Juergen started his employment career as a police officer for almost 9 yrs followed by a 3yr employment as financial officer in the budget and accounting department at the University of Oldenburg. Subsequently he started his studies in physics and chemistry and proceed as a scientific assistant for two more years. In 1992 he finished his master in physical chemistry and became a junior researcher at newly founded Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. He finished his PhD in Theoretical Physics at University of Potsdam and subsequently worked in different academic positions. He provided/provides active service as an expert on national and international panels for policy advice on Climate and Global Change issues, e.g. for the Council of Europe, German Technical Cooperation, European Union, etc. In 2006 he received the Amber Tree Award by the European Union INTERREG office for realisation of a visionary project bringing together economic, social and natural scientists, policy-makers and planners for investigating new tools when facing climate change in their region. In 2012 he was awarded by the renowned CleanTechMedia award for the co-foundation of the Climate Media Factory Potsdam, an innovative media lab supported by Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Potsdam Film University. Jürgen was/is visiting professor at the Mahidol University Bangkok/Thailand (2008-2010 2016/2017) and declined an offer for a full professorship at Griffith University, Brisbane/Australia (2010) and being coincidentally Deputy Director of the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility of Australia.
At Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) he heads the Research Area on Climate Change & Development (CCD). His work focuses on the derivation and assessment of sustainable transition pathways and how they materialise in emission and fossil fuel savings. The second focal point in his department deals with climate proof cities and infrastructure, because cities play a pivotal role in future transformation dynamics. Since 2010 Jürgen is a professor for climate change and sustainable development at the University of Potsdam/Dept. Geo- and Environmental Sciences. He is also the founding dean for the Sustainability and Environmental Management Dept. of the Berlin School for Sustainable Futures. A newly founded private University of Applied Science integrating cultural changes and digitalisation aspects with sustainability challenges.