Sensor physics Senior Expert at EADS Innovation Works, Dr. Gerhard Müller was inducted into the EADS Hall of Fame as the 2011 Great Inventor for his more than 20 high-quality patented inventions.
Müller’s career of over 30 years is rich in notable inventions.
Müller’s innovations include a miniaturised optical sensor system for measuring hydraulic fluid quality, now a key component for a new Airbus maintenance concept, and a handheld aspirator device for tracing explosive particle residue for security applications.
Great Inventor 2011: Gerhard Müller
Inventions inspired by nature
By using principals of animal olfaction Gerard also invented another device and method for identifying trace gas samples. “One night I looked at my dog and realised his nose was cold and wet. In order to get semiconductors in sensors to give you fast results, you need to heat them to several hundred degrees centigrade, removing all humidity. But by gift of nature, my dog can pick up a scent very quickly, with an absolutely ‘cold sensor’: his nose. That is striking, and it made me start thinking,” explains Müller.
After being inspired by his dog Wasti, Gerhard Müller was able to develop the device and solve issues concerning sensitivity, selectivity, stability and speed of response. “I tried to find a bridge between nature and technology. This was the basis of my patents.”
Passing on the knowledge
Although Gerhard Müller will be retiring soon, the seeds that he has sown in his team are sprouting: Alois Friedberger, his soon-to-be successor was also nominated as a Great Inventor. “He was one of the 20 PhD students I trained. I’ve always valued the energy of young people, retaining the spirit of innovation in our team,” says Gerard Müller.
Did you know…?
About 70 individuals and teams were selected as Hall of Fame finalists from all EADS Divisions and operations.