Karlheinz Brandenburg

Karlheinz Brandenburg ( born June 20, 1954 in Erlangen ) is a German electrical engineer and mathematician. Together with Gerhard Stoll (IRT, Germany ), Yves -François Dehery ( CCETT, France ), Leon van de Kerkhof (Philips, The Netherlands) and James Johnston (AT & T, USA ), he developed the widely used MP3 method for audio data compression. He is also known for his groundbreaking work in the field of audio coding, the performance measurement, the wave field synthesis, and psychoacoustics. Brandenburg has received numerous national and international research awards, awards and honors for his work. Since 2000 he is Professor of Electronic Media Technology at the Technical University of Ilmenau. He was instrumental in the founding of the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology, of which he is.


After his graduation in 1973 Brandenburg began his electrical engineering and mathematics studies at the Friedrich- Alexander -University Erlangen- Nuremberg, received his diploma in 1980 ( Electrical Engineering) and 1982 (mathematics). He then became a research assistant at the Department of Electronics and obtained his doctorate in 1989. In his dissertation he described techniques, which form the basis for many modern audio encoding and audio data compression methods. From 1989 to 1990 he was a postdoctoral member of technical staff at AT & T Bell Laboratories (USA). In Erlangen, he was active until 1993 as an academic council on time and thereafter until 1999 as a department head at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits. In 2000, Karlheinz Brandenburg moved to Ilmenau and was Chair Electronic Media Technology of the Institute for Media Technology at Ilmenau University of Technology. In May 2000, he was appointed Head of the Fraunhofer Working Group on Electronic Media Technology in Ilmenau IMPA. The former branch of the Institute convicted for Integrated Circuits Prof. Brandenburg January 1, 2004 in the independent Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT.

Karlheinz Brandenburg is a member of several international standardization committees, Fellow of IEEE and a Fellow of the Audio Engineering Society (AES ) and a full member of the Saxon Academy of Sciences in Leipzig. Currently Brandenburg holds more than 100 patents. He is the author of numerous scientific contributions. Together with Mark Kahrs ( Rutgers University), he published the -band "Applications of Digital Signal Processing to Audio and Acoustics ".

Brandenburg has been honored with numerous awards for his research. In 2000 he was awarded the German Future Prize together with his colleagues Harald Popp and Bernhard Grill. Since May 2004, the IEEE Masaru Ibuka Consumer Electronics Award complemented his series of awards for his scientific contributions to the field of digital audio coding. In December 2006 he received the Distinguished Service Cross was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.

In addition, the International Electrotechnical Commission ( IEC) has elected him as one of the 120 most important thinkers of electrical engineering all time and included it in the "Hall of Fame" of the most significant personalities of their craft. In March 2007, the Consumer Electronics Association ( CEA), praised Prof. Karlheinz Brandenburg, together with Professors Dieter Seitzer and Heinz Gerhäuser for the development and dissemination of the MP3 format and took them representative of the whole Fraunhofer team of developers in the "CE Hall of Fame "on.

In 2004, the Institute founded the Fraunhofer spin-off IOSONO GmbH Ilmenau, which specializes in three-dimensional sound and wave field synthesis and products for cinemas, recording studios and much more.

Brandenburg is a board member of the Association Suma eV, which is committed to the free access to knowledge and the search engine MetaGer operates.


  • From the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC ) listed in the "Hall of Fame" as one of the 123 persons, of which the most important contributions to the further development of this science were made in the history of electrical engineering.
  • December 18, 2006: Order of Merit of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany

Suzanne Vega as "Mother of the MP3"

The team led by Brandenburg made ​​the first practical tests with the a cappella version of the song Tom 's Diner by Suzanne Vega. Brandenburg overheard the song and felt the piece immediately as a suitable challenge for an audio data compression. Tom 's Diner, a song about a small restaurant in New York, so was the world's first song in MP3 format. Since then, Suzanne Vega is considered the " Mother of the MP3" ( " mother of mp3" ).


  • A contribution to the methods and quality assessment for high-quality music encoding. Dissertation at the University of Erlangen- Nuremberg in 1989.