Bernhard was born in Germany and obtained his degree in chemistry (Dipl.-Ing.) from the Technical University in Darmstadt. During his studies in Darmstadt he worked with the anionic polymerization of ferrocene-containing monomers as well as the reversible-deactivation radical polymerization of N-vinylcarbazole in the group of Prof. Mathias Rehahn. Afterwards he went to the Fraunhofer Institute of Applied Polymer Research in Potsdam to work in the group of Dr. Jean-Francois Lutz on sequence controlled polymerization methods and single-chain folding. Finally Bernhard underwent his PhD studies in the group of Prof. Christopher Barner-Kowollik at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology on the synthesis of novel macromolecular architectures governed by supramolecular cyclodextrin complexes.
Bernhard joined the Hawker group as a postdoc in 2013 and his main research area is hierarchically structured nanoparticles.