Retirement of apl. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ulrich Rist

September 22, 2022

After almost 45 years of affiliation with the University of Stuttgart, Prof. Rist retired at the end of August.

After almost 45 years of affiliation with the University of Stuttgart, Prof. Rist retired at the end of August.

After studying Aerospace Engineering, Mr. Rist started his highly successful scientific career in 1983 at the Institute of Mechanics A in the field of boundary layer research and helped to establish the then quite new field of direct numerical simulation of flow processes based on the full Navier-Stokes equations. After a one-year stay at the French research institute CERFACS, he moved to the IAG together with his research group, which was led by Dr. Horst Bestek. Here, he successfully continued his research work, which has been highly respected in the international community, for more than 32 years, focusing on laminar-turbulent boundary layer transition and the instability and transition of laminar detachment bubbles. After the death of Dr. Bestek, Mr. Rist took over the leadership of the working group "Boundary Layers", which was initially called "Numerics and Data Processing", and which he held until his retirement. In addition to direct numerical simulation, he was also engaged in flow visualization and supervised experimental work on the institute's laminar water channel.

Particularly noteworthy is his extremely high success rate in obtaining third-party funding from the German Research Foundation (DFG), an irrefutable sign of the high level of qualification and expertise attested to him by the reviewers. In this way, he created the financial prerequisites for the employment of a large number of doctoral students, to whom he opened up the possibility of gaining further scientific qualifications with challenging topics. In the meantime, he can look back on more than 20 successfully completed doctorates, the examination dates for eight more are due shortly and he is currently still supervising six ongoing doctoral projects. Beyond that, Prof. Rist, very much to the delight of the institute, will remain with the working group in his retirement as a discussion partner and supportive collaborator, so that research topics already initiated by him as well as future research topics in the field of transition can be pursued further in close cooperation with his successor.

On August 26th, a farewell party for Prof. Rist took place at the IAG. In a relaxed and informal atmosphere, several former doctoral students gave very personal and entertaining presentations about their experiences during their doctoral studies. All of them unanimously drew a picture of their doctoral supervisor that shows him to be someone who took this term very seriously and to whom it was and is an important concern to support, promote and further develop the employees entrusted to him. This included and still includes the fact that he always passed on his knowledge to them, let them participate in his wealth of experience, and with his appreciative, integrative and prudent manner was and will continue to be available to them as a valued advisor.

Prof. Rist has shaped the face of the IAG both professionally and personally, for which the staff and the Institute's directorate owe him their deepest gratitude. For his retirement, which has now begun, we wish him all the best and, above all, robust health so that he can still put many of his ideas into practice.

Dr.-Ing. Christoph Wenzel, himself a former doctoral student of Prof. Rist, took over the leadership of the "Boundary Layers" working group on September 1 st. We all wish him every success in this demanding position.  

Colloquium in honor of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ulrich Rist

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