Dr Ortner is managing editor of the International Journal of Refractory Metals and Hard Metals and retired materials and earth sciences professor from Darmstadt University of Technology. In his career he has focused on the process chemistry of tungsten and molybdenum metal, and on analytical techniques applied to these metals. Dr Ortner is known worldwide in the refractory metals community for his contributions to analysis of refractory metals and hard materials, and for his application of analytical techniques to the process development of refractory metals. He has published more than 200 technical papers in peer-reviewed journals and has been issued several patents.

Dr Ortner served on the advisory boards of the journals Talanta, Microchimica Acta and Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry and is a former member of the International Organization for Standardization (Technical Committee 119 on Powder Metallurgy) and the Austrian Society of Analytical Chemistry, where he served as secretary and vice president.