Company History

Venture the impossible
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Prof. Claude Dornier


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10117 Berlin

Company History

The roots of Dornier Consulting International go way back and are anchored in the Lake Constance region. One of the most famous personalities of the Lake Constance area is without a doubt Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin. Born in Konstanz in 1838, he was a visionary and builder of airships of the same name. After the end of his military career at the age of 52 years, he started as a technician and inventor. In 1908 he began the foundation of the “Zeppelin GmbH” and the Zeppelin Foundation. Shortly thereafter, the airship LZ6, which was the first airship used for the commercial transportation of passengers was built. In 1915 the “Gear Factory” was founded. Their gears and transmissions, precision engineered according to a new patent of that time, promised an optimal power transmission between engines and propellers of the Zeppelin airships.

In addition to his technical skills, Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin also possessed the ability, to win over people and to convince them of his bold-looking projects – even after suffering setbacks. Renowned personalities of his time, among them Claude Dornier, Karl Maybach, Alfred Colsman, Hugo Eckener and Alfred Graf von Soden-Frauenhof, came to Friedrichshafen to work with Zeppelin.


Claude Dornier: Mission Aircraft

The namesake of Dornier GmbH, Claude Honoré Desiré Dornier (* May 14, 1884 in Kempten) was often entrusted with many unusual tasks by Graf Zeppelin. In 1914, he instructed the young engineer with the development of a large aircraft entirely built of metal. This challenge became the dominant mission of Claude Dornier.

Claude Dornier
© Dornier Museum Friedrichshafen


His career with Count Zeppelin began with his appointment as head of the independent department “Do”. Three years later, he was already managing director of “Zeppelinwerk Lindau GmbH”, which was renamed in 1922 in “Dornier Metallbauten GmbH”. In 1932, this company was transferred into his possession. Dornier Consulting International’s parent company was born.

Claude Dornier’s work spanned half a century. His vision was formulated as follows: “I’ve always been set the goals as high as possible, in recognition of the fact that the goal to be achieved would be far below the goal hoped-for.”


A Piece of German Industrial History

The history of Dornier GmbH is closely linked to its founder Claude Dornier, who controlled the company until his death in 1969. In 1955, the Dornier GmbH had designed and manufactured almost 80 different types of aircrafts. Many of those types made the name Dornier well-known throughout the world in these years. Outstanding was the airboat family type Whale and twelve-engined flying boat Do X, which was a sensation for aesthetic reasons (among others). In the middle of the 20th century, the company was also active in Italy and in Switzerland. In Spain, the Netherlands and Japan, Dornier aircrafts were built under license. From 1934 the Dornier GmbH is committed then amplified in high-performance aircraft.

Dornier GmbH



Development of Dornier Consulting International

After concentrating on complex engineering tasks in aerospace and the related project management, a separate Business Line “Planning Consulting” was founded in 1962 at Dornier GmbH. The Dornier Planning Consulting supported clients in the planning and realization of investment and organization projects.

In 1995, Dornier Planning Consulting was spun off as a stand-alone company, in the first time firmed as Dornier SystemConsult. The entrepreneurial and progressive thinking of the founder Dornier even now characterizes the corporate culture. For as Claude Dornier said: “It is not the money capital determining the content and value of a company, but the spirit that prevails in it. Spirit without tradition is inconceivable.”



In 2002, a re-branding into Dornier Consulting was performed. With a new name and refreshed corporate identity the company focused on international expansion with subsequent opening of branch offices in Abu Dhabi, Russia, Poland, and South Africa.

In 2005, the company wpm located in Stuttgart (formerly known as Weidleplan) was acquired. With this important step Dornier Consulting further expanded its position as provider of comprehensive consulting and implementation solutions in the area of project management and supervision for construction of buildings/civil works.



In 2009, a subsidiary named Dornier Consulting Services and Training was founded in Saudi Arabia which developed to one of the key markets for our consulting and implementation services, especially in the water and transportation sector.

In 2013, the headquarters of Dornier Consulting moved from Lake Constance to Berlin. Those who need access to ministries and institutions, like Dornier Consulting does, must be in the capital city of Germany. Also in this year, branch offices were opened in Dubai and Amman.

In 2015, all former national subsidiaries were merged into the new Dornier Consulting International, a technically broad and globally operating project management & consulting house. For the first time in the more than 50-years history the lines of business Transportation, Airports, Energy, Water & Environment, Infrastructure & Real Estate and Automotive and all associated expertise are governed under one roof.




