"Challenges are there to be mastered," Rolf Densing said, grinning. This might well be his life motto, both professionally and privately. Since 2009, the doctor of physics has been the Director of ESA Programmes at the DLR Space Administration, where he is responsible for Germany's involvement in the European Space Agency's research, technology, and infrastructure programmes.
For years, Christine Arlt manipulated the tiniest of particles – 'nanos'. Today, the 32-year-old researcher is Deputy Director of the Institute of Composite Structures and Adaptive Systems at the German Aerospace Center (DLR).
The department's name is lengthy, and what it does is hidden in numbers and tables. It's not exactly an inviting introduction to a scientist who works in the Systems Analysis and Technology Assessment Department at the DLR Institute of Technical Thermodynamics in Stuttgart.
As Janine Schneider walks through the materials testing facility, her eyes light up; it is clear that she is comfortable between the long rows of test equipment. She knew she wanted to work here the moment she entered the premises of the DLR Institute of Materials Research in Cologne for the first time, during a trip there as a student. In our DLR Portraits series, we present the materials researcher.
As a child, she preferred to watch the first launch of an Ariane rocket on 24 December 1979 instead of eating cookies by the Christmas tree. At 10, her wish was to become an astronaut.
The Arctic, Antarctic, Australian outback or Brazil: Wolfgang Jung spends several months a year in the most remote places on Earth to prepare and launch sounding rockets - also known as rocket probes - into space.
A traditional job. Varied and in touch with reality. Franz Kurz began looking for a job outside his parents' bed and breakfast in Berchtesgaden, southern Germany, and found what he was looking for. Today, at 38, he is a project manager at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) Remote Sensing Technology Institute (Institut für Methodik der Fernerkundung; IMF) in Oberpfaffenhofen and father to an 18-month-old son.
On 1 April 2011, Gerd Gruppe joined the DLR Executive Board as Director of Space Administration in Bonn. An interim report after three months in office offers an opportunity to reflect on priorities and weightlessness, deep-shaft and opencast mining, and on basic research and applications.
Barbara Lenz is the only woman to head one of the 32 research institutes and facilities of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). She is also the only female professor of Transport Geography in Germany, holding a special DLR professorship at the Humboldt University in Berlin. Since 1 January 2007, Barbara Lenz has been in charge of the DLR Institute of Transport Research in Adlershof, located to the south of Berlin.
While pilots at the controls of an F-4F Phantom II or Eurofighter conduct test flights at altitudes of several thousand metres, their 'client' stands on the ground below. As a flight test engineer at the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Ina Niewind ensures that aircraft will be able to operate even more safely in the future. She prepares flight tests, defines the test plans, reviews the responses of the aircraft and the reactions of the pilot, and afterwards, carefully evaluates the results.