The institute, founded in 1982 and first headed by physicist Prof. Dr. Hauke Trinks, was located in the former administration building of "F.Thörl’s Vereinigte Harburger Oelfabriken Aktiengesellschaft". In 1979 the build-up of the TUHH began here in the Harburger Schloßstraße 20 and as of 1980 the research work started.
It united under one roof the three research areas Electromagnetic Compatibility, Evironmental Measurement Technology and Optical Measurement Technology.
The measurement of quantities to characterize the electromagnetic compatibility of a system like electric fields, magnetic fields and characteristic quantities of transmission lines, as well as the development of suitable protective measures for the reduction or suppression of electromagnetic interference were the subject of numerous research projects of the EMC group at the Institute of Measurement Technology. The EMC laboratory was equipped with state-of-the-art measuring equipment. Of particular interest was the EMC wireless transmission systems in automobiles, ships and aircraft.
Environmental Measurement Technology was one of the research areas of the Institute of Measurement Technology. In a team of electrical and mechanical engineers, physicists, chemical engineers and chemists the research work was focussed on the development of new measurement techniques and methods in environmental monitoring. The technologies applied included mobile GC/MS, sensor arrays and FTIR.
Optical Measurement Technology was the youngest research area of the Institute of Measurement Technology. Using spectroscopic methods, an interdisciplinary team developed methods and systems for the detection of minute quantities of liquid and gaseous substances even over long distances.