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Axel Stepken was born in Essen, Germany. He studied Electrical Engineering at RWTH Aachen and achieved his PhD in High-Voltage Engineering in 1989.
Upon completion of his PhD, Axel Stepken worked at ABB, where he held several management positions in Germany and Indonesia within the Power Transmission and Distribution Segment. He joined TÜV SÜD AG in 2002 as Member of the Board of Management, responsible for the INDUSTRY and former PEOPLE Strategic Business Segments as well as the ASIA-PACIFIC Strategic Region. In June 2007 Axel Stepken was appointed Chairman of the Board of Management of TÜV SÜD AG.
Axel Stepken is Member of the Executive Board of the Association of German Engineers (VDI), Member of the Executive Board of Stifterverband – a joint initiative started by companies and foundations devoted to consulting, networking and promoting improvements in the fields of education, science and innovation – and Member of the Senate of acatech, the German National Academy of Science and Engineering. He is also Honorary Professor at Technical University of Munich, Germany, and sits on the Supervisory Board of MT Aerospace.