Before Johann-Dietrich “Jan” Wörner became Director General of the European Space Agency in 2015, he already had a long and successful career in academia.
It began with his studies in Berlin and his doctorate in Darmstadt. He remained loyal to Darmstadt for many years before being appointed Chairman of the Board of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in 2007. Initially he begun in Darmstadt as a C3 Professor in 1990, then from 1992 to 1994 he has been dean of the civil engineering department, before he represented University of Darmstadt from 1995 to 2007 as President.
In addition, his abilities as a mediator are highly appreciated throughout different projects. For example, he was entrusted the conflict of interest related to the underground train staition Stuttgart 21, but also with expansion project at the International airport of Frankfurt that is well-known as one of the European hubs. His multifaceted commitment has received numerous awards, including the Grand Cross 1st class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, various honorary doctorates and a membership of the Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.