University Donor Hanns W. Weidinger

“The university has shaped my entire life”

Studying at TUM was the building block of his success as an entrepreneur. Here, Hanns W. Weidinger also met his future wife. As a founding donor of the TUM University Foundation he is now supporting projects in electrical engineering.

Hanns W. Weidinger’s father already studied at TUM and did his doctorate on aerodynamic measurements, which were for the first time taken from airplanes during flight. He remained friends up until late in his life with the famous aircraft engineer Willy Messerschmidt, who was an assistant at the same time. Accordingly it was not surprising that his son Hanns W. Weidinger enrolled for Electrical Engineering at the Technische Hochschule München in 1957.

An Excellent Education

“Actually the university has shaped my entire life”, Hanns W. Weidinger remembers today. He actively participated in university life even beyond his studies. He used to be the lighting technician at the university puppet theatre ‘Spieldose (music box)’ at that time, and built a new control panel. He met his wife Barbara at TUM – and proposed to her in lecture hall 1100. In addition Hanns W. Weidinger says: “I received an excellent education at TUM; a crucial foundation for successfully pursuing my career.”

After his diploma thesis with professor Hans Prinz and his first work experience at Bosch in Stuttgart the young engineer joined his father’s company, a trade agency for electrical engineering in Munich. As its managing director, he transformed the company into Weidinger GmbH, which, under his leadership, became the most important German provider in the brazing technology industry. International expansion was never on the agenda: “I always believed the German market to be sufficient in order to be adequately busy.” In 2006 he sold the business. “I worked hard up until the age of 69, then I said to myself ‘that’s enough’, and was finally able to decide freely what I do.”

TUM Alumni Hanns W. Weidinger and his niece Katrin Lehr.

Hanns W. Weidinger with his niece Katrin Lehr at the Münchner Residenz during the great festive event of TUM to celebrate the 150-year anniversary (Photo: Astrid Eckert/TUM).

Since then Hanns Weidinger is active as a patron: “My wife Barbara and I had very similar ideas and had a really good marriage for 44 years until she died. Unfortunately we don’t have children of our own”, Hanns W. Weidinger tells us. That is why the couple thought about what to do with their assets. In memory of his deceased wife he created the Music Foundation Barbara Weidinger in 2009, which supports now very succesful the prevention of violence through music in children and teenagers.

Appointed Honorary Senator

In the following year the alumni set up the Hanns W. Weidinger-Fonds, which supports projects in electrical engineering, and thus became a founding donor of TUM University Foundation. While I am alive, I have a say in what is being supported, later on how the resources are being used is of course open.” The entrepreneur is convinced that, like this, his legacy creates ‘optimal benefit’. “I can trust that whatever is left will be used in a meaningful way.” In response to his commitment TUM president Wolfgang A. Herrmann has appointed Hanns W. Weidinger Honorary Senator in 2012.