Tillmann Mohr selected to receive the EMS Silver Medal 2018

The European Meteorological Society has chosen Tillmann Mohr as Laureate of the EMS Silver Medal 2018. He is honoured for his key role in shaping the European Meteorological Infrastructure (EMI). Under his visionary leadership, EUMETSAT matured into an internationally recognised organisation. In addition, he made an outstanding contribution to establishing a global space-based meteorological observing programme under the umbrella of WMO and has been instrumental in developing training and educational programmes for satellite meteorological products in Africa and worldwide. Through his entire career, he has been committed to the European meteorological community and has been very active in convincing decision-makers, as well as the public, about the importance of meteorological observations from space.

The Silver Medal ceremony, which includes a Silver Medal Lecture by the Laureate, will be held on Monday, 3 September 2018, during the Annual Meeting of the EMS in Budapest, Hungary.

Silver Medal Lecture: Architecture for Climate Monitoring from Space

Tillmann Mohr

Dr. Tillmann Mohr (photo: private)

Dr. Tillmann Mohr has made an outstanding contribution to meteorology on an international scale. He has played a key role in shaping the European Meteorological Infrastructure (EMI). Under his direction, EUMETSAT matured into an internationally-recognised organisation, with the initiation of two flagship programmes: Meteosat Second Generation and the European Polar System. He has also been instrumental in developing training and educational programmes for satellite meteorological products in Africa and worldwide. Through his entire career, he was very active in convincing decision-makers as well as the public about the importance of meteorological observations from space.

Undoubtedly, Dr. Mohr is one of the pioneers for satellite meteorology in Europe and worldwide. Having graduated at the University of Frankfurt, he started to work at the German Weather Service, DWD, and quickly recognised the enormous potential of satellites for meteorology, as can be seen from his first papers in 1971. After filling a variety of posts in DWD, he was appointed Vice President in 1984 and President from 1992 to 1995.

Dr. Mohr played a key role in the establishment of EUMETSAT. Starting with his membership in the relevant working group at ESRO (European Space Research Organization, later ESA) from 1971, he became one of the leaders of the European Meteorological Community and the European Space Agency. This included shaping the mission and mandate of EUMETSAT, and developing its Convention to include climate monitoring from space.

As Director General of EUMETSAT from 1995 to 2004, Dr. Mohr developed EUMETSAT into a leading institution worldwide whilst establishing new standards for meteorological observations form space. This was achieved with the approval of the innovative Meteosat Second Generation and EUMETSAT Polar System programmes and the development of both systems in cooperation with ESA.

Dr. Mohr’s visionary leadership has led to the involvement of EUMETSAT in the evolution of high-precision ocean altimetry to operational monitoring capabilities, in cooperation with NOAA, NASA and CNES.

Dr. Mohr’s concern and effort has always been to strengthen cooperation in the European meteorological community, be it as a principal delegate of Germany in the various international European organizations or in the WMO or, in particular, as Director-General of EUMETSAT. The widest possible use of satellite data in cooperation with the member countries of EUMETSAT has been greatly enhanced by him creating the Satellite Application Facilities (SAF) of EUMETSAT. The introduction of a training program was of particular importance for the optimal use of satellite data in Europe and especially in Africa. The biennial EUMETSAT African User’s Conferences were established under his leadership. He was also instrumental in the development of the legal instrument “Cooperating State” to enable participation and contributions by Eastern and South-eastern European countries, as a first step to become a member state of EUMETSAT.

In conjunction with the WMO space programme, Dr. Mohr promoted several ground-breaking initiatives in the field of satellite meteorology. These included the Global Space-based Inter-Calibration System (GSICS), the WMO Network for Sustained and Coordinated Processing of Environmental Satellite Data for Climate Monitoring (SCOPE-CM) and the WMO Integrated Global Dissemination Service (IGDDS).

