Ulrich received his PhD at the Technical University at Braunschweig, where his thesis focused on the baryte and zinc mines of Meggen, Germany.
After graduation, he moved to the University of Leiden, The Netherlands, where he worked as a scientific assistant. He was also secretary of an international study group dealing with Geodynamics in Europe, and transatlantic correlation of North American and European geology.
He later became an assistant professor at the Free University of Berlin. During his time here, he coordinated and operated research programs on the circum-Mediterranean mountain chains in Spain, France, Greece and Turkey. Since 1988, he has lectured Geology at the Universities of Frankfurt, Kiel, Hamburg, Würzburg and Berlin, and since 1999, he has worked as a lecturer on cruise ships in the Arctic, Antarctic and South Pacific.
Ulrich has guided excursions, which have led him to Iceland, Scandinavia, Bohemia, Carpathians, Alpes, French Central Massive, Pyrenees, the Iberian Chaine and the Hoggar Massive in the Central Sahara.