Joachim Hagenauer

Joachim Hagenauer
Joachim Hagenauer
Furth, Germany
Associated organizations
Fields of study
IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal


Joachim Hagenauer’s open-minded approach to coding has resulted in several innovations with profound implications for the communications systems. He pioneered the development of the soft-in/soft-out principle, which prevented the loss of valuable information that came with forcing hard decisions during the decoding process. This principle touched off research around the globe and yielded in the implementation of fast (Gigabit per second) analog VLSI decoders working only with soft bits.

Professor Hagenauer’s work paved the way for the development of turbo coding and caused a paradigm shift in the way channel coding is applied to digital communication and storage problems. His contributions also can be seen in such digital receiver design applications as third-generation mobile transmission systems, satellite transmission and more.

He published several key papers on the new decoding paradigm, thereby contributing significantly to a better understanding of the emerging coding and decoding systems.

After serving as an assistant professor at Darmstadt University, Professor Hagenauer held a postdoctoral fellowship at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, NY. Since 1977, he has been with the German Aerospace Center DLR in Oberpfaffenhofen, where be became director of the Institute for Communication Technology in 1990. Since 1993, he has chaired the Communications Technology department at the University of Technology in Munich, Germany.

An IEEE Fellow, Professor Hagenauer has served on the board of the IEEE Information Theory Society as its president in 2001. He has been honored with the Erich Regener and Otto Lilienthal Prizes of the German Aerospace Association, the Armstrong Award of the IEEE Communications Society, and a Best Teacher Award from the Students Union of the Munich University of Technology. He was recently elected to the Bavarian Academy of Science

Dr. Hagenauer was awarded the 2003 IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal “For contributions to soft decoding and its application to iterative decoding algorithm.”