Biography of Wolfgang Wagner

April 24, 2012


Wolfgang Wagner was born in Wels, Austria, in 1969. He received the Dipl.-Ing. (MSc) degree in physics and the Dr.techn. (PhD) degree in remote sensing, both with excellence, from the Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien), Austria, in 1995 and 1999 respectively.


In support of his master and PhD studies he received fellowships to carry research at the University of Bern (1993), Atmospheric Environment Service Canada (1994), NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre (1995), European Space Agency (1996), and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (1996-1998). From 1999 to 2001 he was with the German Aerospace Agency (DLR), first as a project assistant at the Institute of High Frequency Technology and later as the head of the SAR Applications team at the German Remote Sensing Data Centre. In 2001 he was appointed professor for remote sensing at the Institute of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing of TU Wien. Since 2004 he has been member of the board of the Faculty of Mathematics and Geoinformation, and since 2005 coordinator of the Geodesy and Geoinformation group that is a part of that faculty. From 2006 to 2011 he was the head of the Institute of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing and from 2006 to 2010 member of the TU Wien Senate.


The main research interest of Wolfgang Wagner lies in physical modeling and geophysical parameter retrieval from remote sensing data. His scope is to develop robust algorithms, taking instrument specifications and application requirements into account. He has mostly worked with active remote sensing techniques, in particular scatterometry, SAR and airborne laser scanning (lidar), even though he has also some experience with optical and infrared sensors. Using C-band scatterometer data his research group has produced the first global remotely sensed soil moisture data set in 2002. The soil moisture retrieval algorithm was implemented by EUMETSAT to provide an operational near-real-time service for the Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT) on-board of METOP. This service became operational in December 2008. The algorithms were also successfully adapted for Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data within ESA funded activities. Using ScanSAR data of ENVISAT ASAR 1 km soil moisture maps extent could be derived at continental scale for the first time. Together with research colleagues from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and TU Wien he also developed the first 30+ years global soil moisture data set by merging active and passive soil moisture retrievals, which was the foundation for the ESA Climate Change Initiative (CCI) project on soil moisture which started end of 2011 under his coordination. In the field of lidar remote sensing Wolfgang Wagner was the coordinator of the Christian Doppler Laboratory for "Spatial Data from Laser Scanning and Remote Sensing", which has been supported by thirteen national and international companies, from 2003 to 2010. His main interest lies in physical modeling and calibration of full-waveform laser scanner data, applied to the problems of improving terrain models, quantitative vegetation retrieval and object modeling.


Wolfgang Wagner has been author and co-author of over 96 journal papers and 110 papers in conference proceedings. In the SCOPUS data base, his papers have been cited over 1600 times and his h-index is 23. According to Google Scholar his h-index is 29. He has held 59 invited presentations at conferences, workshops and seminars. He was the founding editor-in-chief of the Open Access Journal "Remote Sensing" (1/2009-9/2011) and member of the editorial boards of "Hydrology and Earth System Sciences" (since 2007), "Remote Sensing" (since 9/2011), and the newly founded ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information (since 1/2012)


Wolfgang Wagner has been member of the Science Advisory Group of METOP ASCAT (jointly organized by EUMETSAT and ESA) since 2003 and of the Mission Advisory Group of Sentinel-1 (ESA) since 2011. From 2004 to 2010 he was member of Science Advisory Group for the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) satellite of ESA. In the period 2005 to 2008 he served as committee chair of the EGU Hydrologic Sciences Sub-Division on Remote Sensing & Data Assimilation. From 2008 to 2012 he serves as President of Commission VII of the International Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing. In 2009 he became co-chair of the Land Product Validation Subgroup on soil moisture within the CEOS Working Group on Calibration and Validation, and in 2012 he became a member of the GCOS/GTOS/WCRP Terrestrial Observation Panel for Climate (TOPC).


He was conference chair of the ISPRS Commission VII Symposium held on July 5-7 2010 in Vienna which formed the scientific part of the ISPRS Centenary Celebrations. He has been committee member of several international conferences, such as the Earth Observation and Water Cycle Science Conference 2009 jointly organized by ESA, EGU, ISPRS and GEWEX, the ISPRS Workshops on Laserscanning 2007 and 2009, and the EUMETSAT/ESA Scatterometer Science Conference 2011.


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