Gerhard studied Naval Architecture at University of Hannover, University of Hamburg and University of Michigan / Ann Arbor. After he graduated in 1983, Gerhard worked as an Assistance Researcher at the University of Hamburg and received his Doctoral Degree on a numerical method to compute the steady free surface potential flow in 1988.
Gerhard’s first job in industry was with the Ingenieur Kontor Lübeck (IKL), an engineering company specialised in submarine technology. After that, Gerhard joint the Hamburg Ship Model Basin (HSVA) as head of the Resistance and Propulsion and CFD department. He was the Managing Director of HSVA from 1994 to 2001. From 2001 to 2002 Gerhard was the technical Director of SCHOTTEL.
Between 2002 and 2005 Gerhard was Full Professor and head of department for Fluid Dynamics and Ship Theory of the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH). During this time he initiated and ran different research projects. In addition, Gerhard was responsible for the lectures on fluid mechanics and seakeeping. He was also member of several university and research committees.
From 2005 to 2015 Gerhard was the Managing Director of SCHOTTEL and up to 2018 also the CEO of the SCHOTTEL Group. He initiated important projects like the development of 5 bladed CPPs and the rim thruster. Gerhard is dedicated to innovation and particularly to the tidal energy developments at SCHOTTEL that he started in 2010. This is illustrated and proven by his initiative to found SCHOTTEL HYDRO in 2014 as well as by his personal involvement in the tidal energy business.
Since 2020 he is the chairman of the SCHOTTEL group. Besides his industry jobs, Gerhard was also member of several committees, e.g. he was vice president of the Association of German Naval Architects and is member of the executive committee of the German ship and offshore industry association.