Dr. Mohr has made distinguished contributions to the development of meteorology in Europe and the EMS is delighted that it is able to recognise his many achievements by awarding him the EMS Silver Medal.

Note to editors:

Tillmann Mohr’s Professional Career:

1965 – 1995   Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD)
1970 – 1978   Satellite Meteorology Division of DWD
1974                Chief of Division
1978 – 1983   Head, Synoptic Meteorology Department of DWD
1983 – 1992   Head, General Services Department of DWD
1984                Deputy President of DWD
1992 – 1995   President of DWD and PR of Germany with WMO
1995 – 2004   Director-General EUMETSAT

International activities and responsibilities

1971 – 2016          Participation in more than 220 WMO sessions and meetings in his role as delegate/principle delegate of Germany (Congress, CBS), Vice-president (CBS), chairman (WG on the Global Observing System, Committee on the OWSE North Atlantic, Co-ordination Group on COSNA, EC Panel on Experts on Satellites), member (WG on the Global Observing System, Advisory WG of CBS, NAOS-Board, EC, Consultative Meeting on High Level Policy on Satellite Matters), observer representing EUMETSAT (EC and Congress), lecturer at various WMO seminars and conferences.
2004 – 2015          Special Advisor on Satellite Matters to Michel Jarraud, the then WMO Secretary General
2010 – 2013          Special Advisor on the Global Framework for Climate Services to Michel Jarraud, the then WMO Secretary General
2014 – present     Special Advisor to the administrators of the China Meteorological Administration
2016 – present     Special Advisor to Prof. Petteri Taalas, the WMO Secretary General

1971 – 1995          Member and Chairman of Working Groups and Programme Boards of ESA, heavily involved in the establishment of EUMETSAT.  After the establishment of EUMETSAT in 1986 Head of German delegation to EUMETSAT Council, chairman of EUMETSAT Policy Advisory Group

CEOS (Committee on Earth Observing Satellite)
1995 – 2004          CEOS (Committee on Earth Observing Satellite) Member, representing EUMETSAT
1999                       Chairman 1999
2005 – 2010          Member of International Polar Year (IPY) Joint Committee

European Commission (EC)
2004 – 2015 Member Space Advisory Group

Awards, Memberships, Honorary Titles and Distinctions
1996       Member of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA)
2003       Gagarin Medal (Russian Federation)
2004       German Order of Merit 1St Class
2013       58th IMO Prize.

About the EMS
The EMS is the association of Meteorological Societies in Europe. The network consists of 37 Member Societies and 32 Associate Members. The EMS is a non-profit-making organisation. The EMS Annual Meetings attract some 600 people each year from all sectors of the field. With a number of Awards outstanding contributions to the science, its applications and communication are honoured; young scientists are supported through travel grants. http://www.emetsoc.org

EMS Silver Medal. The EMS Silver Medal was established in 2008 to honour important contributions to the development of meteorology in Europe. The Award is presented annually. Candidates for the EMS Silver Medal are nominated by Member Societies and Associate Members of the EMS. The EMS Awards Committee, consisting of senior members of meteorological institutions in Europe, makes recommendations to the EMS Council for a final decision. Previous recipients were the late Karin Labitzke (Germany), René Morin (France), Lennart Bengtsson (Sweden/Germany), David Burridge (United Kingdom), the late Jean-François Geleyn (France/Czech Republic), Tim Palmer (United Kingdom), Hartmut Graßl (Germany), Peter Lynch (Ireland), Anton Eliassen (Norway), Michel Jarraud (France/Switzerland) and Julia Slingo (United Kingdom).

EMS Awards Programme. More information on the EMS Awards Programme is available at  https://www.emetsoc.org/awards/

EMS Annual Meeting: European Conference for Applied Meteorology and Climatology. The theme of the conference is “Weather and climate: global change and local hazards”. More information on the EMS Annual Meeting, 3-7 September 2018, in Budapest, Hungary, is available at http://www.ems2018.eu/for_the_media.html
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