History of Mechanical Engineering

© Christian Malsch / LUH

At the founding of the Higher Business School (Höhere Gewerbeschule) in the year 1831, which was the predecessor of the University of Hannover, Mechanics was not an independent subject. It was taught by K. von Karmasch, its first director, within the frame of technological courses. But a few years later, in the forties of the 19th century, Mechanics had established itself as an independent subject in science and research. Outstanding university professors until the Second World War were the professors A. Ritter (1857-1870), B. Keck (1871-1900), L. Prandtl (1901-1904), M. Weber (1905-1912) and A. Pröll (1913-1945). The Institute of Mechanics was founded as a part of the Technical University of Hannover in the year 1946. Prof. O. Flachsbart (1946-57) managed the difficult new beginning in science and research. His successor Prof. E. Pestel (1957-1977) continued this work with extraordinary success. An important part in the further development of the institute had Prof. O. Mahrenholtz (1966-1982). His work went along with the establishment of a second professorship of Dynamics and Vibration Analysis and the enforced development of the experimental equipment. The professors J. Wittenburg (1977-1979) and H. Springer (1987-1990) worked in the fields of Multibody Systems and Dynamics of Machinery. Prof. I. Teipel (1968-1998) represented the field of Fluid Mechanics.

The professors D. Besdo (1978-2006), K. Popp (1981-2005) and B. Heimann (1992-2008) worked on various single and joint projects in the fields of Elasto- and Plastomechanics, Dynamics and Mechatronics. With a large number of staff members, they turned the Institute of Mechanics into an institution which is successfully dealing with recent scientific research subjects and a vast variety of problems posed by today’s industrial applications. In 2005, the Institute of Mechanics grew into three independent institutes: the Institute of Dynamics and Vibration Research, the Institute of Continuum Mechanics and the Institute of Robotics (since 04/2009 Institute of Mechatronic Systems). They are headed by the professors J. Wallaschek (since 04/2007), P. Wriggers (since 10/2008) and T. Ortmaier (since 04/2009-12/2020).