GFZ German research centre for geo sciences

Obituary Dr. Kemâl Erbas

The GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences mourns the passing of Kemâl Erbas.

The GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences mourns the passing of Kemâl Erbas. During his time at the GFZ, commencing in 1995, the graduate physicist, also with a doctorate, from the Technical University of Berlin left behind his many traces not only in science and within the team of the Scientific Executive Board but also in the hearts of many colleagues who now mourn him.

Between 2001 and 2008, Kemâl was a member of staff of the Scientific Executive Board team and, among other things, he provided a major impulse for the establishment of the first GFZ intranet. Dr. Oliver Bens: "Kemâl Erbas's achievements in the field of IT infrastructure development formed an important basis for our work. His constructive and stimulating way of initiating discussion processes, the collegial exchange and the personal interaction have greatly enriched us."

Kemâl Erbas was elected member of the GFZ Scientific Council by the center’s employees, an internal body that advises the Executive Board on matters of fundamental scientific importance. His work and his person were also highly appreciated in this committee. He held this office from 2016 to the start of 2021 and resigned of his own accord for personal reasons.

Kemâl had his scientific home in Section 4.8 “Geoenergy” under the leadership of Prof. Ernst Huenges, who accompanied Kemâl Erbas for many years. Prof. Huenges states, Kemâl passed away a few days ago after a short illness. He was my colleague and a special friend for about 40 years, with whom I shared many paths both professionally and privately. Kemâl was an excellent natural scientist. Many technological innovations at GFZ bear his signature and a whole series of scientists have benefited from his support. The fiber-optic based sensors, the use of super-conducting gravimeters and many others should be mentioned here. Together we built up the field of geothermal energy at the GFZ and carried out many projects abroad, in Indonesia, Oman and Iceland, to mention just a few."

Kemâl is survived by his father, his sister, two children and grandchildren. We extend our sincere sympathy to them.

Digital book of condolence

The digital book of condolence "Kemâl’s Traces" was set up to give everyone the opportunity to share thoughts and memories of him. To access this personal document, please send an e-mail to "". The book is intended to show Kemâl's traces and to preserve his memory in the form of stories and incidents.

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