Ernst Terres said that the youth needed to be brought to their senses that is their responsibility to build the nation and that they should indeed make a point of making the future just the way that they wish it to be. This statement is reported a magazine from the 125th jubilee celebrations of the then Karlsruhe Fridicana technical college.
Mechanical engineering at the University of Karlsruhe has a long and binding tradition. We will at this point talk about the history of our university. This should be the basis for creating an impression of our capabilities and expertise. Our curriculum was developed by some very brilliant persons who set up independent fields of learning and research. The efforts made by several professors were extensive and finally these developments asserted themselves into the curriculum and research.
Ferdinand Redtenbacher (1809-1863) helped develop mechanical engineering to a technical science. He used the his proficiency and his great extraordinary talent to apply his theoretical knowledge in solving the mechanical engineering problems that he was confronted with.
Franz Grashof (1826-1893) continued with Redtenbacher’s work. He was equally an amazing instructor and research scientist. His work was acknowledged in Karlsruhe and everywhere else. One of his achievements was helping the then “polytechnic” gain the title of a technical university. Was also part of the team that founded the VDI, association of German engineers.
Carl Benz (1844-1929) (pdf, 14 MB), a honorary doctor of the University of Karlsruhe who was also a student of the two professors mentioned above when he was declared the founder of automobile engineering.
Faculty of mechanical Engineering: the cradle for the scientific mechanical engineering
The mechanical engineering degree program has had the most number of students relative to other degree programs even as from mid 19th century to the last quarter of the 20th century. Mechanical Engineering at the university of Karlsruhe has great reputation for its dominance in the number of intakes.
Mechanical engineering, as we know it today, was founded at the then Karlsruhe polytechnic by Ferdinand Redtenbacher, who was at this polytechnic as from 1841 to 1863. Indeed, he is perceived to have been an excellent scientist who helped develop the basics of the course and eventually went ahead and made efforts that led to the establishment of the polytechnic in 1825.
Mechanical engineering was initially a so called “engineering school” which was headed by one Wilhelm Ludwig Volz. Mechanical engineering and the chemical engineering were later incorporated to the so called vocational school of higher learning which made up a chemical engineering and mechanical engineering school after reorganization. Redtenbacher then helped bring the constructive and theoretical contents to the highest standards then.
A number of prominent scientists like Carl Benz and Emil Skoda enrolled to the then mostly mathematically based mechanical engineering course. Great scientists like Franz Grashof, Wilhelm Nusselt or Rudolf Plank worked at the department of mechanical engineering. Plank founded the first pioneer institute for cooling technology in 1926. This institute dealt with refrigeration and the use of cold machines. The course was examinable even as from the mid 19th century. A professor in mechanical technology and general mechanical engineering was instated in 1876.
The department for mechanical engineering starts an electrical engineering course
Georg Benoit starts the first pioneer institute for conveying technology in the whole world.
The institute of fluid mechanics and thermal turbo-machinery was founded.
The institute aggressively undertook research and was later run by one Wilhelm Spannhake who came from some company that was based in Munich.
1930’s and the very productive 1950’s:
Mechanical engineering in Karlsruhe expands by adding some process engineering
Mechanical engineering and Electrical engineering are put under the same deanery
1954,1958 and 1965:
The then nuclear energy research institute Karlsruhe (Kernforschungszentrum Karlsruhe) is founded. This institute had 5 courses and notably the mechanical engineering department took up 3 of these courses. These were: physical basics of reactor technology in 1954, reactor construction material engineering science in 1958 and nuclear energy engineering in 1965.
Years after 1960:
Mechanical engineering then diversified extensively with the founding or even the growth of a number of courses and institutes. These diverse fields make it impossible to talk of the “classic” mechanical engineering. In fact, even the consuetudinary institutes such as the institute of reciprocating engines, institute of mechanical design and automobile design are now multidiscipline oriented, just like most of the other research and vocational institutes. All institutes work closely with other institutes from other faculties and also with other institutes from all over the world. There is close partnership especially with USA, France, Japan, Spain and UK. A number of scientists from mechanical engineering have been taking part in the collaborative research centers for the last 25 years.