Prof. Dr.-Ing. Bernhard Grill

Director with focus on Audio and Media Technologies of Fraunhofer IIS

© Fraunhofer IIS/Karoline Glasow

Dr. Bernhard Grill studied electrical engineering at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität (FAU) in Erlangen, near Nuremberg, Germany. From 1987 to 1995, he was involved in the development and implementation of audio coding techniques at Fraunhofer IIS. Together with Jürgen Herre and Ernst Eberlein, he was awarded the Joseph von Fraunhofer Prize in 1992 for his contributions to mp3 technology. In 2001, he took over the management of the Audio department at Fraunhofer IIS. That same year he received the German Future Prize jointly with Karlheinz Brandenburg and Harald Popp for their role as inventors of the mp3 process. Today, Dr. Grill is a Director of Fraunhofer IIS with a focus on audio and media technologies; he also heads the division of the same name. He is responsible for ensuring the successful refinement and commercial implementation of the audio coding processes and related technologies developed at Fraunhofer IIS.

Academic and career highlights

since 2016 Director of Fraunhofer IIS with focus on audio and media technologies
since 2013 Head of Audio and Media Technologies division
since 2011 Deputy director of Fraunhofer IIS
since 2008 Launch, development and management of the International Audio Laboratories Erlangen
2001-2013 Head of the Audio department
2001 Doctorate in electrical engineering from Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
1999-2000 Head of the Audio Research Group
1995-1998 Research fellow at the Institute for Electronics Engineering at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
1987-1995 Developed and implemented audio coding methods (e.g., mp3 and AAC) at Fraunhofer IIS
1981-1987 Studied electrical engineering at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

Focus areas

Research and development of methods for audio coding and audio signal processing


He has been instrumental in the development of four generations of audio coding processes, work he commenced in 1989. Since then, Fraunhofer IIS has enjoyed worldwide technological leadership in this field.

1st generation: mp3
2nd generation: AAC
3rd generation: High-Efficiency AAC
4th generation: USAC – Unified Speech and Audio Coding, EVS, MPEG-H

Responsible for establishing and implementing research alliances with various industrial partners in Europe, Asia and the US.

Initiating and collaborating on audio signal processing methods for the reproduction of immersive sound via headphones, 3D soundbars or 3D sound for automotive infotainment.

Initiating and promoting the use of AI technologies in audio coding and signal processing.


Standardization of audio coding methods


Actively participated in:

-the standardization of ISO-MPEG standards, such as mp3, AAC and USAC

-the integration of audio coding methods into application standards, such as ATSC 3.0

-the integration of audio coding methods into 3GPP mobile communication standards, such as AAC

-the standardization of the 3GPP communication codecs EVS and IVAS


Utilization of methods for audio coding and audio signal processing


Key player in the incorporation of development patents into patent licensing programs, such as the Thomson mp3 licensing program, AAC from VIA Licensing Alliance, or EVS from MPEG LA.

Successful market launch of Fraunhofer IIS audio technologies, such as

mp3 for professional applications

First mp3 software encoder, distributed as shareware—made mp3 known worldwide

All consumer electronics today contain the first three generations, and development of
the fourth-generation codecs shows great promise:
        - EVS already integrated into most of today’s smartphones
        - USAC natively integrated into Android
        - MPEG-H on air in Korea and in application standards such as ATSC, DVB or 3GPP

Various technologies for audio signal processing in production vehicles, e.g. Audi, Mercedes and VW

Key milestones

2015 Technology Award from the Eduard Rhein Foundation
2000 German Future Prize from the Federal President
Audio Engineering Society (AES) Fellowship Award
1999 Certificate from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
1992 Joseph von Fraunhofer Prize from the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft


Fellow of the Audio Engineering Society

German Institute for Standardization (DIN), Working Group NI29

ISO Working Group ISO/IEC JTC1 SC29 WG11

ETSI / 3GPP Working Group SA-4

Deutsche TV-Plattform

IEEE Broadcast Technology Society (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)


Bernhard Grill

Contact Press / Media

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Bernhard Grill


Fraunhofer IIS
Am Wolfsmantel 33
91058 Erlangen, Germany

Phone +49 9131 776-6000

Mandy Garcia

Contact Press / Media

Mandy Garcia

Advisor to the director, Head of Marketing Communications Audio and Media Technologies

Fraunhofer IIS
Am Wolfsmantel 33
91058 Erlangen, Germany

Phone +49 9131 776-6178

Florian Schuh

Contact Press / Media

Florian Schuh

Advisor to the director, Chief Engineer

Fraunhofer IIS
Am Wolfsmantel 33
91058 Erlangen, Germany

Phone +49 9131 776-6028

Jocelyne Greiwe

Contact Press / Media

Jocelyne Greiwe

Assistant to the director

Fraunhofer IIS
Am Wolfsmantel 33
91058 Erlangen, Germany

Phone +49 9131 776-6001