Heiner Muller-Merbach

June 28, 1936 – May 30, 2015

Brief Biography

Muller-Merbach Fellow Portrait

Heiner Muller-Merbach was president of the International Federation of Operational Research Societies (IFORS) and long-time editor of the Association of German Industrial Engineers’ journal, T&M (Technology and Management). Born in Hamburg, Muller-Merbach studied industrial and mechanical engineering at Techische Hochshule Darmstadt. He did postdoctoral research at the Operations Research Center in Berkeley California and, in 1967, completed a research assistantship at the Institut fur Practische Mathematik (“Institute for Applied Mathematics”) in Germany.

In 1983, Muller-Merbach joined the faculty at the University of Kaiserlautern as a Professor of computer science and operations research. That year he also began serving as a managing board member of the Association of German Industrial Engineers (VWI), editing the organization’s journal for twelve years. Muller-Merbach published over four hundred articles and nearly a dozen books in his career. In the late 1980s and the 1990s, he was a member of the German government’s “Technologiebeirat” and advised the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate in technological affairs.

From 1974-1976, Muller-Merbach served as Vice President of IFORS prior to his election as president in 1983. He played an active role in the organization’s affairs and conferences, serving as Program Committee Chair for the 1972 International Conference in Dublin and attending as many gatherings a possible, the last being the South Africa Triennial in 2008. Muller-Merbach proposed the creation of the IFORS’ Operational Research Hall of Fame, which was established in 2003.

Muller-Merbach was an elected Fellow of the Institute for Operational Research and Management Sciences. He passed away in Darmstadt in May, 2015. 

Other Biographies

Wikipedia Entry (Deustche) for Heiner Muller-Merbach


Technische Hochshule Darmstadt, PhD 1960


Academic Affiliations

Key Interests in OR/MS

Application Areas


Haley B. (2015) Obituary: Professor Dr. Heiner Muller-Merbach. Inside O.R., July: 17. (link)

International Federation of Operational Research Societies. Obituary: Prof. Dr. Heiner Muller-Merbach. Published June 8, 2015. Accessed June 23, 2015. (link)

Awards and Honors

Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences Fellow 2006

Professional Service

International Federations of Operational Research Societies (IFORS), President 1983-1985, Vice President 1974-1976

Selected Publications

Muller-Merbach H. (1971) Operations Research: Methoden und Modelle der Optimalplanung. Vahlen: Munich.

Muller-Merbach H. (1974). Einführung in die Betriebswirtschaftslehre für Erstsemester und Abiturienten. Vahlen: Munich.

Muller-Merbach H. (1981) Die Konstruktion von Input-Output-Modellen. Planung und Rechnungswesen in der Betriebswirtschaftslehre, 19-113. Verlag: Berlin.

Muller-Merbach H. (1992) Vier Arten von systemansaetzen, dargestellt in lehrgespraechen. ZfB, 62, 853-87. 

Additional Resources

Muller-Merbach H. (2011) Analysis and synthesis - the two mental activities of design and problem solving. IFORS News, 5(3): 2-3. (link