Obituary - Dr Karl-Heinz Weck

IEC power systems expert passed away on 7 February 2016

By Dr Edelhard Kynast and Dr Volker Hinrichsen

Dr Edelhard Kynast, Chair IEC TC 28, and Dr Volker Hinrichsen, Chair TC 37, pay tribute to their colleague and friend.

Karl-Heinz Weck
Dr Karl-Heinz Weck

The IEC Family was deeply saddened by the recent passing of Dr Karl-Heinz Weck, Chair of IEC Technical Committee (TC) 28: Insulation co-ordination, from 1996 to 2014, and a member of several other IEC TCs. He was 77. 

Championing power systems

Nearly everybody in the power systems community has at some time or other heard about Dr Karl-Heinz Weck and many have personally been in touch with him during the last decades. 

And when using the current IEC International Standards on insulation coordination and surge arresters, we should all be aware that many of the topics addressed in the publications were worked out by him or with his support.

Weck started his career as assistant professor at Technische Universität Darmstadt after studying electrical engineering. From 1971 to 2008 he was with FGH, an independent German research institute dealing with power systems. As head of the test laboratories he was involved in the practical aspects of engineering issues around power transmission and distribution equipment. From 2008, he was active as consultant in various fields of power systems. 

Long-standing IEC expert

For most of his career, Weck was involved in national and international standardization. He was a leading expert in insulation coordination, overvoltage protection and surge arresters as well as adjacent fields and received several honours. 

Weck was Chair of IEC TC 28 from 1996 to 2014, and a member of various Working Groups (WGs) in several IEC committees, including:

In 2015, he received the IEC 1906 Award, which recognizes exceptional and recent achievement. 

CIGRE honours

In 1995 he received the CIGRE Technical Committee Award in acknowledgement of his outstanding contribution in the activities of Study Committee 33 on Insulation Coordination. 

Lasting contributions

During meetings it was always fascinating and a great experience to see Weck arguing with absolute engagement and extraordinary knowledge. Very often he’d say: "That´s not correct! You don´t understand this", followed by his detailed explanation of the subject concerned. Despite sometimes intensive discussions on technical details, it was always a great pleasure to be with him during coffee breaks afterwards. He never took controversial points of view personally. We are sure that all of us who met him would agree that we lost a great colleague, teacher, expert and friend whose contributions will remain useful well into the future.

Karl-Heinz Weck Dr Karl-Heinz Weck
Dr Weck at the 2014 Tokyo meeting of IEC TC 28 Dr Karl-Heinz Weck (2nd from left, front row) and his TC 28 colleagues during the IEC General Meeting 2014 in Tokyo, Japan