Obituary for Prof. Echle

  Copyright: © B. Echle

The Division of Geosciences and Geography mourns the death of Univ.- Prof. Dr. Wolfram Echle.

born on 04.10.1933 in Karlsruhe, Germany
died on 17.01.2023 in Aachen, Germany

Wolfram Echle studied, researched and received his doctorate at the University of Göttingen. As one of the last students of Prof. Carl Wilhelm Correns, the foundation for his enthusiasm for clay mineralogy was laid here.

An excursion to the clay pits near Killik in Turkey during an excursion of the Institute of Mineralogy and Deposit Science in the fall of 1964 not only established the first contact with the RWTH Aachen, but also formed the basis for his later habilitation. From the mineralogical processing of the material collected in the process, the desire arose to extend the investigations to the entire southern part of the Young Tertiary sedimentary basin between the Mihaliccik Mountains and the Sariyar reservoir. Especially since it turned out that there was practically no information about the nature, composition, genesis and diagenesis of these Neogene rock series, and only sparse information about the geology and detailed stratigraphy. During two field visits of several months each in autumn 1968 and spring 1969, geological field work was carried out and a large number of samples were taken, which Wolfram Echle examined mineralogically and petrographically with colleagues from Aachen at the Institute of Mineralogy and Deposit Science of the RWTH Aachen.

Wolfram Echle habilitated at the RWTH Aachen in 1972 and became Privatdozent at the Chair of Mineralogy and Deposit Science on May 31, 1972. He received the Venia Legendi for the subject "Mineralogy and Sedimentary Petrography" on the basis of his work on the genesis and composition of sedimentary analcimes of the young Tertiary sediments (in particular the tuffs and tuffites) in the Neogene basin north of Mihaliççik (western Anatolia, Turkey).
On 20.7.1973 he finally moved to Aachen and became lecturer at the Chair of Mineralogy and Deposit Science. On 1.10.1982 he was appointed professor and on 1.1.1987 university professor at the RWTH Aachen. He was professor at the Chair of Mineralogy and Deposit Science until his retirement. Wolfram Echle was the doctoral supervisor of Dr. Dipl. Min. Mustafa Çevrim, Dr. Dipl. Min. Adamantia Gorantonaki and Dr. Dipl. Min. Reiner Dohrmann (BGR) and co-supervised numerous doctoral students at the chair.

Mr. Echle was a scientist by conviction and gladly and dedicatedly passed on his great expertise to the students. His special interest was clay mineralogy. Thus, he was responsible for the sediment laboratory of the institute for a long time. However, he was also very involved in teaching at the chair and, together with Professor Siemes, wrote a guide to mineral determination, which was used for several decades in the exercises on mineral determination. He was active in national engineering geology committees at the time of the scarcity of landfill space and helped develop the GDA recommendations.

With his passing, RWTH has lost a highly respected colleague, successful scientist, and beloved teacher. Our deepest sympathy goes to his family. We will always honor Mr. Echle's memory.