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Sigmar Wittig

Former Chairman, German Aerospace Center Cologne, and Professor emeritus of the Institute for Thermal Turbomachinery, KIT, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany.


After earning his PhD in Mechanical Engineering in 1967 from the Technical University Aachen, Prof. Wittig taught at Purdue University, USA, and worked in industry. In 1976 he became Professor and Chair of the Institute for Thermal Turbomachinery at Karlsruhe University, now Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). His major research areas are in the fields of gas turbine, jet engine and power plant development. He served as Vice President of the German Research Foundation and was Rector / President of the University of Karlsruhe from 1994 through 2002. In 2002 he assumed the position of Chairman of the Board of the German Aerospace Center and Space Agency (DLR) until 2007. From July 2005 to June 2007, he served as the Chairman of the Council of the European Space Agency (ESA). In 2012 he became a Member of the Executive Committee of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.

Dr. Wittig was awarded with an Honorary Doctor Degree from Purdue in 2000 and received various national and international awards and prices, recently the Aircraft Engine Technology Award of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). He is a member of the Leopoldina, the German National Academy of Sciences and holds five honorary doctorates from German and international Universities. In 2003 he obtained the Federal Cross of Merit, 1st Class, of the Federal Republic of Germany, and in 2007 the Ordre National de la Légion d'Honneur of the French Republic. He also serves as a member of several international industrial and public boards of directors and trustees.