The mechanical engineer with a doctoral degree was the Director of the Fraunhofer IAO (since its foundation), besides he is also Professor of Industrial Science and Technology Management at the University of Stuttgart. From 2002 to 2012 he was the President of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. He is also a member of the Scientific Board of AutoUni Wolfsburg.
From 1963 till 1966 he attended the Technische Oberschule in Stuttgart and passed the Abitur with a second-chance education.
Bullinger is a member of acatech, the German academy of science and engineering.
- 1998: Order of the Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesverdienstkreuz), medal and ribbon, awarded for outstanding services to German science, industry and society,
- 2003: First Class Order of the Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesverdienstkreuz erster Klasse), awarded for extraordinary services to German science and research
- 2006: Order of merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for promoting the transfer of knowledge between science and industry
- 2009: Verdienstorden des Landes Baden-Württemberg (Merit of the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg)
- 2012: Leonardo European Corporate Learning Award in the "Thought Leadership" category.
- 2013: International Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering