This is an informal description of my background, a more formal one can be found in my Vita.
I was born and raised in Bergisch Gladbach, a small town right next to Cologne, Germany. I did my undergrad work at the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuernberg, but because they didn't have a computer graphics program I changed to the Technical University Darmstadt for my graduate work. There I studied under J.L. Encarnação and in my (copious ;) spare time worked as an RA in the Department for Virtual and Augmented Reality (even though it was still called "Department for Simulation and Virtual Reality" at the time) of the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics.
My work has focused on software systems for Virtual Reality applications, primarily rendering systems. My master's thesis work has a rendering system aptly called "Y" (the logical consequence after "X", and a good name all in itself). It was used as the basis for most of IGD's Virtual Reality projects and later commercialized by vrcom, a spin-off from IGD.
One of the main problems with Y was its tight relation to Unix and X. Many people were asking for a Windows port, which I really wasn't looking forward to, so we waited and hoped for a commercial system to come to our rescue. But after SGI canceled the cooperation with Microsoft on the Fahrenheit project in late 1999 it become obvious that there was no chance of getting another modern scenegraph out of the commercial sector. Thus a new project was started, trying to build a modern, Open Source scenegraph system that would satisfy our needs, run on Windows and all the relevant Unix platforms, and be flexible and extensible enough to handle all the great new features that the graphics hardware manufacturers starting throwing at us. OpenSG® was born. Working on OpenSG® on the development side, getting funding for its development, through the OpenSG® Forum and the OpenSG® Plus project has taken up most of my time since then. Just slightly interruped by getting the HEyeWall off the ground. I didn't get to see it finished, because shortly before that happened I left for Iowa State University in 2003.
I stayed there for 3 years before moving to the University of Louisiana, Lafayette, where I am now. The main pull to get me there was the Louisiana Immersive Technologies Center, which features a pretty unique combination of supercomputing and visualization that looked like it has great potential for interesting research. As it turns out, that is true. ;)
Besides working on rendering systems I've also worked on some of IGD's early Augmented Reality efforts, culminating in the Arvika project. I'm still somewhat involved in the AR community, my latest task was chairing the demo session at ISMAR 2006. On a slightly less technical note I've also spent a wonderful summer at Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International in Takanohara, Japan, working with Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau on an exhibit peace for the SIGGRAPH 1996 art show, IntroACT & MIC Exploration Space.