GFZ German research centre for geo sciences

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Harald Schuh

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Harald Schuh
Building H 6, Room 102 (Büro)
Helmholtzstraße 6/7
14467 Potsdam

Function and Responsibilities:

Emeritus Director of Dept. 1 “Geodesy” at Helmholtz Centre Potsdam, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
Past President of the International Association of Geodesy (IAG)
Chair of German Geodetic Commission (DGK)
Professor for “Satellite Geodesy” at Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin)

Research Interests:

- space geodesy (VLBI, GNSS, ...)
- Earth rotation
- troposphere and ionosphere


1980             Scientific Assistant, Photogrammetric Institute of the University of Bonn

1980-1986     Scientific Assistant, Geodetic Institute of the University of Bonn

1987-1988     Associate Professor (C1), Geodetic Institute of the University of Bonn

1989-1995     Program Scientist and Coordinator for research programmes of the EC, German Air and
                    Space Agency (DLR), Cologne

1995-2000     Senior Scientist and Head of Dept. 1 ‘Earth Rotation‘, German Geodetic Research Institute (DGFI),

2000-2012     Full Professor (Chair), Director of the Institute of Geodesy and Geophysics (2003-2012), Head of
                    Research Unit Advanced Geodesy (2000-2012), Chair of Study Committee (until 5/2007),
                    Vice-Dean of Study Affairs (until 12/2007), Chair of Faculty Board (2006-2011) University of
                    Technology Vienna, Austria

since 2012    Helmholtz Centre Potsdam, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences


Abitur, Hebel-Gymnasium Pforzheim, Germany, 1974

Diploma (=M.S.) in Geodesy (Majors: Adjustment Theory and Statistics, Photogrammetry), University of Bonn, Germany, 1979

Ph.D., University of Bonn Germany, Doctoral thesis: ‘VLBI for the determination of station displacements and Earth rotation‘, 1986


Convener or Co-Convener of several national and international symposia, meetings and workshops

Coordinator of the IVS Pilot Project – Tropospheric Parameters (2002-2003) and of the IVS operational project TROP (since 2003)

Referee, member of evaluation committees and consultant of the German Ministry of Research and Technology, of the DFG, and of the American NASA

Coordinator of the German Research Group on Earth Rotation (1999-2003) funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG)

Coordinator of the International EOP Prediction Comparison Campaign (EOP_PCC) within the IERS (since 2005)

Principal proposer and project coordinator of 16 national research projects funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), the FWF (Austrian Science Fund), Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW), and other funding organizations

Co-proposer of 14 research projects funded by DFG, FWF, and other funding organizations

Co-PI of the proposal for the GRASP space mission by NASA/JPL (2013) and for the E-GRASP space mission of ESA (2014 and 2016/17)

Principal proposer and project leader of several bi-lateral projects funded by DAAD, MPG, and ÖAD (Germany-China, Germany-Spain, Austria-China, Austria-Hungary, Austria-Poland, Austria-Spain, and others) and of project BALGEOS with several Balkan countries

Supervisor, reviewer or examiner of more than 50 diploma theses, of 36 doctor theses, and of 8 habilitations since 1983.

At present: Supervisor of eight doctor theses, which will be completed within the next three years (topics: VLBI, GNSS, combination of space geodetic techniques, troposphere, ionosphere, Earth rotation, interactions in system Earth)

Research Boards and Committees:

Member of acatech – the National Academy of Science and Engineering (since 2017)       

Chair of the Board of Trustees of the “Förderkreis Vermessungstechnisches Museum” in Dortmund, Germany (since 2017)

Member of the “Helmholtz Think Tank” as a representative of the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) (since 2016)

Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of SFB 1128 (geo-Q) “Relativistic geodesy and gravimetry with quantum sensors” of the DFG (since 2015)

President of the International Association Geodesy (IAG) (since 2015)

Member of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) Executive Committee (since 2015)

Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the EU Horizon 2020 projects NEAT-FT and OFTEN (optical frequency transfer) 2013-2016          

Member of Leibniz-Sozietät der Wissenschaften zu Berlin e.V. (since 2013)

Full Member of the German Geodetic Commission (DGK) (since 2012)

Elected Chair of the International VLBI Service for Geodesy and Astrometry (IVS) Directing Board (2007-2013), Member of the Directing Board (2001-2015)

Elected member of the International Association of Geodesy (IAG) Executive Committee (since 2003, re-elected 2007) as Service Representative, Vice-President 2011-2015

President of IAG Subcommission 1.4 Interaction of Celestial and Terrestrial Reference Frames (2006-2011) and member of the Steering Committee of IAG Commission 1 ‘Reference Frames’ (2007-2011)

Member of the Steering Committee of IAG Commission 3 ‘Earth Rotation and Geodynamics’ (2003-2007, 2007-2011)

President of IAU Commission 19 (C19) “Rotation of the Earth” (2009-2012) 

Member of the Organizing Committee (OC) of C19 as IAG Representative (2006-2009), as C19 President (2009-2012), and as C19 Past President (2012-2015)

Member of Division I (“Fundamental Astronomy”) Organizing Committee (2009–2012) 

Deputy-Representative of the IVS in the GGOS (Global Geodetic Observing System) Steering Committee (2007-2011) 

Elected member of the International Center for Earth Tides (ICET) Directing Board (2003-2015) 

Chairman of IVS Working Group 2 (2001-2002) ‘Product Specification and Observing Programs‘

Chairman of IAG/ETC Working Group 6 (1997-2000) ‘Solid Earth Tides in Space Geodetic Techniques‘ and co-chair since 2001 (within Commission 3 of the IAG)

Member or consultant of various commissions, study groups and working groups in geodesy (IAG) and astronomy (IAU)

President of the Austrian National Committee on Earth Sciences for the IUGG (ÖNK; 2009-2013)

President of the  Austrian Geodetic Commission (ÖGK; 2008-2013)

Vice-President of the Austrian Society for Surveying and Geoinformation (OVG; 2006-2012) 

Scientific Advisory Board of the German Research Group on Satellite Geodesy (FGS, 2010)

Scientific Advisory Board of the European Optical Fibre Project NEAT-FT (2012-2015)

Chair of Scientific Advisory Board of the Deutsches Geodätisches Forschungsinstitut (DGFI), München, Germany (since 2010)


Descartes Prize of the European Union (300,000 EUR) for the Project ‚Non-rigid Earth nutation model – Pinpoint positioning in a wobbly world’, 2003

Elected as a Fellow of the International Association of Geodesy (IAG), 2007

Doctor honoris causa (Dr. h.c.) of the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering, and Geodesy (UACEG), Sofia, Bulgaria, 2009

Vening Meinesz Medal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU), 2011

Adjunct professor at University of Tehran, 2016

Author & Editor:

Author or co-author of about 390 publications (105 peer-reviewed), main subjects: VLBI, GNSS Earth rotation, geodynamics, reference frames, troposphere, ionosphere

Editor or co-editor of thirteen national and international publications (books, proceedings, or special issues)

Co-editor of Journal of Geodesy (2004-2007, Springer)

Co-editor of ‘vgi’ (Journal of the Austrian OVG, 2006-2012), ZfV (Journal of the German DVW), Advances in Astronomy and Space Physics (AASP, Ukraine), Journal of Geodesy and Geoinformation (Turkey), Reports on Geodesy (Poland), Acta Geodaetica et Geophysica Hungarica (AGGH, Hungary), Journal of Geodesy and Geodynamics (China)

publications are currently loading
back to top of main content