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On the death of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jürgen Zaske

On September 13, 2021, the former Scientific Director of the ATB, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jürgen Zaske, passed away at the age of 81.

With Prof. Zaske, we are not only losing a globally thinking and acting agricultural engineer, but also a highly esteemed superior, colleague, as well as an understanding, empathetic and humorous fellow human being. Companions and employees of the ATB will fondly remember his charming but insistent way of achieving goals once they had been set. He has contributed something lasting. We will honor the memory of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jürgen Zaske.

Having completed his doctorate in agricultural engineering at the Technical University of Berlin, Jürgen Zaske worked for many years in the field of international collaboration before he took on managerial responsibility for the agricultural engineering division at the German Agricultural Society (DLG). From this position, Jürgen Zaske also became acquainted with the Institute for Agricultural Engineering in Potsdam, which had been newly founded in 1992. 

In 1993, he was appointed director of the institute, which he helped to shape as scientific director until 2004. Under his leadership, the ambitious founding objectives formulated by the German Science Council for the institute were successfully implemented and the ATB was transformed into a vital, internationally networked research institution.

An honorary professorship at the Humboldt University of Berlin and various teaching assignments enabled him to pass on his experience, especially in the field of process engineering in the tropics and subtropics, to the next generation of agricultural engineers.

Prof. Zaske was a nationally and internationally renowned scientist and networker. He was active with great commitment and extraordinary negotiating skills in committees such as the VDI, the KTBL, the DLG. He also made significant contributions at the international level, in the FAO, the Club of Bologna, and EurAgEng, and had a strong influence on the agricultural engineering community.

On the occasion of the CIGR World Congress 2006 in Bonn, he was awarded the Max Eyth Commemorative Medal on Ribbon for his outstanding commitment in the VDI committees as well as for the effective representation of German agricultural engineering in the European Society of Agricultural Engineers, the Council of EurAgEng.

After his retirement, he enjoyed spending time with his family for many years before he had to accept ever greater limitations due to illness.


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