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Winfried Oppelt (Figure 1) was one of the great pioneers of German control engineering. Before World War II, while working on flight control systems, he recognized the commonality between control systems from a range of application areas and also developed (independently of a number of others) what we now call the describing function approach to nonlinear systems. During the war, he was a member of an interdisciplinary committee, chaired by Hermann Schmidt , which reported on control system terminology and, independently of Norbert Wiener, considered elements of what became known as cybernetics. After the war, Oppelt became one of Germany?s leading control educators, publishing a hugely successful teaching text that ran into five editions and was translated into several languages. Major dates in his professional life are provided in ?Winfried Oppelt: Some Milestones in His Professional Life,? with more information given in ?.