History of the HIA


The Helmholtz-Institute for Biomedical Engineering, also known as Helmholtz-Institute Aachen, HIA for short, was founded in 1971, initially under the sponsorhsip of the "Forschungsgesellschaft für Biomedizinische Technik e.V. Aachen" following a call for tenders issued by the Volkswagenwerk Foundation, and was located on the site of the old hospital in Goethestraße in Aachen.

Locations Over Time

The founding director of the Helmholtz-Institute in 1971 was Professor Sven Effert, born 1922 and died 2000, clinic director and holder of the Chair of Internal Medicine I at RWTH Aachen University. In 1976, Professor Günther Rau, after his appointment to the newly established Chair of Biomedical Engineering at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of RWTH Aachen University, took the position of Managing Director. In 1984, the Helmholtz-Institute Aachen first moved into the new building of the Uniklinik RWTH Aachen at Pauwelsstrasse 30. In 1994, the building in the immediate vicinity of the university hospital was completed for the steadily growing institute.

Research Focuses

The Helmholtz-Institute of the "Forschungsgesellschaft für Biomedizinische Technik e.V. Aachen" focused on biomechanics, ergonomics in medicine, cryobiology, biophysical measurement technology and since 1993 surgical therapy technology.

In 2001, the Helmholtz-Institute was fundamentally restructured with its integration into RWTH Aachen University. The Faculty of Medicine of RWTH Aachen University took over the institute as Chair of Applied Medical Engineering until his retirement in 2004 under the direction of Professor Günther Rau. In addition, the Helmholtz-Institute for Biomedical Engineering Work Community at RWTH Aachen University was founded in a cooperation agreement between the Medical Faculty, the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and the Faculty of Mathematics, Computer Science and Natural Sciences.


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