Employee directory

In the employee directory you will find contact information and profile pages for the DBFZ employees. The employees of the cooperation departments with the Helmholz Centre for Environmental Research, BEN and MicAs can be reached via the linked pages.


Scientific Managing Director

Field of work

Michael Nelles is an environmental engineer at the TU Berlin and covers the following areas in R&D and consulting: fundamental and practice-oriented challenges of waste management, especially technical, ecological and economic aspects of mechanical, biological and thermal treatment of waste and biomass in concepts for material and energy recovery. He is a member of numerous national and international advisory boards of organisations, conferences and journals in the fields of waste management and biomass use. He is editor of numerous reference books and conference volumes as well as author of about 400 contributions in reference books and technical periodicals since 1994. The emphasis of the international activities lies in Asia and there in particular in China.

Curriculum vitae

Since 2012

Scientific Managing Director
Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum gemeinnützige GmbH (DBFZ), Leipzig

Since 2006

Professor, holder of the Chair of Waste and Material Flow Management;
Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (2008-2012);
Director of the Institute of Environmental Engineering (2008-2010);
Coordinator of the R&D focus Bioenergy of the Interdisciplinary and the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the University of Rostock (since 2007), University of Rostock, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

2000 - 2006

Professor and Head of the Department of Technical Environmental Protection
University of Applied Sciences and Arts Hildesheim/Holzminden/Göttingen; Faculty of Resource Management, Göttingen

1994 - 2000

Senior engineer
Deputy Head of the Institute for Waste Disposal and Landfill Technology
Vice-Chairman of the Study Commission for the study course "Industrial Environmental Protection, Waste Management and Recycling Technologies" (1996-1998)
Working group leader in the areas (1995-2000) - mechanical-biological residual waste treatment - electronic scrap recycling - thermal waste treatment in industrial plants
University of Leoben, Department of Waste Management and Landfill Engineering, Leoben/ Austria

1993 - 1994

Project engineer
Engineering office for environmental technology, Traboch/ Austria



Doctorate (Dr. mont., Department of Industrial Environmental Protection and Recycling)
University of Leoben/Austria

1986 - 1993

Studies of technical environmental protection, degree: Diplom-Ingenieur
Technical University of Berlin

Committee work

since 01/2022Coordinator of Germany's activities as a National Member of the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), Rotterdam, Netherlands
since 01/2022Member of the Energy and Climate Protection Advisory Board at the Saxon State Ministry for Energy, Climate Protection, Environment and Agriculture, Dresden, Germany

since 4/2014

Member of the Strategy Council Economy-Science Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (among others Board of the Field of Action 1 "Hydrogen Technologies and Renewable Energies" of the RIS 2021 - 2026 of the State Government Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Schwerin

since 2014

Visiting Professor at the Institute for Renewable Energies at the Petroleum University Beijing, China

since 2013

Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Environmental Research Centre (UFZ) of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, Leipzig

since 10/2012

Member of the Executive Board Bioeconomy e.V., BMBF-Cluster Bioökonomie, Leuna

since 6/2012

Member of the Research Steering Committee of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), Berlin

since 2011

Visiting Professorship at the Faculty of Energy and Environmental Sciences, Aviation University of Shenyang, China


Award "National Friendship Prize of the People's Republic of China" for achievements in the field of environmental research and education, China

since 2011

Environmental consultant to the Chinese state government and provincial governments with focus on Anhui Province, China

since 2011

Member of the German Waste Management Association (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Abfallwirtschaft e.V.) (DGAW), among others co-organizer of the DGAW Science Congresses, Berlin

since 2009

Advisory Board of the Working Group on Material-Specific Waste Treatment, ASA e.V.

since 2009

Chairman of the German-Chinese Centre in Anhui Province, China

2009 - 2018

Co-editor of the scientific magazine "Waste Management", Italy

2008 - 2013

Chairman of the District Association and Regional Association of the Association of German Engineers (VDI) in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

2008 - 2012

Member or Chairman (2011-2012) of the Scientific Advisory Board of the DBFZ in Leipzig


Anhui Province Yellow Mountain Friendship Award for achievements in environmental research and education, China

since 2007

Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the scientific magazine "Müll & Abfall", Berlin

since 2007

Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Federal Association of Bioenergy e.V. (BBE), Bonn

2006 - 2021

Member respectively director (2006-2012) of the Working Group for the Utilization of Solid Waste (Arbeitskreis für die Nutzbarmachung von Siedlungsabfällen ANS e.V.), (end of 2021 merger with DGAW), Braunschweig, Germany

since 2005

Director of the Chinese-German Centre for Environmental Technology & Knowledge Transfer (CETK) of Anhui Province, Hefei, China

since 2002

Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Environment and Biotechnology, University of Hefei, China

since 1994

Organizer and member of scientific advisory boards of several national and international conferences in the field of waste management and bioenergy (e.g. DGAW Scientific Congress Waste and Resource Management, Dialogue Waste Management Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Münster Waste Days, DepoTech Leoben (Austria) Environmental Conference Hefei (China), Waste Conference Hong Kong (China), Waste to Energy Conference Venice (Italy), Rostock Bioenergy Forum, IBC Leipzig, VDI Biogas Conference, DBU Biogas Innovation Congress etc.)