Johann Peter Plank

Prof. Dr.

Former Professor of Construction Chemicals
TUM School of Natural Sciences

born December 13, 1952



Prof. Dr. Johann Plank, born on December 13, 1952 in Saal (Danube, Germany), attended the mathematical and scientific Danube Grammar School in Kelheim/Bavaria from 1964 to 1973 which he finished with the best possible grade. He then studied chemistry at the University of Regensburg, where he obtained his diploma in 1978 and subsequently completed his doctorate under Prof. Dr. W.A. Herrmann in the field of metal-organic chemistry with the thesis "Zur Chemie von Methylen-Komplexen" in just two years.

After completing his doctorate in 1980, he initially began an industrial career in product development for construction chemicals at SKW Trostberg AG. There he became head of research in 1992 and managing director of SKW Polymers GmbH in 1997, with responsibility for the development, production and application technology for construction and oilfield chemicals. Key inventions from this period included high-performance concrete additives, which were used, among other things, in the construction of the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, and had been protected in over 40 patents. He also established an extremely successful division for oilfield products, which are still used as a worldwide standard today.

In 2001, he was appointed to the Chair of Construction Chemistry at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), where he worked on inorganic binders (including “green” cements), concrete and dry mortar additives, oilfield cements and new energy materials. From 2002 to 2013 he was also director of the TUM Institute for Inorganic Chemistry, and for twelve years he served on the board of the Construction Chemistry Division at the Society of German Chemists. His scientific work was reflected in over 500 publications. Among others things, he produced calcium carbonate aerogels for the first time as innovative high-performance insulating materials for housing construction, developed new polymer additives for ultra-high-strength and extremely flowable concrete and for years has devoted himself to climate-neutral cements and binders to significantly improve the CO₂ balance in the construction industry. He and his "TUM Center for Advanced PCE Studies" are known worldwide for their cutting-edge technology in the field of PCE superplasticizers. He regularly organizes international conferences on this topic at TUM with participants from all over the world, especially Asia. Furthermore, he conducted pioneering studies on the stability of oilwell cements for geological storage of CO₂, which have been put into practice by companies such as Uniper. His latest innovation is a highly intelligent floor covering that generates energy when you walk on, completely free of CO₂ emissions.

Prof. Plank has an excellent international network. Among other things, he held a visiting professorship at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, received an honorary professorship at the University of Jinan/China and was awarded the highly respected title of "1000 Foreign Expert" in China in 2018. He is also known for his close relations to Arab countries, including Iraq, Libya and Yemen.

Prof. Plank is a scientist who thinks and works across disciplinary boundaries and is committed to essential social concerns such as climate protection or the Children's University of TUM.

After his retirement in 2020, Prof. Plank continues to be active in research at TUM and in foundations (e.g. as chairman of the TUM's own Leonhard Lorenz Foundation) as well as in research funding institutions.


Short biography

1973 - 1978 Study of chemistry, University of Regensburg/Germany
1979 - 1980 Doctorate
1980 - 2000 SKW Trostberg AG, Trostberg/Germany; Product Development Consttruction Chemistry (1980),
Head of Research (1992), Managing Director of the SKW Polymers GmbH (1997)
2001 - 2020 Chair of Construction Chemicals, TU Munich/Germany
2002 - 2013 Director,TUM Institute for Inorganic Chemistry, TU Munich/Germany


Memberships and honors

Visiting professorship, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan

Honorary professorship, University of Jinan, China

Chair of the Leonhard Lorenz Foundation of the TU Munich, Germany

Member of the Board of Trustees, E.+K. Dyckerhoff Foundation, Germany



  • TUM Emeritus of Excellence (2022)
  • Honorary Fellow of the British Institute of Concrete Technology (2022)
  • Award of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), USA (2019)
  • Award of the Chinese honorary title "1000 Foreign Experts" (2018)
  • A. Aignesberger Award of the American Concrete Institute (2015)
  • OBAG Culture Award Eastern Bavaria for outstanding dissertation (1982)

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