As a child, Andreas M. Lippert would run from his house to catch a glimpse of jets roaring overhead toward a nearby air force base. He dreamed of becoming a pilot until high school when one of his seven older siblings, a mechanical engineer, inspired him to design and build airplanes rather than simply fly them.
Following in his brother’s footsteps, Lippert studied mechanical engineering in his hometown of Pretoria, South Africa. He completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees before going to work in a national lab focused on aerospace. Eager to develop his technical expertise further, he applied to PhD programs and selected UW-Madison thanks to the influence of his wife, Jacqueline, who is a civil and environmental engineering alumna.
After obtaining his PhD in mechanical engineering in 1999, Lippert joined General Motors as a senior research engineer. He applied his doctoral knowledge of sprays, combustion and computational fluid dynamics toward the development of advanced internal combustion engines at GM. Lippert’s work resulted in a methodology for spray and combustion analysis in the GM research and powertrain divisions.
Lippert’s scope expanded to leadership in next generation diesel propulsion systems research and exhaust aftertreatment modeling. In 2007, he was given a special assignment to launch the Global Energy Systems Center, which analyzes energy supply chains and future scenarios to provide GM with timely business insights into energy opportunities and challenges. The center has an important collaboration with the Tsinghua University in Beijing; called the China Automotive Energy Center, it serves as a key advising institution to the Chinese government as the country develops an automotive energy roadmap.
Lippert is listed as an inventor on nine U.S. patents and has authored more than 20 research papers, conference publications and reports. He has won multiple GM technical and corporate awards and a distinguished speaker award from the Society of Automotive Engineers. In 2008, Lippert was named to the corporate scientific advisory board of Mascoma Corporation, which is developing new technologies to convert cellulosic biomass into ethanol.
Currently, Lippert leads the Alternative Energy Technologies Lab at GE Global Research in Munich, Germany, where he focuses on renewable energy, waste heat recovery, novel powerplant cycles and carbon capture. The relocation to Germany, where his parents are from, has been an adventure for Jacqueline and their children, Claudia, Karl and Gabi.
When not working or spending time with his family, Lippert enjoys surfing and admiring waves, a passion he refers to as active engagement with his love for fluid dynamics.