European Space Agency (ESA) • Former Director General
Johann-Dietrich ‘Jan’ Wörner was ESA Director General from 1 July 2015 till 28 February 2021 .
Previously, from March 2007 to June 2015, he served as Chairman of the Executive Board of the German Aerospace Center (DLR).
Jan Wörner was born in Kassel, Germany, in 1954. He studied civil engineering at the Technical University (TU) Berlin and TU Darmstadt, from where he graduated in 1985. In 1982, as part of his studies, he spent one year in Japan, investigating earthquake safety of nuclear power plants. Until 1990, Mr Wörner worked for consulting civil engineers König und Heunisch.
In 1990 he returned to TU Darmstadt, where he was appointed as a professor of Civil Engineering and took over as Head of the Test and Research Institute. Before being elected as President of TU Darmstadt in 1995, he held the position of Dean of the newly established Civil Engineering Faculty. Jan Wörner headed the university from 1995 to 2007 and succeeded in making it the first autonomous university of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Jan Wörner has been awarded numerous prizes and positions, such as the Prize of the Organisation of Friends of Technical University Darmstadt for ‘outstanding scientific performance’. He was also appointed to the Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and to the Convention for Technical Sciences (acatech) and is a representative of the Technical Sciences Section of the Leopoldina, the national academy of sciences of Germany.
Jan Wörner has received honorary doctorates from New York State University at Buffalo (USA), technical universities of Bucharest (Romania) and Mongolia, the Saint Petersburg University for Economics and Finance (Russia) and École Centrale de Lyon (France). He has received the Federal Cross of Merit (Officer's cross, 1st class) of the Federal Republic of Germany for his continuous efforts regarding the next generation of scientists and Germany as a location for Science, Technology and Engineering. He has furthermore been awarded the honours of Knight of the French Légion d’Honneur.
Jan Wörner was Vice President of the Helmholtz Association and also a member of various national and international supervisory bodies, advisory councils and committees. He was a member of the administrative boards of École Centrale Paris, École Centrale de Lyon, TU Berlin, the Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon, the Arts and Music University in Frankfurt and has been a member of a number of supervisory boards including Carl Schenck AG, Röhm GmbH, TÜV Rheinland AG and Bilfinger SE.
Furthermore, he was appointed to the energy expert group of the German Government.
Before joining ESA as Director General, Jan Wörner was head of the German delegation to ESA from 2007 to 2015 and served as Chairman of the ESA Council from 2012 to 2014.
International Astronautical Congress 2020
12-14 October 2020
International Astronautical Congress 2019
21-25 October 2019
Washington, United States
- Plenary events: Plenary 1: Heads of Space Agencies: Challenges and Opportunities in a Changing Space Environment
- Plenary events: Plenary 2 : Host Plenary: Evolving Apollo: The Next 50 Years in Human Spaceflight
- Wednesday 23 October 2019: IAF GNF Diversity Stream: Space Supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030 Agenda
International Astronautical Congress 2018
1–5 October 2018
- Plenary events: Plenary 1: Heads of Agencies
- Plenary events: From Deep Impact to Gravity through Space Weather: Working Together to Protect From Space Hazards, Human-made or Natural
- Wednesday 3 October 2018: IAF GNF Public Stream: What Will Shape the Future of European Launchers?
- Wednesday 3 October 2018: IAF GNF Public Stream: In-Flight Call with Alexander Gerst
- Wednesday 3 October 2018: IAF GNF Development Stream: ESA’s Jam Session on Space Safety
International Astronautical Congress 2017
25-29 September 2017
- Plenary events: PLENARY 1 – HEADS OF AGENCIES
- Plenary events: HEADS OF AGENCIES PRESS CONFERENCE
- Plenary events: MoonMars Villages for Science, Technology, Innovation, Cooperation, Security and Inspiration
- Tuesday 26 September 2017: Space 4.0 – Building Space Entrepreneurship Ecosystems
- Wednesday 27 September 2017: The Role of Space Agencies in Support of Emerging Countries
- Wednesday 27 September 2017: Deep space exploration post 2024 scenarios
- Thursday 28 September 2017: Promoting Space Access through Global Partnerships
- Thursday 28 September 2017: ESA’s Jam Session & Moon Village Kick-off
The Global Space Exploration Conference 2017
6-8 June 2017
International Astronautical Congress 2016
26-30 September 2016
- Plenary events: PLENARY 1: Heads of Agencies
- Plenary events: PLENARY 3: Space and Climate: How Space Agencies Will Contribute to the Implementation and Follow-up of the Paris Agreement during COP 21
- Monday 26 September 2016: HEADS OF AGENCIES PRESS CONFERENCE
- Tuesday 27 September 2016 – Industry Day: HOW EUROPE IS PAVING THE FUTURE WITH ARIANE 6 AND VEGA C
- Wednesday 28 September 2016: MAKING THE MOON VILLAGE AND MARS JOURNEY ACCESSIBLE AND AFFORDABLE FOR ALL
International Astronautical Congress 2015
12-16 October 2015
- Plenary events: PLENARY 1: Heads of Agency
- Plenary events: PLENARY 2: Remote Superspectral and HyperSpectral Sensing From Space
- Plenary events: PLENARY 3: Space Transportation Capabilities and Future Directions to enable Commercial, Scientific, and Human expansion into space
- Plenary events: PLENARY 4: Next Generation Plenary: International Space Station as the Gateway for Humankind’s Future in Space and on Earth
- Plenary events: PLENARY 5: Small Satellites – Big opportunities in the new age
- Plenary events: PLENARY 7: The Moon – a continent and a gateway for our future
- Monday 12 October 2015: HEADS OF AGENCY PRESS CONFERENCE
- Tuesday 13 October 2015: ESA DIRECTOR GENERAL JAN WOERNER MEETS THE PRESS
- Tuesday 13 October 2015: VEGA SMALL LAUNCHER: THE BEST WORKHORSE ANSWER TO YOUR LEO NEEDS
- Thursday 15 October 2015: MEMORIAL EVENT FOR ANDREA BOESE