Peter Wilderer

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

TUM Department of Civil, Geo and Environmental Engineering
Former professor of water quality and waste technology

born March 8, 1939



Peter Wilderer is one of Germany’s leading experts on hydraulic management. The first German academic to win the Stockholm Water Prize in 2003, he has been awarded countless other honors both within Germany and around the world. The scope of his research reaches from innovative methods of water acquisition and waste water recycling through the ecology of microbial systems to the reclamation of useful material in waste water and other waste products. He was one of the first to recognize the importance of recycling reusable water as a method of containing drought in rapidly growing, large urban areas as well as in the countryside. His call to develop and implement a decentralized solution elicited a positive international response. He is a teacher and researcher who knows how to combine science and knowledge with social commitment. Peter Wilderer approached the public, policymakers, government and the industry in order to demonstrate how grounded research results and appropriate technologies can lead to sustainable water management. He has been serving as director of the Institute of Advanced Studies on Sustainability in the European Academy of Sciences and Arts since 2002. He was a member of the board of the trustees of TUM’s Institute for Advanced Study from 2006 to 2014, for which he organized workshops, research projects and conferences on general scientific and societal issues.


Short biography

1959 – 1965 Studies in civil engineering, University of Karlsruhe
1966 – 1972 1966-1972 Research assistant at the Department of and Institute
for Biological Engineering and Biotechnology of Waste Water, University of Karlsruhe
1969 1969 Doctorate in civil engineering, University of Karlsruhe
1972 – 1980 1972-1980 Senior academic councillor, University of Karlsruhe
1982 – 1990 1982-1990 Professor, Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg
1991 – 2004 1991-2004 Professor of water quality and waste technology, TUM


Memberships and honors

Member of the International Water Association (IWA) (since 1982)

Vice president of the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg (1990)

Director of the Bavarian Research Association for Waste Management and Recycling Research (BayFORREST) (1991-2003)

Member of the board of management of the Association of Bavarian Research Cooperations (abayfor) (1996-2003)

Member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts (2000) Chair of the peer review committee for hydrology and water management of the German Research Foundation (DFG)

Board of directors, Huber Technology AG (2000-2007)

German Institute of Science and Technology (GIST); Master's program on on Industrial Chemistry and Industrial Ecology (2002-2006)

Co-founder of the European Water Supply and Sanitation Technology Platform (2004)

Co-founder of the European Water Partnership (2006) Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) (2009)


Research stays

Visiting professor, University of California, USA (1980-1982)

Visiting professor, Montana State University, USA (1991)

Honorary professor, University of Queensland, Australia (2000-2013)



  • Honorary doctorate from the Institute of Chemical Technology, Prague, Czech Republic (1997)
  • Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Medal from TUM (2003)
  • Honorary doctorate from the Gheorghe Asachi Technical University, Iasi, Romania (2003)
  • Stockholm Water Prize (2003)
  • German Federal Cross of Merit (2004)

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