Wolfgang H. Gerstacker was born in Nürnberg, Germany, in 1966. He received the Dipl.-Ing. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany, in 1991, the Dr.-Ing. degree for a thesis on equalization concepts for fast digital transmission over twisted pair lines in 1998, and the habilitation degree for work on digital transmission concepts for the EDGE mobile communications system in 2004 from the same university.

From 1992 to 1998, he was a Research Assistant at the Telecommunications Institute of the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg. From 1998 to 2002, he was a Consultant for mobile communications and an external lecturer in digital communications at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg. From 1999 to 2000, he was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow for a six-month period at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, doing joint work with Prof. Desmond P. Taylor (sponsored by a fellowship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)). Since 2002, he has been with the Chair of Mobile Communications (now renamed to Institute for Digital Communications) of the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, currently as a Professor. From 2003 to 2008, he has been an external Guest Lecturer at the University of Kiel.

His research interests are in the broad area of digital communications and statistical signal processing and include detection, equalization, parameter estimation, MIMO systems and space-time processing, interference management and suppression, resource allocation, relaying, cognitive radio, THz communications, magnetic induction based transmission, and sensor networks. He has conducted various projects with partners from industry including Alcatel-Lucent, Philips Semiconductors, Huawei, Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (IIS), Hydrometer, Innovationszentrum für Telekommunikationstechnik (IZT), ST-Ericsson, and Com-Research. 

He is a recipient of a number of awards including the Research Award of the German Society for Information Technology (ITG) (2001), the EEEfCOM Innovation Award (2003), the Vodafone Innovation Award (2004), a Best Paper Award of EURASIP Signal Processing (2006), and the "Mobile Satellite & Positioning" Track Paper Award of VTC2011-Spring. He is a Senior Member of IEEE.

He is an Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications and Elsevier Physical Communication (PHYCOM), and has served as a Guest Editor for several IEEE and Elsevier journals. He has been a Member of the Editorial Board of EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking from 2004 to 2012. He has served as a Member of the Technical Program Committee of various conferences including International Conference on Communications (ICC), Global Communications Conference (Globecom), European Signal Processing Conference (EUSIPCO), Personal, Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications Symposium (PIMRC), and Wireless Communications & Networking Conference (WCNC), and has organized several Special Sessions at conferences. He has been a Technical Program Co-Chair of the IEEE International Black Sea Conference on Communications and Networking (BlackSeaCom) 2014, a Co-Chair of the Cooperative Communications, Distributed MIMO and Relaying Track of VTC2013-Fall, a General Chair of the ACM International Conference on Nanoscale Computing and Communication (NanoCom) 2016, and a Tutorials Chair of the BlackSeaCom 2017.