Ahrweiler had studied law, sociology, journalism and political science at the University of Hamburg, finishing with a PhD on the establishing of "artificial intelligence" as a hightech research area at the Free University Berlin, where she was supported by the German National Merit Foundation. Since her habilitation thesis in 1999 at the University of Bielefeld on social simulation of innovation processes, she worked as a Heisenberg Fellow of the German Research Foundation (DFG) and as a sociology professor at the University of Hamburg, where she built up a new research programme on innovation research, before going to Dublin in 2007.
Ahrweiler has considerable experience as a principal investigator and coordinator of international projects on innovation networks, like the EU-projects on Simulating Self-Organizing Innovation Networks (SEIN) or Network Models, Governance, and R&D Collaboration Networks (NEMO). Currently, she coordinates the programme "ManETEI" for the European Commission, that focuses on the networked nature of technology innovation. Ahrweiler has received various research awards and is a member of several advisory boards in both governmental and academic organisations. (© European Academy Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler GmbH, AcademiaNet)