Professor Lichtfuß studied mechanical engineering at TU Berlin, specializing in aeronautical engineering (1959-1965). He started his career at DLR, the German Aerospace Center. The focus of his work was on the theoretical and experimental analysis of compressor and turbine cascades, especially under supersonic conditions (1966-1975). In 1972 he acquired his doctoral degree from RWTH Aachen. He then moved to MTU Aero Engines where he was initially the assistant to the head of R&D (1975-1998). Later on in his career he became director of the entire research and development unit. In 1986 he accepted a teaching assignment at TUM and was appointed honorary professor in1992. During his time at Technology Foundation Berlin (TSB) he headed strategy development. The aim of this foundation is to promote economical growth in the region (1998-2004).
Since retiring from this position (2005), through Germany's Senior Expert Service (SES) Professor Lichtfuß has provided voluntary professional assistance to various institutions abroad. Placements have included the development of innovation centers and technology transfer in Thailand, Jordan and India and a water filtration project in Pakistan.
- Voluntary senior expert, SES (since 2005)
- Chairman of the management board (CEO), Technology Foundation Berlin (TSB) (1998-2004)
- Head/director R&D, Motoren- und Turbinen-Union GmbH (MTU), Munich (1989-1998)
- Senior executive/department head, Motoren- und Turbinen-Union GmbH (MTU), Munich (1975-1998)
- Member of the research staff at DLR, the German Aerospace Center, Institute of Propulsion Technology (1966-1975)