Prof. Dr.-Ing. Johann-Dietrich Wörner
As of 1 March 2007, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) has had a new chairman in the person of Dr Johann-Dietrich Wörner. In his acceptance speech, Wörner said, “This new position presents a particular honour and a demanding challenge, both of which I readily accept. In studying air and space travel, transportation, and energy, we explore the very zenith of science. Here we have the opportunity to proactively shape the future; today we are already creating the jobs of tomorrow, so that we will be able to compete internationally,” Wörner went on to explain.
“As an engineer, I would like to infuse the great research institution that is the DLR with fresh energy and represent its mission as Germany’s space agency on an international scale.”
Wörner, who was president of the Technical University of Darmstadt for nearly 12 years, was elected to this position by the governing board of DLR on 22 November 2006. He succeeds Dr Sigmar Wittig, who led DLR for five years and has retired.
Born in 1954, Wörner became Professor for Heavy Construction at the Technical University of Darmstadt in 1990 and leader of the Examination and Testing Centre. Since 1995 he has also been the Professor for Statistics and Dynamics. Since 2002 he has been a member of the governing board of DLR. Originally from Kassel, Wörner is married and has three children.
The tenure of previous DLR Chairman Wittig concluded after five years on 28 February 2007. Wittig continues to hold his position as Chair of the Advisory Panel for the European Space Agency (ESA). He will also continue to dedicate his time to his duties as the Ordinarius for Thermal Electrical Generation at the University of Karlsruhe (Technical College), where he was Rector until he assumed his post at DLR.
On the appointment of his successor, Professor Wittig commented: "As a member of the college council for the Technical University of Darmstadt, I have known Professor Wörner for many years, and I am extraordinarily pleased with his appointment. In Professor Wörner, the governing board of DLR has found someone who knows the business profoundly well. On behalf on all my colleagues at DLR, I wish him great success and much happiness, which is also necessary element in science and research."