Fritz Hüttinger


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Under the umbrella of the Berthold Leibinger Stiftung, the Fritz Hüttinger Stiftung promotes the advancement of science and research, especially of innovative technologies in the field of electric energy, and works to strengthen community and foster civic involvement.

Gerda and Dr. Fritz Ruf
Photo: Thomas Kunz

We mourn the loss of

Dr. Fritz Ruf, who passed away at the age of 96.

Born in Waldkirch in 1927, Fritz Ruf studied chemistry at the University of Freiburg after the war. He then worked as a municipal chemical advisor in the food control department in Freiburg. After a leading position in the chemical industry in Ludwigshafen, professional stations in Karlsruhe and Heilbronn followed. At the age of 65, Fritz Ruf received his doctorate with a thesis on the history of nutrition.

Together with his wife Gerda, he established the Fritz Hüttinger Foundation in 2006 in memory of his father-in-law Fritz Hüttinger, founder of Hüttinger Elektronik in Freiburg. This foundation promotes innovative technologies in electrical energy in particular and is sponsored by the Berthold Leibinger Stiftung. It also supports projects to foster community spirit and civic engagement.

From 2010 to 2019, the foundation funded the Fritz Hüttinger Named Professorship for Microelectronics at the Institute for Microsystems Technology (IMTEK) at the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg. This was followed in 2020 by a named professorship for energy-efficient high-frequency electronics at the Institute for Sustainable Technical Systems (INATECH).

In 2018, the University of Freiburg named Fritz and Gerda Ruf honorary senator and honorary senator in gratitude for their commitment.

In addition to his passion for science, Fritz Ruf is enthusiastic about classical music and cultural history.

We remember Fritz Ruf with great gratitude.

Fritz Hüttinger, portrait photo black and white

Gerda and Dr. Fritz Ruf, the daughter and son-in-law of Fritz Hüttinger, the founder of Hüttinger Elektronik in Freiburg, set up the foundation Fritz Hüttinger Stiftung in 2006.

Born on June 5, 1897, in Appetshofen near Nördlingen, Fritz Hüttinger first completed an apprenticeship as an electrician. After serving in World War I, he began his studies of electrical engineering at the University of Engineering in Konstanz in 1919. In 1921, the young engineer moves to Freiburg im Breisgau, where he founds a company for electrical apparatus in 1922. In 1925, he expands the business into a factory for electromedical devices, where the first diathermy and surgical device is mass-produced as early as 1926. A new company building with now about 30 employees follows in 1933.

Fritz Hüttinger, portrait photo black and white

As early as 1936, “HÜTTINGER high-vacuum tube amplifier” for electronic medical devices went into production at the company’s own glassblowing facility. By the time war broke out in 1939, about 90 percent of production was being exported. In November of 1944, all of the buildings and facilities of the company were destroyed during an air raid.

Fritz Hüttinger starts the reconstruction with some employees in 1946. As early as 1949/50, he adds high-frequency generators for industrial use and later medium-frequency generators to the production program.

Fritz Hüttinger passed away in 1963 at the age of only 65. His widow became managing partner of the company. Since 1993, the Trumpf Group has held a 90 percent stake in today’s Trumpf Hüttinger GmbH + Co. KG, while the Ruf/Hüttinger family owns 10 percent of the shares.

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Name Professorship

In 2010, the Fritz Hüttinger Foundation concluded a funding agreement with the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg for the Fritz Hüttinger named professorship. In this agreement, the foundation pledged to support a chair at IMTEK for ten years with 100,000 euros per year. A new agreement has been in place since 2020 for a chair at INATECH.


Established in 2020, the Fritz Hüttinger Professorship for Energy-Efficient High-Frequency Electronics at the Institute for Sustainable Systems Engineering (INATECH) focuses on the engineering aspects of the energy efficiency of microelectronic and nanoelectronic building blocks and circuits, especially those based on compound semiconductors. Dr. Rüdiger Quay from the Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK) of the University of Freiburg and the Fraunhofer Institute of Applied Solid State Physics (IAF) accepted the offer of the professorship.


In 2010, the professorship for microelectronics held by Professor Yiannos Manoli at the Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK) was renamed Fritz Hüttinger Professorship for Microelectronics. Undergraduate, graduate and PhD students at IMTEK benefit from the endowment through scholarships and academic awards that are presented to outstanding young scientists in the fields of electrical engineering and power electronics as well as through funding for internships and field trips.