Bernd-Robert Höhn

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

Former professor of mechanism design
TUM School of Engineering and Design

born April 24, 1946


Bernd-Robert Höhn’s concentrated his work on mechanical propulsion technology with a special focus on gear trains and cogwheels. Throughout his career, he has continually sought to expand tried and tested core areas of mechanical propulsion through exhaustive, practical research, and particularly to develop a continuously variable transmission and mechatronic propulsion drivetrain, for example in the development of hybrid propulsion for cars. Within the German Research Foundation (DFG) Collaborative Research Center (SFB) 365, a car with hybrid propulsion designed to reduce fuel consumption was built and tested under his leadership. Bernd-Robert Höhn focused his work on discovering potential ways of saving energy and putting them holistically into practice by optimizing the effectiveness of the entire propulsion drivetrain – something that would not have been feasible when taking only the individual components such as gear trains or CI engines into consideration. Together with his team of often more than 50 scientists, he was very successfully able to attract third-party funding. Bernd-Robert Höhn arranged and hosted many academic conventions in the area of propulsion and has been an active member of the Association of German Engineers (VDI) for more than 30 years. He belongs to many technological/ academic societies and is a leader in international engineering standards. His ground-breaking work in the area of drivetrain technology has brought him both national and international recognition as a researcher and engineer.


Short biography

1965 – 1970 Study of mechanical engineering, Technical University Darmstadt
1978 Doctorate in mechanical engineering, Technical University Darmstadt
1979 – 1982 Propulsion design engineer, Audi AG
1982 – 1989 Head of Transmission Development Department, Audi AG;
from 1997 additionally head of the Automated Transmissions Trial
1989 – 2011 Professor of mechanism design, TUM


Memberships and honors

Head of the Departmen of Propulsion Technology of the Association of German Engineers, VDI-Society for Development, Design and Marketing (VDI-EKV) (1993-2003)

Head of the syndicate for cogwheel load-bearing capacity measurement (1996-2015)

Member of the National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech) (since 2006)

Member of the executive committee and chair of the academic advisory board of the VDI (2003-2009)

Member of the academic concil of the German Federation of Industrial Research Associations (AiF), Cologne

Member of the Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft für Produktentwicklung (WiGeP), Paderborn

Member of the American Gear Manufacturers Association (AGMA)

Member of the Scientific Council of the "Allianz Industrie Forschung (AIF)", Cologne (2005-2012)


Research projects

Deputy spokesperson of the German Research Foundation’s Review Board 402: Mechanics and Constructive Mechanical Engineering (2004-2007)

Coordinator of the German Research Foundation Priority Program (SPP) 1551: Resource efficient constructional elements (since 2011)

Head of working groups WG6 and WG15 for ISO/TC 60 (1996-2015)

Head of the German Institute for Standardization (DIN) working group “Zahnräder und Getriebe” (1996-2015)



  • Fritz Kesselring Honorary Meda lof the VDI (1999)
  • Badge of Honor of the VDI (2003)
  • Ernst-Blickle Award, SEW Eurodrive Foundation (2007)
  • Honorary membership of the VDI (2013)
  • Honorary doctorate of the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia (2021)

You can download "Explanations of honors and awards" here [PDF 215 KB] 


Key publications

Höhn BR, Michaelis K, Wimmer A: “Low loss gears”. Gear Technology. 2007; 6: 28-35.

Höhn BR: „Grundlagen für die Auslegung der Elektromaschine beim Autarken Hybrid“. Konstruktion. 1996; 48: 109-113.

Höhn BR, Pinnekamp B, Vollmer T: „Der Autarke Hybrid: Ein universelles Antriebskonzept für PKW“. Kolloquium des Sonderforschungsbereichs 365 an der Technischen Universität München. 1994; 7-22.

Höhn BR: „Räderkurbelgetriebe in einer mittelachsigen Rotationskolbenmaschine - ein Anwendungsbeispiel. Teil 1: Kinematik; Teil 2: Dynamik“. Konstruktion. 1981; 33(11-12).

Höhn BR: „Kraftstoffeinsparung durch Getriebe? Ein systematischer Vergleich verschiedener Bauarten“. VDI-Bericht. 1980; 374: 163ff.