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Franz Grashof: Rebell für die technischen Hochschulen

11.7.1826 Born in Dusseldorf
1844-1847 Study in mathematics, physics and mechanical engineerin in Berlin
1848-1851 At sea in the German navy
1852-1854 Continuation of studies at the Royal Commercial Institute Berlin
1853-1863 Teacher of Mathematics and mechanics in Berlin
1856 Decisive Participation in the founding of the Association of German Engineers
1863-1891  Professor for Theoretical Machine Design succeeding Redtenbacher in Karlsruhe
1866
Publication of the standard textbook "Die Festigkeitslehre mit besonderer Berücksichtigung
auf die Bedürfnisse des Maschinenbaus" (The Strength of Materials with Special Focus on the Needs of Mechanical Engineering)
1893 Died in Karlsruhe

What made Franz Grashof so famous?

Grashof came in 1863 as a professor of mechanical engineering at the polytechnic school in Karlsruhe and worked there until 1891. His goal was to open the originally purely practice oriented world of the engineers of theoretical research that has been pitifully ridiculed by the field of humanities and enforce its recognition as equal science. 
Along with other members of the A.V. HÜTTE, he founded  the Association of German Engineers (VDI) in 1856 and played an important role in its development. Grashof was the first director of the VDI, and out of this establishment, one of the largest professional associations in the world grew over time. The VDI won political influence in patent legislation and in the system of technical education; the establishment of the Berlin TH is difficult to imagine without the VDI.

The recognition of the Karlsruhe Polytechnic as a new organizational statute with full university constitution and equal ranking with the universities in 1865 was especially due to Franz Grashof's commitment. Grashof also campaigned for the promotion rights of the technical institution for many years which was finally granted in 1900 due to the Karlsruhe Professor for Theoretical Machine Design. Grashof was a great educator for technology. He continued the foundation of scientific engineering initiated by Redtenbacher and gave his whole attention to theoretical engineering.

Das Ziel seiner (Grashofs) Theorie der Kraftmaschinen besteht

"in einer wissenschaftlichen Diskussion der prinzipiell möglichen und mit den Anforderungen des Maschinenbaus wenigstens voraussichtlich nicht unvereinbaren maschinalen Hilfsmittel zu möglichst wirtschaftlicher Verwertung der natürlich gegebenen verschiedenen Formen von Arbeitsvermögen als Betriebsarbeit zu technischen Zwecken sowie in der Vergleichung des wirtschaftlichen Wertes der entsprechenden verschiedenen Gruppen und Arten von Kraftmaschinen.”

(zitiert nach: Rudolf Plank: Franz Grashof, in: Die Technische Hochschule Fridericiana Karlsruhe. Festschrift zur 125-Jahrfeier, Karlsruhe 1950, S. 61).