Jan Wörner is a German space and innovation expert and former Director-General of the European Space Agency. He currently serves as the President of Acatech, the German Academy of Science and Engineering. The period 2007 to 2015 saw him serve as the Chairman of the Executive Board of the German Aerospace Centre.
While studying civil engineering at the Technical Universities of Berlin and Darmstadt, he spent a year in Japan. While there, he investigated nuclear power plant safety in the advent of an earthquake. After completing his studies, he worked for König und Heunisch, a firm of consulting engineers.
In 1990, however, Jan Wörner returned to the Technical University of Darmstadt as a professor of Civil Engineering. He was also the Head of the university’s Test and Research Institute. Five years later saw he was elected President of the university and firmly established as Dean of the new Civil Engineering Faculty. His tenure, which ended in 2007, saw him succeed in making Darmstadt the first autonomous university in Germany.
His exemplary career has seen Jan Wörner receive numerous awards and accolades. One of these was the Prize of the Organisation of Friends of Technical University Darmstadt for outstanding scientific performance. He was also, during this period, made a representative of the Technical Sciences Section of Lepoldina. This is Germany’s academy of sciences. Furthermore, he was part of the Berlin Vandenburg Academy of Sciences and the Convention for Technical Sciences.
The recipient of the Federal Cross of Merit for his efforts regarding science and developing German into a location for science, technology, and engineering, Jan Wörner received honorary doctorates from several universities. These include New York State University in the USA, the technical universities of Mongolia and Bucharest, École Centrale de Lyon in France, and the Saint Petersburg University for Economics and Finance. He was also made Knight of the French Legion of Honour.
His career has also seen Jan Wörner assume the position of Vice President of the Helmholtz Association and serve as a member of various national and international bodies, councils, and committees. These include the University of Lisbon, the Arts and Music University in Frankfort, and the supervisory boards of Bilfinger and GmbH, to name but a few. He was also appointed a member of the German Government’s energy group.
Jan Wörner has years of service within the technology and engineering field with a particular focus on space. As a scientist and European, he is convinced that science, especially space travel, connects nations, crosses borders, and thus brings people from different cultures together
He tailors each keynote to match his audience’s needs. He lives in Germany and speaks German, French, Japanese, and English.
As a speaker, Jan Wörner talks on many subjects within the field of space and innovation.
'Jan was very well received. Very entertaining and very funny at times, in his own dry way… and a real privilege to have someone who is of such high esteem in German business join us. Having had 3 days in a conference talking work with a room full of engineers, it was the perfect escapism for our attendees. Really appreciated it – thanks for your support in getting him for us.' Nigel Murphy, Global Events Manager