DLR Chairman Woerner to Become Next ESA Director General

Johann-Dietrich Wörner (Credit: DLR, CC-BY)
Johann-Dietrich Wörner (Credit: DLR, CC-BY)

PARIS (ESA/DLR PR) — Today, the Council of the European Space Agency announced the appointment of Johann-Dietrich Woerner as the next Director General of ESA, for a period of four years starting on 1 July 2015.

He will succeed Jean-Jacques Dordain, whose term of office ends on 30 June 2015.

Mr Woerner is currently Chairman of the Executive Board of DLR, the German Aerospace Center. Born in Kassel in 1954, Woerner has been Chairman of the Executive Board of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) since 1 March 2007.

He studied civil engineering at the Technische Universität Berlin and the Technische Hochschule Darmstadt, from where he graduated in 1985. In 1982, as part of his studies, he spent two years in Japan, investigating earthquake safety. Until 1990 Wörner worked for the consulting civil engineers König und Heunisch. In 1990 he returned to Darmstadt University, where he was appointed to a professorship in Civil Engineering and took over as Head of the Testing and Research Institute. Before being elected President of the Technische Universität Darmstadt in 1995, he held the position of Dean of the Civil Engineering Faculty.

Wörner has been honoured with a series of prizes and awards such as the Prize of the Organisation of Friends of the Technische Universität Darmstadt for ‘outstanding scientific performance’. He was also appointed to the Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and is a representative of the Technical Sciences Section of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. Wörner has received honorary doctorates from the State University New York (USA), the technical universities of Bucharest (Romania) and Mongolia, the Saint Petersburg University for Economics and Finance (Russia), and École Centrale Lyon (France). He has been honoured by the German state of Hesse and the French government.

Wörner is Vice President of the Helmholtz Association; he is also a member of various national and international supervisory bodies, advisory councils and committees. He was a member of the board of École Centrale Paris and École Centrale Lyon, the Convention for Technical Sciences (acatech) and the supervisory board of Röhm GmbH, to name just a few. Furthermore, he was appointed to the energy expert group of the German Government. He continues to be a member of the advisory boards of several universities such as the Technische Universität Berlin and the IST Lisboa.

About ESA

The European Space Agency (ESA) provides Europe’s gateway to space.

ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

ESA has 20 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, of whom 18 are Member States of the EU. Two other Member States of the EU, Hungary and Estonia, are likely soon to become new ESA Member States.

ESA has Cooperation Agreements with six other Member States of the EU. Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement.

ESA is also working with the EU on implementing the Galileo and Copernicus programmes.

By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.

ESA develops the launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global space activities.

Today, it develops and launches satellites for Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System and cooperates in the human exploration of space.

Learn more about ESA at www.esa.int

  • Matt

    Good news, I hope he can strengthen German influence in ESA and will support also better Ariane 6 designs (for example an all liquid, modular design as proposed by German industry).

  • Congratulations to Woerner. He has championed the liquid-fueled core version of the Ariane 6 which has won out as the accepted design.

    Bob Clark

  • Matt

    Thanks! I will try to say it to him in person. 🙂