Walter Leitner was born in 1963 in Pfarrkirchen, a small town in Bavaria. After receiving his Doctorate at the University of Regensburg and a postdoctoral stay at the University of Oxford, he joined the Max-Planck-Working Group “CO2 Chemistry” at Jena University. He continued research on the use of CO2 as group leader at the MPI für Kohlenforschung and later as Chair of Chemical Technology and Petrochemistry at RWTH Aachen University. Since 2017, he is Director for Molecular Catalysis at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion.
RWTH Aachen University and Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion