Jiří Plešek graduated from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the Cech Technical University in 1984. His professional career started at the National Institute for Machine Design in Prague. There, he had been working on the development of computer codes and numerical algorithms for the use with the finite element method. These codes were later ported to vector compilers running on Cray computers. He finished his PhD degree at the former Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences in 1992. In 1993, he co-founded a limited company serving to industrial needs in the fields of thermal, stress and seismic analyses of mechanical parts, namely, the components of nuclear power plants. He moved to the Institute of Thermomechanics of the Czech Academy of Sciences in 1997, serving as the head of the department of Impacts and Waves in Solids in 2003-2007, the deputy director in 2007-2012 and, finally, promoted to the institute’s director position for the period of 2013-2021.
He lectures, on a part time job, at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the Czech Technical University since 1998. Currently, he teaches two full-semester courses: Continuum Mechanics since 2002 and Plasticity and Creep since 2011. He supervised eleven PhD. Students. Jiří Plešek is a member of three doctoral studies councils and a honorary chair of the Scientific Council of the Research Centre Řež. He is a member of the Board of The Technology Agency of the Czech Republic since 2017. He coordinated , at the Czech Academy of Sciences, a Strategy AV21 research programme Efficient Energy Conversion and Storage in 2015-2021. Jiří Plešek was elected to the Academy Council of the Czech Academy of Sciences for the period 2021-2025.
Jiří Plešek has been interested in several areas of computational solid mechanics, such as impact dynamics, structural vibrations and shock wave propagation. His current research interests include plasticity and creep of metals. He participated in a number engineering projects assessing technologies for the energy industry.