Project History

Operation Research and Logistics for the Army and Navy as Originating Planning Consulting at Dornier Consulting

Back in the early 1960s, the structure of the Bundeswehr with new systems analysis and mathematical planning methods, called “Operation Research” (OR) was supported. Dornier Consulting advised German navy in its analysis and evaluation of weapon systems, such as frigates, in deployment strategies for fleets and in organizing the logistics, so the replenishment. Even then helped a large data center, tackle complex problems through realistic possible simulation and planning models. Soon turned to the experience and methods of work for the Bundeswehr on current traffic consulting problems. The “OR department” so became the core of the new business unit “planning consulting ” founded in 1962 at Dornier System GmbH. When the Suez Canal was closed briefly, a simulation model for the supply of crude oil to the BRD was developed for the Federal Ministry of Transport, OLEO called. This was a simulation of various crisis scenarios by “pictures” of the various supply routes to the ports, pipelines, inland waterways and railways. Even cost-benefit analysis for the evaluation of public investment projects led by Dornier, such as the expansion of the Kiel Canal for international shipping. Innovative methods such as digital cartography and geospatial environmental planning emerged for the military planning of the Bundeswehr computer terrain models, which enabled simulation of the mobility of military organizations in the field and on the road network.


Development of Logistics for Transport and Industry

In 1966, the first container ships moored in the German seaports, showed that the entire port logistics had to be redesigned. With the help of a simulation model of container movement optimum handling, storage and transport organization could be planned and implemented developed for the port of Bremerhafen. Container traffic has developed so rapidly that soon appeared bottlenecks in transport and handling in the hinterland of the FRG. On behalf of the Federal Ministry of Transport, the vulnerabilities of container transport have now been analyzed and comprehensive solutions for the information flows of the transport chain were developed. The solution of similar problems in other industries were achieved with computer methods for logistic network optimization. Reunification and European integration led to further increase in transport traffic. This required an improvement of logistics nodes, the establishment of regional freight distribution centers and plans to connect several modes of transport. A military application was an indispensable tool of the industry.


Participation in the Development of Magnetic Levitation Technology

Against the background of increasing congestion, a high number of fatalities on the roads, a debt-ridden national railway company with unattractive features and increasing demands for environmental performance of the national traffic system through the use of a new rail system had to be significantly improved. To this end, a system analysis of a high-speed transport system (HSB) in 1969 commissioned by the Ministry of Transport. To close the gap identified in the transport technology of the railway sector, the federal government launched the two-track research and development program “rapid train”. At the same time it was recommended to carry out research and development work, to establish a pilot program for a maglev system i.e. by magnetic tracking and driving techniques. Dornier Consulting was entrusted with the project supervision of the issued by the Federal Ministry of Research and Technology in a research and development program for magnetic levitation technology, which covered a period of almost 40 years and a volume of € 1.5 billion. The construction of a large-scale test facility (TVE) was on a site at Lathen in the Emsland. Construction and commissioning of TVE in two phases took years 1979-1986 to complete. Already since 1982 had begun with numerous track investigations. The routes between Berlin and Hamburg (1994-2000) and Munich main station – Munich airport (2001-2008) were selected as particularly interesting. However, it succeeded neither in the one nor the other route for the demarcation of risk between the federal government, german national railway company as the operator and the system industry to achieve an agreement. A 30 km long maglev link in Shanghai keeps the world’s only commercial maglev application. It was completed jointly by a Chinese project company and a consortium of Siemens and ThyssenKrupp on the basis of developed technology in Germany in record time between 2000 and of 2003. The project support of Dornier Consulting was there involved in the implementation phase on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Transport through regular contacts with the Chinese Ministry of Technology.


New Concepts for the Integration of Transport Systems

Inline with increasing economic growth also the traffic grew rapidly. The expansion of transport infrastructure could barely keep up. Therefore, new ways have been sought to use more effectively by integrating and combining the different forms of transport infrastructure and protect the environment. Road, water and rail were more closely linked. For the Federal Ministry of Transport was established in 1994 under the leadership of Dornier a master plan “Freight Transport and Logistics” developed, which contained a strategy for the sustainable development of freight transport in the Federal Republic into the next decade. Previously, the benefits of regional freight centers (GVZ) has been demonstrated in a cost-benefit analysis. The first of these centers was planning Dornier Consulting 1983 in cooperation with the state and the industry, in Bremen. This center was also a pilot project for a new kind of “city logistics”, bringing the freight improved and cheaper into the cities. Dornier Consulting’s planning approach has been implemented not only in Germany but also in Eastern Europe.


Corridors for International Traffic

The trade with Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union was settled on a few railway lines. This was made more difficult by the change of the European standard gauge for the Russian broad gauge. For the main “corridor” through Berlin to Moscow a modern handling and storage center was planned by Western standards in 1985 at the border crossing between Poland and Belarus Brest node. After the end of the Cold War, the transport services rose rapidly. Eastern European countries have a vital interest in the development of efficient infrastructures. Only in this way trade can flourish with the European Union and worldwide. The EU supports this since the 1990s as part of the so-called TRACECA program. Here, Dornier Consulting took the role of the project leader in the transport planning. At node Brest the necessary capacities through new techniques, such as the automatic change of gauge, and modern forms of organization, were created. With innovative transport solutions the old myth of the Silk Road can be revived. New logistics centers at the nodes of the old trade routes now assume the role of the old caravanserais.


