Bernhard Niemann is the new Director of the Communication Systems division at Fraunhofer IIS

At the beginning of 2024, Bernhard Niemann took over from his predecessor Michael Schlicht as Director of the Communication Systems division at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS. Niemann has been working at Fraunhofer IIS for more than 20 years. He moved from the position of Head of the Broadband and Broadcast department to the role of division director.

© Fraunhofer IIS/Paul Pulkert
Bernhard Niemann is the new Director of the Communication Systems division at Fraunhofer IIS.

Bernhard Niemann studied physics in Erlangen and Heidelberg and began his professional career as a developer in IC design. This path led him to Fraunhofer IIS in 2000. Since 2014, he has headed the Broadband and Broadcast department in the Communication Systems division. In this role, he firmly established the topic of mobile communications at the Institute and positioned Fraunhofer IIS as a recognized player in the development of the 5G standard.

“Bernhard Niemann has contributed greatly to the success of Fraunhofer IIS in 5G development. As the new division director, he will continue to play a decisive role in raising the profile of Communication Systems within the research environment,” emphasizes Institute Director Prof. Albert Heuberger.

Accelerated transition from research to application through standardization

“In the Communication Systems division, we make it possible for people and systems to communicate around the world. What drives me is the combination of research and application,” Niemann says. He believes it is important that research results offer practical benefits and open up new opportunities: “Global standards are an important building block for making the latest research findings accessible to all companies and ensuring the compatibility of communication technologies. With our experience in standardization, we’re able to carry out simulations and implement prototypes at an early stage. These allow users to experience the concrete benefits of the technology, and they later form the basis for our customers’ products.”

Rethinking transmission routes

The new Director of Communication Systems is responsible for the development of transmission technologies, in particular for vehicle, industrial, and satellite communications as well as for the Internet of Things. The requirements here are growing immensely: communication systems must become increasingly reliable, handle more data throughput, and be available everywhere. It’s not just about designing solutions that get data from A to B, but also about making communication channels more intelligent. This is because the right information must be immediately available, at all times and wherever it is needed. To this end, one field in which the division is conducting research is artificial intelligence to process information directly on local devices (edge AI), as well as flexible communication networks in which the integration of satellites opens up new transmission routes.