Prof. Dr. techn. R. Leithner (born in 1945 in Schärding, Austria) was the head of the IWBT (Institute of Heat and Fuel Technologies) of Braunschweig University of Technology in Germany. He has graduated as Dipl.-Ing. (Mechanical Engineering) from the Technical University in Vienna in 1970 with a diploma thesis about measurement and simulation of a heat exchanger.
From 1971 till 1983 he was working in different positions with Energie- und Verfahrenstechnik GmbH (now Alstom Power Boiler GmbH), Stuttgart, one of the leading steam generator manufacturers in Germany.
During his work at EVT he wrote a doctoral thesis on the mass flow from an equally heated tube at constant pressure and was graduated as Dr. techn. from the Technical University in Vienna in 1976. His last position in this company was head of the »main department for steam generator design, development and commissioning« including stress analyses and control systems; also procuration was granted him.
In 1983 he was appointed professor and director of the IWBT at TU Braunschweig. This position of the director was occupied by him until Dec. 31st 2011. During all these positions he was always involved in power plant simulations and design.