January 23, 2018

Walther Pelzer appointed new Executive Board Member for the DLR Space Administration

  • Focus: Space

Walther Pelzer is the newly appointed Executive Board Member of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) and the new Head of the DLR Space Administration in Bonn, succeeding Gerd Gruppe.

The DLR Senate appointed Walther Pelzer as the new Executive Board Member for the DLR Space Administration at its Senate meeting on 30 November 2017 in Berlin. The Senate is DLR's supervisory body. Dr Pelzer was elected by the 33 Members of the Senate for a five-year term. The 50-year-old succeeds Gerd Gruppe on the DLR Executive Board, who retired on 31 December 2017.

Walther Pelzer was the permanent Deputy Head of 'Research and Technology' at the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Research in Dusseldorf and most recently worked at the Ministry for Economic Affairs of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). He studied Mechanical Engineering in Aachen, completed his PhD at the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology in Aachen and a part-time MBA in Switzerland and the United States. Following industrial roles in Germany, the US and Austria, Walther Pelzer joined the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Research in NRW in 2007.

Matthias Machnig, State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and Chair of the DLR Senate, congratulated Walther Pelzer and wished him the very best in his new role: "With Mr Pelzer, we have succeeded in finding someone to head the DLR Space Administration, whose vast experience in academia, the private sector and government alike will be extremely beneficial in this role. I wish Mr Pelzer every success."

"The involvement of private investors heralds a new era for aerospace. Having the opportunity to make a significant contribution during this time to consolidate and extend the position of German aerospace, is both a privilege and an enormous challenge to which I am really looking forward," says Walther Pelzer.

Headquartered in Bonn, the DLR Space Administration employs around 300 staff and has an annual budget of just under one billion euro. The DLR Space Administration has been assigned the task of the German national space agency. As such, it designs and implements the German space programme on behalf of the German Federal Government and integrates all German space activities at a national and European level. This includes the National Space and Innovation Programme, as well as Germany's contributions to the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT). In addition, the DLR Space Administration helps to devise the aerospace topics within the European Union's Horizon 2020 Programme.

The DLR Space Administration's principal client is the BMWi. However, it also works for other ministries, especially the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure and the German Federal Ministry of Defence, on certain programmes, such as parts of Earth observation, navigation (Galileo) and satellite communications.

Related Links


Elisabeth Mittelbach

Me­dia in­quiries Ger­man Space Agen­cy
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Ger­man Space Agen­cy at DLR
Königswinterer Str. 522-524, 53227 Bonn

Andreas Schütz

Head of Corporate Communications, DLR Spokesperson
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Corporate Communications
Linder Höhe, 51147 Cologne
Tel: +49 2203 601-2474