Attended, Berlin Institute of Technology. Doctor of Philosophy, Technology University Darmstadt, Germany, 1985. Doctor (honorary), State University of New York, 1998.
Doctor (honorary), Technology University Moldavia, 1999. Doctor (honorary), Technology University Bucharest, 2000. Doctor (honorary), St. Petersburg University Economics and Finance, Russia, 2000.
Doctor (honorary), École Centrale de Lyon, France, 2003. Doctor (honorary), Technology University Mongolia, 2005.
Member engineering staff König & Heunisch, Frankfurt, Germany, 1979—1990. Professor concrete structures, head Testing & Research Institute of Technology University Darmstadt, 1990—1995, dean civil engineering faculty, 1992—1994, technical director Institute Structural Glass Gelsenkirchen, Germany, 1993—1995, professor structural analysis, president Technology University Darmstadt, 1995—2007. Chairman executive board German Aerospace Center (Deutsche Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt), since 2007.
Board directors German-Sino-University College, Tongji University, Shanghai, since 2002, Center Higher Education (CHE), Germany, since 2004. Vice president German Rectors' Conference (HRK), 2002, Conference European Schools of Advanced Engineering, Education & Research (CESAER), 2002, president, 04. Co-founder European Center Aviation Development, Darmstadt, 2005.
Vice president Helmholtz Association German Research Centres, since 2007. Vice-chairman European Space Agency Council, since 2007. Member Berlin Technology & Innovation Council, since 2008.
Member of German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences.