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Foto Hans Volkert
Dr. rer.nat. Hans Volkert
    [formerly (2007-15) Secretary-General,
     International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences (IAMAS)]

Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)
Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre (IPA)
Münchner Straße 20
D-82234 Oberpfaffenhofen
G e r m a n y

Telefon:  +49 (0)8153 28-2570
Telefax: +49 (0)8153 28-1841
Email: Hans.Volkert@dlr.de

"Meteorology is necessarily a cooperative enterprise; one's own observations at one time must be viewed in relation to other observations at the same or other times"

Sir Napier Shaw, 1934

As one of   DLR's Seniorwissenschaftler   I am aiming at enhancing cooperation between individuals, research groups and institutions within DLR, in Germany and Europe as well as around the globe.

hv, 2009

Education, employment, experiences - a short narrative with some links

Since summer 1955, I have been staying at the ground of the earthly atmosphere. My formal academic background is a MSc in Meteorology (Diplom-Meteorologe) from Freie Universität Berlin in 1980, and a PhD in Physics (Dr.rer.nat.) from Universität München in 1983.

For many years, I am affiliated with DLR-IPA in Oberpfaffenhofen near Munich, Germany, as a staff scientist (annotated photographs over the years of this colourful grouping can be clicked at in the right column). My main research interests are in mesoscale meteorology and circle around questions what determines the weather, especially in mountainous areas, and how it can be forecast. From 2004 to 2006 I chaired the Steering Committee of the Mesoscale Alpine Programme (MAP) and coordinated a special section of nine review articles which appeared in issue 625 of the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society (2007).

Through the years I gained experience as coordinator of German and international research projects, served as editor of scientific journals, and designed IPA's outreach activity on 'Weather and Climate' for secondary pupils and students. More generally, I often asked myself how scientific knowledge is passed between individuals and institutions through various forms of teaching, publications or conferences. So I became interested in the historical development of meteorology. I also experimented with the creation of some atmosphere during conferences which I helped to organise, as the ICHM conference in Polling in July 2004 and the Second THORPEX International Science Symposium (STISS) in Landshut in December 2006 under the auspices of the WMO-THORPEX.

From June 2007 to May 2009 I chaired the ICAM Steering Committee and oversaw the organisation of the ICAM-2009 conference in Rastatt, Germany. From July 2007 to June 2015, I served as Secretary-General of the International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences (IAMAS). A central task within this activity lies in assuring a sustained quality of scientific communication through regular conferences in a global framework, e.g. during MOCA-09, 19-29 July 2009, in Montréal (Canada); IUGG-2011, 28 June - 7 July 2011 in Melbourne (Australia); DACA-13, 7-13 June 2013 in Davos (Switzerland); or IUGG-2015, 22 June - 2 July 2015 in Prague (Czech Republic).

In June 2015, I was appointed by the Council of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG), as chair of the IUGG Working Group on History (WGH), which has the Union's centenary in 2019 as a special target for its activities.

Other scientific organisational activities

  • 1987-1987: Co-organiser of German Fronts Experiment (within DFG priority programme; cf. article in BAMS) and liaison scientist to British-French Fronts-87 field experiment
  • 1996-1999: Lead, BMBF-project Mesoskalige Strukturen in der Stratosphäre
  • 1996-1999: Coordinator, EU funded R&D project HERA (9 partners, 5 countries) and guest editor for project report as special issue in Meteo. Atmos. Phys. 72, 2000, pp. 69-270
  • 2001-2003: Systematic documentation of results from the MAP Special Observing Period; guest co-editor for special issue in Quart. J. Roy. Meteorol. Soc. 129 (Jan. B), 2003, pp. 341-895

Guidance to students

  • 02/1991-03/1992      Didier Intes (with EDF, Chatou, FR)
    French-German post-graduate project entitled Ondes stratospheriques d'origine orographique sur la Scandinavie (Stratospheric mountain waves above Scandinavia)
    [since 2001 partner of the patent attorney firm Cabinet Beau de Loménie; Paris, FR]
  • 11/1994-02/1998      Martin Leutbecher (with Munich university)
    PhD project entitled Die Ausbreitung orographisch angeregter Schwerewellen in die Stratosphäre: Lineare Theorie, idealisierte und realitätsnahe numerische Simulation (Propagation of orographically induced gravity waves into the stratosphere: Linear theory, idealised and realistic numerical simulation)
    [since 2003 staff scientist at ECMWF; specialist for ensemble techniques and predictablity; Reading UK]
  • 06/1997-02/1998      Markus Heigl (with Munich university)
    MSc project entitled Gebirgswellen über Nordskandinavien: Eine Fallstudie mit Flugzeugmessungen und mesoskaligen Simulationen (Mountain waves above northern Scandinavia: A case study with aircraft measurements and mesoscale simulations)
  • 01/1997-05/2000      Christian Keil (with Munich university)
    PhD project entitled Numerische Simulation von Starkniederschlagsereignissen mit mesoskaligen Wettervorhersagemodellen: Überprüfung mit Radar-Daten und Diagnose der atmosphärischen Wasserbilanz (Numerical simulation of heavy precipitation events using mesoscale weather prediction models: Evalution through radar data and diagnosis of the atmospheric water budget)
    [since 2009 Lecturer at Meteorology Institute within the faculty of Physics, Universität München, DE]
  • 01/2002-03/2002      Pierre Tabary (Toulouse university, FR)
    External rapporteur and co-examiner for PhD project entitled Observations radar de systèmes précipitants orographiques pendant l'expérience MAP (Radar observations of orographic precipitation systems during MAP)
    [since 2002 scientist at Meteo-France; in 2012 Head, Weather Radar Research & Development; Toulouse, FR]
  • 04/2002-06/2002      Matthias Zillig (ETH, Zürich, CH)
    External reviewer and co-examiner for PhD project entitled Dynamics of jet-like flow patterns in the neighbourhood of storms, the tropopause and orography
    [Swiss Post, Head of Terminal Dues Statistics; Bern, CH]
  • 01/2003-05/2003      Olivier Caumont (with Météo-France, Toulouse, FR)
    Cooperative MSc project entitled Simultaneous retrievals of microphsical and dynamical thunderstorm properties north of the Alps
    [since 2003 scientist at the Meteo-France research centre CNRM; head, deep convection research team; Toulouse, FR]
  • 09/2005-11/2005      Franck Lascaux (Toulouse university, FR)
    External rapporteur and co-examiner for PhD project entitled Simulations numériques d'épisodes de précipitations intenses documentés lors de la campagne de mesures MAP (Numerical simulations of heavy precipitation episodes documented during the measuring campaign MAP)
    [since 2006 researcher at the Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory, Florence, IT]
  • 10/2010-12/2010      Ulrike Romatschke (Vienna university and University of Washington, Seattle, USA)
    External reviewer and co-examiner for PhD project entitled Tropical and subtropical convection in South Asia and South America
    [since 2015 guest researcher at NCAR-EOL in Boulder, CO, USA]
  • 05/2010-07/2014      Dania Achermann (LMU München and Aahus Universitet, DK)
    Initiator and IPA-advisor for PhD project entitled Von der Deutschen Forschungsanstalt für Segelflug zum Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre: Wandel und Kontinuitäten institutioneller Identitäten
    [since Aug. 2014 researcher in Aarhus, Denmark]

Work as reviewer, on committees and for outreach

  • Reviewer for research journals, e.g.
            - Annales Geophysicae,
            - Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society,
            - History of Geo- and Space Sciences,
            - Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics,
            - Meteorologische Zeitschrift,
            - Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, or
            - Tellus
    as well as for funding agencies like
            - National Science Foundation (NSF; USA),
            - Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC; UK),
            - Schweizer. Nationalfonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftl. Forschung (SNF; CH), or
            - World Meteorological Organization (WMO; Geneva, CH).
  • 1992-1995: Chair, ad-hoc working group for definition of an Alpine Experiment (later: MAP)
  • 1995-2001: Member, Core and Implementation Group of the Mesoscale Alpine Programme (MAP); main organiser of MAP meetings 1995 (Bad Tölz) and 2001 (Schliersee)
  • 1995-2003: Co-chair, Fachausschuss Geschichte der Meteorologie (FA-GEM), Deutsche Meteorologische Gesellschaft; co-organiser of international FA-GEM workshops 1997 (Kloster Andechs), 2000 (Garmisch), 2003 (Leipzig), 2004 (Potsdam); guest co-editor for special issue in Meteorol. Zeitschrift 6(6), 1997
  • 1996-2001: Associate Editor, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society (first one from Germany)
  • 1996-2008: IPA's public relation officer: programme organiser for biennial open days, frequent lecturer for visitor groups, contact point for queries from the media
  • 2001-2006: Member & chair (2004-06), MAP steering committee
  • 2004-2009: Member, MAP D-PHASE steering committee
  • 2005,2007: Co-chair, programme committee of International Conferences on Alpine Meteorology (ICAM) in Zadar (Croatia) and Chambéry (France), respectively; guest co-editor for special issue in Meteo. Atmos. Phys. 103, 2009
  • 2007-2009: Member, scientific programme committee quartet for the IAMAS-IAPSO-IACS-Assembly (MOCA-09) in Montréal (Canada)
  • 2009-2011: Member, scientific programme committee for the XXV International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics General Assembly (IUGG-2011) in Melbourne (Australia)
  • 2010-2012: Member, DFG research network Atmosphere & Algorithms which seeks to link atmospheric science with history and philosophy of science
  • since 2011: Member, editorial board of the Copernicus open-access-journal History of Geo- and Space Sciences.
  • 2011-2013: Member, scientific programme committee trio for the Davos-IAMAS-IACS-Assembly (DACA-13) in Davos (Switzerland)
  • 2011-2015: IUGG-liaison to WMO
  • 2013-2014: Member, Intern. Program Committee, the World Weather Open Science Conference (WWOSC2014), 16-21 Aug. 2014, Montréal, Canada
  • since 2013: IPA-representative for DLR's electronic publication depository elib
  • 2013-2015: Member, scientific programme committee for the XXVI International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics General Assembly (IUGG-2015)
    22 June - 2 July 2015, Prague, Czech Republic


  • 1988: Erich-Regener-Preis of DFVLR with a team of five (for MESOSCOP model development)
  • 1991: DLR Study Leave Award for 1992 (visits to ECMWF in Reading [UK] and CNRM in Toulouse [FR])
  • 2000: Rank of "Seniorwissenschaftler" awarded by the DLR Executive Board in recognition of excellent achievements and based on reviews by university professors from abroad
Refereed publications
Other publications

IAMAS site
IUGG-2015 (sci. prog.)
DACA-13 site
IUGG-2011 / IAMAS site


IPA-group-photo 1985
IPA-group-photo 2003
IPA-group-photo 2007
IPA-group-photo 2011/12

Gravity Waves 1 Feb'14

NH-clouds 7/8 May'16