Sad news that Robert Ackermann passed away recently; he was finishing his PhD when I started mine, at the TU Berlin, in 1998. Having worked in the east-German academy of science before the reunification, he always seemed the person for surviving in absurd, bureaucratic, and somewhat hostile environments, environments that keep you down and are more powerful than you are. He invented, in the early stages of Life Cycle approaches, a solid methodology for assessing environmental and economic impacts of plants and business units, over the entire life cycle, and definitely influenced my access to LCA, seeing it as a modelling and “cybernetic”, systems theory approach. I personally always remember him as a witty, smart, and maybe also somewhat sad and disconnected person; smart to survive in complicated environments, proud of that, but also somewhat stubborn and not a winner-person, struggling with English language. “Lerne klagen ohne zu leiden” – (learn to complain and whine without actually suffering) is a typical quote from him. He worked for a longer time for Prof. Fleischer at TU Berlin and then also, until his death, with the successor, Prof. Matthias Finkbeiner, for 27 years altogether (

On the institute website, you find, as per today, a short note, and a video from Matthias Finkbeiner mentioning the sudden death of Robert Ackermann, but somehow it seems more with a tenor that now unfortunately, the lectures for the next semester need to be reorganised – to be fair, it is a video about the next semester lectures. I couldn’t find anything else though. Robert’s linkedin profile is still active, with one connection.

Robert, rest in peace! I will remember you.