In April 2010, Gerhard Stoll passed away in Munich, Germany.
Many of us at the EBU had the privilege of working with Gerhard for more than 20 years. We worked together in many audio EBU working groups, which Gerhard often chaired. His technical and leadership contributions were enormous. His presentations were superb – witty, thought provoking, and clear. He was a superb engineer and communicator.
We all admired and appreciated Gerhard’s relentless enthusiasm, high professionalism and exceptional efficiency. He was renowned as an audio evangelist. As a person, he showed great warmth, friendship and hospitality. Working with him, we felt like a family of good friends. When coordinating EBU meetings, he was able to radiate positive energy and induce creativity among the members, smoothly overcoming difficult, sometimes apparently insuperable, problems.
Gerhard studied communications engineering with focus on IT and cybernetics at the universities of Stuttgart and Munich. In 1984, he joined the IRT, the R and D laboratory for the German speaking broadcasters in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria – and in a sense joined the ‘EBU family’. He took on the development of the MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 Audio standards with incredible enthusiasm – something which was the hallmark of his whole career.
If there was a world or European standards body with an angle on audio, Gerhard was probably part of it: MPEG, DAB, DVB, ITU-R and EBU. Gerhard was there always arguing for high quality and high standards.
For his contributions in audio coding, he received the Prof. Cremer Award from the German Acoustical Society, the Fellowship Award of the Audio Engineering Society (AES), and, in October 2000, the Emmy-Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in the United Sates.
He was technical co-ordinator of a number of highly innovative European IST-projects dealing with Rich Media Interactive TV, such as SAMBITS, SAVANT, GMF4iTV and PorTiVity.
We have lost a very special audio expert, engineer and person. We will miss him.
Friends and colleagues at EBU TECHNICAL.