Dr. Thomas Esch appointed honorary professor

Appreciation for high, long-standing commitment in teaching, for the students and the university

With a ceremonial act, Dr. Thomas Esch was appointed honorary professor of the Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences on January 18, 2023.

Thomas Esch has been teaching radar remote sensing in the English-language master's program "Photogrammetry and Geoinformatics" since 2010. His teaching in the field of "Optical Satellite Imagery and Radar Data" is of high scientific and economic importance, especially for the international students in the master program "Photogrammetry and Geoinformatics". Thus, his radar lecture "Earth Observation with Synthetic Aperture Radar" is consistently rated outstanding by the students in evaluations.

In addition to his teaching duties, Thomas Esch supervises numerous master's theses on satellite-based remote sensing, thus passing on his recognized expertise to students. With his expertise, Esch covers an important subject area at HFT Stuttgart that is becoming increasingly important in understanding complex processes, and not only in this field. Also for combating climate change, knowledge and experience of how to use AI-based evaluation methods to derive environmentally relevant information and process it for various issues is highly relevant and pays into HFT Stuttgart's profile - climate-competent - resilient - networked.


Dr. Thomas Esch studied "Applied Physical Geography" at the University of Trier and subsequently completed a study abroad program in Geoscience at the University of Utrecht. Afterwards he worked as a research assistant at the Julius-Maximilians-University of Würzburg. The topic of his dissertation prepared there is "Use of geometrically high-resolution radar data for the collection of settlement-structural information - potentials and limitations". The focus of his doctorate - radar data and the built environment - has shaped Esch's academic career to this day. After receiving his doctorate, Thomas Esch worked for two years as a research assistant at the Julius-Maximilians-University of Würzburg. During this time, he established the research focus "Urban Spaces". Since October 2008, Esch has headed the "Smart Cities and Spatial Development" working group at the Earth Observation Center (EOC), a network of institutes at the German Aerospace Center (DLR), based in Oberpfaffenhofen. His team's work focuses on the use of Earth observation techniques to support sustainable urban development. In doing so, Esch and his research group work on many topics relevant in the field of research and development, such as global monitoring of the built environment, automated information retrieval (machine learning) from extensive and heterogeneous data sets (Big Earth Data), and distributed computing in computer clusters (High Performance Processing and Data Analytics).

Dr. Thomas Esch's immense practical experience in addressing issues on the technical and scientific front of remote sensing data processing inspires colleagues and students alike.

Prof. Dr. Michael Hahn, HFT Stuttgart

Thomas Esch is an internationally recognized expert in remote sensing and geoinformatics, who has distinguished himself in particular through his involvement in the European Space Agency's (ESA) "COPERNICUS" Earth observation program. More than 40 journal articles and 200 conference papers in scientific journals as well as numerous book contributions testify to this. He has been involved in over 40 national and international research and development projects in various capacities and has made a name for himself in the scientific community at technical symposia.

The appointment of Thomas Esch as honorary professor recognizes his achievements in teaching and his commitment to the Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences, in particular to the students.

Publish date: 19. January 2023 By Michaela Leipersberger-Linder ()