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History of the Institute

The history of Meteorology at the University of Cologne began in 1938, long before the founding of an independent institute. At that time, Helmut Berg, who was head of the Cologne weather aviation office of the German state meteorological office, was given a lectureship in Meteorology. He had studied Meteorology, Astronomy, Geophysics, and Physics at Heidelberg, and had completed his habilitation there in 1937. At the beginning of 1945 he was given a personal professorship as Professor of Meteorology. On the initiative of the citizens of Cologne, in 1946 the Meteorological Institute was founded, and Helmut Berg became head of the institute after he had left the meteorological office. In 1951 he was also awarded a licence to teach Geophysics.
After the sudden death of Helmut Berg on 02.03.1960, Hans Karl Paetzold was invited to come to Cologne and given a professorship on as 01.10.1961. On his appointment, the institute was renamed the Institute for Geophysics and Meteorology (IGM). The staffing of the institute expanded further with the additional appointment of a chair in Meteorology, which was filled by Gustav Hofmann on 01.08.1965. The number of staff continued to increase, so that even after the institute had moved into the building at Zülpicher Straße 49a in the summer of 1963, Meteorology was moved to a separate building at Kerpener Straße 13 in the spring of 1969. On 01.11.1973 Erhard Raschke succeeded Gustav Hofmann, who had been given a chair at Munich. The teaching staff in both Geophysics and Meteorology continued to expand in the following years. In January 1978, Peter Speth joined as Professor of Meteorology, thereby strengthening the ranks of the meteorological department. In January 1980 Adolf Ebel was awarded a chair in Geophysics – he had already been granted a personal professorship in 1975 in Cologne. In April 1982 Fritz Neubauer was appointed as the successor to Hans Karl Paetzold.
Erhard Raschke left the institute in October 1989 and was appointed as director of the Institute for Physics of the Atmosphere at the GKSS. Michael Kerschgens was his successor and was appointed in August 1992 as Professor of Meteorology. After the retirement of Adolf Ebel in October 1998, Bülent Tezkan was appointed Professor of Geophysics in 1999. Due to ill health, Fritz Neubauer retired early in July 2005 and became professor emeritus. His successor Joachim Saur was appointed in January 2006. Peter Speth retired in 2005. In addition to his successor, Yaping Shao, who was appointed in January 2007, another professorship was also created. Thus, in the IGM there are now three professorships in Meteorology. In May 2006 Susanne Crewell was appointed to the newly created professorship.
The collaboration with the research centre in Jülich began on 01.11.1974 with the joint appointment of Dieter Ehhalt as Director of the Institute for Chemistry at the research centre in Jülich and as Professor of Geophysics at the University of Cologne. His successor, Andreas Wahner, was appointed in 2001 as the Director of the Institute of Chemistry and the Dynamics of the Geosphere at the research centre in Jülich and at the same time as Professor of Meteorology at the University of Cologne.