Oppelt. The engineer and university lecturer – he was professor of control engineering at the TU Darmstadt – studied technical physics. He received his doctorate in 1943 with the paper “Damping of Control Processes by Delayed Feedback”.
After a few years at the Deutsche Versuchsanstalt für Luftfahrt in Berlin and the Kiel-based Anschütz company, a manufacturer of rudder control and monitoring systems, he worked from 1952 at the TU Braunschweig, where the first chair for control engineering was created in 1954, followed by the first course of study in “Control Engineering and Technical Electronics” in 1959.
Winfried Oppelt received a number of awards, including an honorary doctorate from the TU Munich and the Aachen and Munich Prize for Technology and Applied Natural Sciences in 1982.