Werner Purgathofer is a full professor of computer science and head of the Institute of Computer Graphics and Algorithms at the Vienna University of Technology, responsible for research and education in computer graphics. He received a Ph.D. in 1984 from TU Vienna. In 1981 and 1986 he received "best paper awards" at the Eurographics annual conferences. He has written a German language textbook on computer graphics and has organised the 1991 and 2006 Eurographics annual conferences in Vienna.
He is the scientific director of the VRVis Research Center, which he founded in 2000. In 2001 he became vice-chair of the Commission for Scientific Visualisation of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. He served in the Executive Committee of Eurographics since 1988, became a fellow of the association in 1997, and is currently its chairman. In 2006 he received the Distinguished Career Award from Eurographics, and in 2010 a Dr.h.c. from the Technical University of Iasi.