Reinhard Rummel

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. h.c. mult.

TUM Department of Civil, Geo and Environmental Engineering
Former professor of astronomical and physical geodesy

born December 3, 1945

Scientific work

Reinhard Rummel is one of the world’s most influential scientists in physical geodesy and satellite gravimetry. He also works in the areas of geodesy, surveying, higher geodesy, astronomical geodesy, gravimetry and potential theory. He was one of the principal initiators of GOCE (Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer), the European Space Agency’s satellite mission that was launched at the Russian rocket launch pad Plesetsk on March 17, 2009 and which completed its mission on November 11, 2013. The goal of the GOCE mission was to collect data on the Earth’s gravitational field in unprecedented precision and detail for the purposes of geophysics, oceanography and geodesy. Reinhard Rummel also initiated the Global Geodetic Observing System (GGOS), which, in creating a network of international and interdisciplinary databases, aims to construct a consistent geodetic model of the Earth. In recognition of his achievements in higher geodesy and satellite gravimetry, he was awarded the Bavarian Order of Merit in 2008 and the Bavarian Maximilian Order in 2010.


Short biography

1966 - 1970 Study of surveying engineering, TUM
1970 - 1974 Academic assistant, doctorate, Technical University of Darmstadt
1974 -1976  Post-doctoral research residency, Ohio State University, USA
1976 - 1978 Academic assistant, German Geodesic Research Institute (DGFI), Munich
1978 - 1980  Academic assistant, Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Munich
1980 - 1993 Professor of higher geodesy, Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands
1993 - 2011  Professor of astronomical and higher geodesy, TUM


Memberships and honors

Member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Science (1989)

Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (1993)

Fellow of the International Association of Geodesy (1994)

Member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BAdW) (1997), chair of the commission for higher geodesy and glaciology

Honorary member, Hungarian Academy of Sciences (2001)

Member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina (2004)

Carl von Linde Senior Fellowship, TUM-IAS




  • Heiskanen Award, Ohio State University, USA (1977)
  • Vening Meinesz Medal, European Geophysical Society (1998)
  • Honorary doctorate from the University of Bonn (2005)
  • Honorary doctorate from the TU Graz, Austria (2005)
  • Prize for Good Teaching, State of Bavaria (2006)
  • Bavarian Order of Merit (2008) Bavarian Maximilian Order for Science and Art (2010)
  • Soldner Medal from the Bavarian State Ministry for Economic Affairs (2012)
  • Honorary doctorate from the Ohio State University, USA (2013)
  • Honory award from the German Association of Surveying (DVW) (2013)
  • Honorary doctorate from the Aristoteles-University, Thessaloniki, Greece (2014)
  • Gaußmedaille from the Scientific Society of Braunschweig (BWG) (2016)

You can download "Explanations of honors and awards" here [PDF]