Updated on June 9, 2020 by Henrik Andersson

Former EISCAT Director, Prof. Jürgen Röttger, has passed away

Professor Jürgen Röttger

Prof. Röttger. EISCAT Director 1986 – 1997

We are very sad to report the passing of Prof. Jürgen Röttger, EISCAT’s third Director, on Sunday, 31 May 2020.

Prof. Röttger’s term as Director extended from 1986 through 1997 and his  impact on the EISCAT Scientific Association’s success during that time is difficult to overstate.  He shepherded EISCAT through the resolution of a number of technical difficulties with the VHF system early in his term.  Once the problems were resolved, that radar became a key part of the EISCAT mainland operations.  He also oversaw the transfer of the HF Heating Facility to EISCAT ownership in January 1993. During the latter part of his tenure, and perhaps most significantly, Prof. Röttger led EISCAT through the years of planning and construction that resulted in the successful inauguration of the EISCAT Svalbard Radar in Longyearbyen in August 1996.

In addition to his many contributions to EISCAT, Prof. Röttger was widely respected for his research publications on mesospheric physics and for his lectures and books on radar techniques for middle atmosphere science, which remain as standard works in his field. His legacy can be seen, both in these and in the many excellent scientific publications that the EISCAT systems enabled as a result of his leadership.

The EISCAT Council awarded Prof. Röttger the Sir Granville Beynon medal in 2004 “[in] recognition of outstanding services to the EISCAT Scientific Association including the establishment of the EISCAT Svalbard Radar at Longyearbyen.”

Prof. Röttger also played an important role in bringing Japan into EISCAT, as the following note indicates.

I would like to express my deepest sympathies on the passing of Prof. Jürgen Röttger.

I feel honored to have known him and to have had the opportunity to work with him for many years, including his period as EISCAT director. He was truly a great leader, and I am sure that Japan would not have been able to participate in the EISCAT Scientific Association in the 90s without his kind and steady support and careful and well-thought-out strategies.

May he rest in peace.

Ryoichi FUJII
Former EISCAT Council member from Japan