Professor Dr. Friedhelm Eicker, born on April 5, 1927 in Radevormwald, studied mathematics in Mainz from 1948 to 1954. After receiving his doctorate in theoretical physics in 1956, he was a research assistant in Braunschweig, Mainz and Freiburg.
From 1959 to 1961 he worked at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and at the Department of Statistics at Stanford University. In 1964 he habilitated in mathematical statistics at Freiburg. From 1965 to 1967 he was Visiting Professor at Columbia University in New York.
From 1970 until his retirement in 1993, he worked at our university; first from 1970 at the Department of Mathematics; then from 1973 at the Department of Statistics as holder of the Chair of Mathematical Statistics and Applications II.
Mr. Eicker was chairman of the Senate's founding committee for the establishment of the Department of Statistics from 1971 to 1973; he was the first dean and thus founding dean of the department. He turned down several honorable calls to other universities, including U.S. universities; primarily to help build and develop our department. Mr. Eicker became dean emeritus in 1993.
From the time of his appointment to Dortmund, Mr. Eicker had made it his life's work to establish the department here. It was also by him, in cooperation with the founding committee, that the first structural plans and the description of the future profile of the Department of Statistics were drawn up.
If one reads these structural plans today, they seem utopian. Both in terms of the number of university faculty and staff and the requested space requirements, they go far beyond the equipment realized today. One may consider these requirements to be excessive; however, they were not. They describe a wishful and ideal image of a large statistical center in Germany, modeled after larger American statistics departments, which covers all fields of application of statistics equally and at the same time allows cross-fertilization between them. These plans can therefore be described as visionary; reality, above all the growing lack of funds in the public sector, soon curtailed this ideal.
The Technical University of Dortmund mourns the death of
Prof. Dr. Friedhelm Eicker
* 05.04.1927 † 19.03.2022
Prof. Dr. Friedhelm Eicker came to the newly founded University of Dortmund in 1970 as Professor of Mathematical Statistics. He was one of the founding fathers of Dortmund Statistics: from 1971 to 1973 he chaired the Senate's founding committee for the establishment of an independent Statistics Department. When this finally started officially in 1973, he took over the office of dean. Until his retirement in 1992, he played a decisive role in the development of the department and thus shaped the development of Dortmund Statistics for more than two decades.
With Professor Friedhelm Eicker, the TU Dortmund University loses a highly esteemed and universally popular colleague. We will honor his memory.
Our deepest sympathy goes to his relatives.
Dortmund University of Technology
The Rector Professor Dr. Manfred Bayer
The Dean of the Faculty of Statistics Professor Dr. Katja Ickstadt