Friedrich Pfeiffer

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

Former professor of mechanics
TUM School of Engineering and Design

born February 22, 1935



Half of the focus of a sixteen-year career in the aerospace industry at Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm (MBB) was aerospace and guided missile technology, and that in various managerial positions. This was followed by scientific work as a professor for mechanics at the Technical University of Munich, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. The focus was and is on the basic side, the dynamics of multi-body systems with one-sided and two-sided constraints, new foundations for collisions with friction and theoretical work on the dynamics and control of robots and walking machines. All theoretical work was also verified experimentally in the laboratory and applied to industrial problems. This concerned drive technology, general mechanical engineering, above all processing machines, medical-dynamic problems and, last but not least, the construction and operation of robots and walking machines. Participation in five DFG Collaborative Research Centers and speaker of a priority program (autonomous running).


Short biography

1955 – 1961 Studies in general mechanical engineering, TH Darmstadt
1965 Doctorate in aerodynamics, TH Darmstadt
1966 – 1970 Development engineer, Bölkow GmbH, Ottobrun/Munich
1970 – 1978 Director of astronautics, later director of Dr. Ludwig Bölkow's technical practice,
Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm (MBB)
1978 – 1980 Director of engineering, Bayern-Chemie GmbH, Aschau/Inn
1980 – 1982 Departmental director of Plant Development, MBB
1982 – 2000 Chair of mechanics, Department of Mechanical Engineering, TUM
1992 – 1993/
1995 – 1996
Vice Dean of the Faculty of Mechanical Enigneering
1993 – 1995 Dean of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering


Memberships and honors

Member of the German Society of Aeronautics and Astronautics (DGLR)

Member of the European Mechanics Society (EUROMECH)

Consulting professor, Tongji University, Shanghai, China (1999)

Member of the International Union for Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (IUTAM)

Member of the selection committee of the German National Academic Foundation (1970-2002)

Member of the senate of the German Research Foundation (DFG) (1996-2002)

President and Vice President of the International Association of Applied Mathematics and Mechanics (GAMM)

ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Fellow, USA), member of the ASME Technical Committee on Multibody Systems and Nonlinear Dynamics (2003-2009)

International member of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), Moscow, Russia (since 2003)

Member of the board of trustees of the Aachen and Munich Prize for technology and applied natural sciences (1995-2005)

Chair of the Flemish Evaluation Commission "Hercules-Science" in Brussels, FWO-Hercules Science Commission (2008-2020)

Member of the University Council of the Bundeswehr University, Munich / Neubiberg (2008-2016)

CISM - Center International des Sciences Mécaniques, Udine, Italy: Member of the Scientific Council (1996-2006), Rector (2006-2017), Member of the Scientific Council as ex-rector (since 2017)



  • Körber European Science Prize, together with professors Felix Chernousko, Holk Cruse and François Clarac (1993)
  • Honorary doctorate from the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), Moscow, Russia (1998)
  • German Federal Cross of Merit (2000)
  • Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) (2003)
  • Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) (2004)
  • Honorary doctorate from the Technical University of Dresden (2004)
  • Bavarian Order of Merit (2006)
  • Honorary doctorate from the University of Bologna, Italy (2008)
  • TUM Emeritus of Excellence (2008)
  • ASME Leonardo da Vinci Award (2010)
  • Calvin W. Rice Lecture Award, ASME-IDETC, USA (2013)
  • CISM Medal of Honor (2019)
  • D'Alembert Award from The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Design Engineering Division (2020)

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