Clemens Plank studied mechanical engineering with a focus on aerospace engineering and nuclear technology at the Technical Univeristy of Munich (TU Munich). He completed his dissertation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States, in which he investigated computer simulation of hydrogen deflagration. Plank has worked in the Department of Space Science at the DLR Space Administration in Bonn since 2016, and is the German project engineer for the airborne observatory SOFIA.
His fascination for astronomy and technology first emerged in kindergarten, making him practically predestined to embark on a career in aerospace engineering. SOFIA – the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy – brings together both areas. It is his dream job. Away from work, the Austrian national enjoys hiking or mountain biking through the hills. He is also a passionate traveller, exploring distant countries on the most beautiful planet, equipped only with a rucksack.