Now he is professor and doctoral tutor of the School of Remote Sensing Information Engineering, WuHan University, the director of the State Key Laboratory of Information Engineer in Surveying, Mapping and Remote Sensing, and Technology, WuHan University; In 2012, he was appointed dean of the school of Environment and Surveying and Spatial Informatics, China University of Mining and Technology; Prior to 1999, he served as president of Wuhan University of Surveying and Mapping, in 2000 the formation of the new Wuhan University, Wuhan Surveying and Mapping University of Science and Technology merged into Wuhan University; In 1999 won the "Ho Leung Ho Lee Foundation for scientific and technological progress award"; In 1994, he was elected academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering and academician of Eurasian Academy of Sciences; In 1991, he was elected academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences; In 1985, he taught at School of Geodesy and Geomatics.
In the 1980s, Prof. Li Deren was mainly engaged in the studies of observation errors and processing methods. During his studies in Germany since 1982, Li Deren proposed a new iteration weighted method for gross error location based on a posterior variance estimation, which has since been named “Deren Li Method”. In 1985, he completed theoretical research in the separability of model errors, which advanced the reliability theory of Dutch scientists to the separability phase. His theory has “scientifically solved a hundred-year-baffling problem in geodetic science”. The result of this study received the 1988 Best Paper Award of the German Society and Remote Sensing, and Hansa Luftbild Award. Prof. Li Deren has published over 350 papers and 8 books. He has won more than ten of national and ministerial level prizes, such as The Sci-tech Progress Award, National Excellent Textbook Award, Award of the Excellent Educational Achievements, etc. He provided valuable disaster data for the 1998 floods in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River and the Wenchuan earthquake in 2008.
He graduated from Wuhan Institute of Surveying and Mapping in 1963 and received his master's degree in 1981. He received his doctorate degree from the University of Stuttgart in Germany in 1985. In 2008, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Zurich University of Technology.
He is the academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Chinese Academy of Engineering, the International Eurasian Academy of Sciences, photogrammetry and remote sensing scientists, professor and doctoral tutor of the School of Remote Sensing Information Engineering,WuHan University, the director of the State Key Laboratory of Information Engineer in Surveying, Mapping and Remote Sensing, and Technology,WuHan University, Dean of School of Environment and Surveying and Spatial Informatics, China University of Mining and Technology.