Aviation Needs Airports

After the highways and high-speed railway lines were greatly expanded, the expansion of the airlines network was stronger in the view of transport policy. How far reckoned a regional airline network, was analyzed and forecasted by Dornier Consulting by a national cost-benefit analysis. Here also the preference of travelers played a role. With the aid of a traffic model transport demand for various development scenarios of the future road, rail and air transport could be simulated. The result spoke for an expansion of regional aviation. Again, the planning advisory came into play: For the new Munich airport Dornier Consulting was planning a new organizational concept of the ground services. Also, the growing volume of air freight hub at Frankfurt called for new forms of organization for ground handling. For the expansion of the Moscow Sheremetyevo airport Dornier Consulting developed a master plan, which included both the design of the equipment, as well as the logistics, like the Asia Airfreight Terminal at Hong Kong’s new airport. Dornier Consulting was also involved in the site evaluation for a new international Berlin-Brandenburg Airport and in charge of the environmental concerns of the public approval process. For the expansion of Frankfurt Airport Dornier Consulting took over the project management of the approval process and was responsible for project management in the implementation of the entire expansion program, including the north-west runway and the terminal A-Plus.


Dornier Project Management for Industry and Research

Back in the 1960s, new methods for project management were developed by Dornier Consulting and used in the former large-scale projects in aerospace. The International Project Management Association (IPMA) of 1967 followed now in the year 1979 the German Association for Project Management (GPM), which was established under the initiative of Dornier Consulting. The company developed and marketed manuals and guidelines for project managers, as well as computer programs for Project scheduling- and cost planning. To this was added a service to control numerous major projects. Dornier Consulting advised for example the research program of the Federal Republic of maglev, the development of the Jülich particle accelerator for neutrons and the center for proton and ion Basic Research in Darmstadt. From the outset, the internal project management training was maintained at Dornier Consulting and employee qualifications improved. This bore also courses for employees of other companies and institutions emerged.


Project Management for the Development of Rail Transport

After reunification, it was important, with a minimum capital investment to modernize existing routes between East and West and to use modern rolling stock. For this purpose, the operation of tilting vehicles offered a significant travel time reduction (up to 20%) that can be achieved in passenger transport with a moderate use of resources at track and signaling systems. Dornier Consulting had the task of providing the project management in support of nationaly railway company -based project management for these two major projects. These two projects were the basis on which the competence of the Dornier Consulting could develop as a project manager +in the rail sector. Dornier Consulting was also in South Africa for the monitoring of regional fast rail service planned until the 2010 World Cup and also active in Sudan as construction supervisor of the local railway administration in constructing a new railway line from Khartoum to Port Sudan.


For Sustainable Mobility

Mobility is a basic human need, the supply of tangible and intangible assets, human communication and the need for movement require transport of people, goods and information. Mobility consumes resources, particularly energy, and has an environmental impact. Efficient transport concepts can limit this consumption and the environmental impact and enable sustainable mobility. These subsystems of traffic, such as transport and transport infrastructure in an “intelligent” way must be designed. For a sustainable, future oriented mobility not only the growing traffic space must be created. The causes must be influenced, for example by steering the urban settlement development or integration of transport networks. This includes better spatial and temporal coordination of traffic and the optimum use of each transport mode. Dornier developed integrated transport management systems for some cities. This included a reunited Berlin. Problem here was a network of municipalities and the surrounding area and a redesign of the railway stations. The idea of “construction logistics centers” was born to supply the big Berlin constructions. Dornier Consulting developed pioneering transport policies and infrastructure programs for new public transport networks for Moscow and the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh.


More Safety and Efficiency Through Telematics

“Telematics” is composed of “telecommunications” and “computer science” together. As “traffic telematics”, it aims in the form of traffic information, control and monitoring systems for increased safety and reliability for passengers and freight. Often technologies are used which are derived from the aerospace industry, such as telemetry, remote data transmission, or sensors. Also automation and satellite-based position determination (GPS) are used. Dornier Consulting developed here in cooperation innovative systems that today are standard, such as the truck toll system for the German motorways. To improve road safety Dornier Consulting developed in 2002 the emergency call system “TeleAid”. The German experience in vehicle and road safety partnership of the company, supported by the World Bank, passed on to countries that are still struggling with high rates of injury. But also the german national railway company has taken experience of Dornier Consulting in telematics applications. In 1995 a scenario of a “future-oriented operating concept” (FVL), in which trains are controlled out of the network and passengers are modal-across kept informed.


Know-how and Technologies for Sustainable Resource Management

System Consulting also helps in one of the problems of humanity, the solution for drinking water. It is a precious commodity: about one-third of humanity has no access to clean water. With modern techniques, the team of Dornier Consulting explored together with the German Technical Cooperation company groundwater resources in different deserts of the Arabian Peninsula. Satellite data and spot audits are the basis for hydrogeological models that emulate the availability and consumption. Thus a nationwide management system for monitoring and sustainable use of the water resource is set up. By constant monitoring of the water cycle through efficient use and wastewater treatment for irrigation in settlements and agriculture is possible in the long term even in deserts.