Professor Dr. Horst Kunzmann

Professor Dr. Horst Kunzmann, 2002 ASPE Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, passed away on October 20, 2023. The memorial service will take place on Friday, November 17th at 12 p.m. in the main chapel of the main cemetery, Helmstedter Straße 38, in 38126 Braunschweig.

Please send condolences to the funeral home “Pietät” Heinrich Brandes, Breite Straße 17, 38100 Braunschweig, stating the name “Prof. Dr. Horst Kunzmann.”

Horst Kunzmann made major contributions to the discipline of precision engineering both inside his own country and internationally. He joined the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt in 1966 in the “Line Scale Metrology” section and has never lost his love for ultra-precision measurement and the practical realization of the meter which is central to precision engineering.

While at PTB he earned his Dr.-Ing. Degree from the Technical University of Hanover in 1971. His promotions within this outstanding national laboratory were impressive. He became Head of Division in 1985 and created “Precision Engineering” at PTB leading three departments, Micrometrology, Dimensional Metrology, and Measuring Instruments Technology. In the early ‘90s he spearheaded the efforts to integrate the then “East German” precision engineering efforts into a national whole, an effort that was successful due to his personal and managerial skills. He is now a member of the Presidential Board of PTB and the head of PTB metrology activities for industry, the German Calibration Service and the Competence Center for Ultra-precise Surface Figure Measurement. As a leader and manager he is exemplary, but his contributions in the laboratory were also impressive. He led the international efforts to use lasers for metrology including straightness. Against serious opposition from those preferring the older light sources, he successfully developed and championed the use of frequency stabilized gas lasers as the practical length standard, an achievement which has dramatically altered metrology in our times. He also rebuilt the PTB program in Industrial Metrology bringing it into worldwide prominence introducing diamond turning and “factory floor” metrology.

He has more than 80 publications in our discipline in subjects ranging from laser applications to coordinate metrology. He also has 10 patents in the area of precision engineering. He is a great engineer with dedication, curiosity, kindness, insight, courage, and engineering know-how, an example to us all and an extremely deserving recipient of the ASPE Lifetime Achievement Award.