Dr.-Ing. Volker Kefer

President of VDI, the Association of German Engineers

Dr.-Ing. Volker Kefer

Dr. Volker Kefer, married and father of two, was born January 19, 1956 in Koblenz, Germany. From 1975 to 1977 he studied electrical engineering at the Technical University of Erlangen (FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg), then from 1977 to 1982 he pursued a degree in mechanical engineering at the Technical University of Munich, where he graduated as an Engineer (diploma). In 1989 he received his doctorate in engineering from TU Munich.

In May 2017, Dr. Volker Kefer was awarded the Grashof Commemorative Coin at the Deutscher Ingenieurtag. Since 2017 he has been chief executive officer of Kefer Invest GmbH, while also serving as chairman of the supervisory board of Vossloh AG. From 2006 to 2016, Kefer held various positions at Deutsche Bahn (DB) AG, including an appointment in the infrastructure, services, and technology department from 2013 to 2016. He furthermore served as executive vice-president of DB AG from 2015. Kefer was also on the executive board for technology and infrastructure from 2009 to 2013, and from 2006 to 2009 served as chairman of the management board of DB Netz AG. Kefer was particularly successful in spearheading the concept development, call for proposals, and awarding of the ICx contract to replace trains in the current ICE and IC fleet. In addition, he was the public face of the "Stuttgart 21" project – his efforts resulting in the positive outcome of the referendum in November 2011.

From 1983 to 2006, Dr. Kefer worked for Siemens AG in Erlangen, where he held various management positions, both in Germany and abroad – with his final appointment in the company being division manager for sales, engineering, and manufacturing of regional rail vehicles worldwide. In this role, he was responsible for a sales turnover amounting to more than 1 billion euros and was also in charge of over 2,700 employees at seven different locations, including the USA and China. Among Kefer’s accolades are the successful restructuring and optimization of vehicle and plant engineering businesses, receiving the Siemens Innovation Prize, as well as other Siemens awards.