May 25, 2023

In Memoriam: Guenther Ruhe, Faculty of Science

Campus flag lowered June 8, 2023
Guenther Ruhe

The University of Calgary mourns the loss of Dr. Guenther Ruhe, a longtime professor in the Faculty of Science and the Schulich School of Engineering. He passed away in April following a brief battle with cancer.

Dr. Ruhe was an international leader in software design and process management research. He earned his Doctor of Natural Sciences degree in mathematics with a focus on operations research from Freiberg University of Germany, and completed his habilitation in operations research jointly from the Technical University of Leipzig and the University of Kaiserslautern. He held several visiting professor and visiting scientist roles in Germany in the early 1990s before becoming deputy director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering Fh IESE in 1996. In 2001, he accepted a professorship at the University of Calgary, beginning a two-decade career of inspiring students and faculty members alike.

Dr. Ruhe taught and researched in a broad range of areas at UCalgary, including software design, software release planning and operations support, and data analytics. Widely recognized for his work, Dr. Ruhe won many awards including the Alberta iCORE (Informatics Centre of Research Excellence) award, an IBM research award, a Mobility Award for foreign researchers at the University of Bolzano, and a Microsoft Research Software Engineering Innovation award. Beginning in 2016, he also served as the editor-in-chief of the Elsevier Journal on Software and Information Technology.

In addition to his many professional accomplishments, Dr. Ruhe was recognized by colleagues as a congenial and reliable collaborator, friend, and mentor. “Everyone knew Guenther for his calm demeanour, his professionalism, his kindness, and his sense of humour,” says Dr. Mike Jacobson Jr., Dr. rer. nat., co-head of the Department of Computer Science where Dr. Ruhe was based. “In the course of his time at UCalgary, he not only taught thousands of undergraduate students, but also mentored and inspired dozens of graduate students and junior faculty members.”

“Dr. Ruhe was a tireless supporter of the field of software engineering, and was instrumental to the growth and success of software engineering as a distinct degree program within the Schulich School of Engineering,” says Dr. Andy Knight, PhD, head of the Department of Electrical and Software Engineering. “His collegiality and friendship will be sorely missed."

Dr. Ruhe is survived by his widow Kornelia, his mother Erika, his daughters Melanie and Stella, and four grandchildren. Visiting from Germany, one of his grandchildren had the honour of touring his space at the UCalgary campus and proudly wears a UCalgary hoodie.

Dr. Ruhe maintained a lively faculty web page with his and his students’ latest research, presentations, and events. A sample of his many research publications can be read here. He had hoped to spend more time with his family after many years devoted to teaching and research. His family appreciates messages of condolences from his colleagues around the world, which can be posted here.

A memorial event for Dr. Ruhe will be held at the Faculty of Science office on the fifth floor of the Biological Sciences building on June 8, 2023, at 3 p.m., and the flag on Swann Mall will be lowered to half-mast on this day. His colleagues and students are invited to attend this celebration of his life and work.

Sign up for UToday

Sign up for UToday

Delivered to your inbox — a daily roundup of news and events from across the University of Calgary's 14 faculties and dozens of units

Thank you for your submission.