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TU Berlin

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TU Berlin Historical Heads

Many world-renowned pioneers in the areas of science and the humanities have been very closely linked to TU Berlin, formerly TH Berlin. We would like to briefly present some of these leading figures to you.

There are also occasional articles published in the University newspaper TU intern in a series entitled "Orte der Erinnerung" (Places of Remembrance) recalling leading historical figures closely connected to TU Berlin or its previous incarnations, the impact of whose work has been felt far beyond the University and the city. Reading through these articles it also becomes clear that the majority of these figures found their final resting place in Berlin.

Carl Dahlhaus (1928–1989)

Carl Dahlhaus

taught at TU Berlin as professor of musicology from 1967 until his death, rejecting all offers of professorships from other universities. Under his aegis the subject achieved considerable prestige. He enriched musicology through his contributions to historical theory, the aesthetics of music, music theory and musical analysis.

Hans Geiger (1882–1945)

Hans Geiger

was director of the Institute of Physics at TH Berlin. Together with his colleague Walter Müller he developed the Geiger-Müller counter, used to not only measure radioactive particles but also determine their energy.

Gustav Hertz (1887–1975)

Gustav Hertz

came to TH Berlin in 1927, one year after receiving the Nobel Prize for Physics, where he established the new Institute for Physics.

Walter Höllerer (1922–2003)

Walter Höllerer

was appointed professor of literary studies at TU Berlin. He was also a poet, editor of literary reviews and founder of the Literary Colloquium Berlin. He was instrumental in forging a bridge at TU Berlin between the humanities, technical sciences and natural sciences.

Franz Reuleaux (1829-1905)

Franz Reuleaux

became rector of TH Berlin in 1890 /1891. His name is closely linked to the development of machine kinematics.

Alois Riedler (1850–1936)

Alois Riedler

is the founder of modern technical drawing. He was appointed professor of mechanical engineering at TH Berlin in 1888 and rector in 1899. He was in the vanguard of developing a practically-oriented university education in engineering and established a reputation in the development of automobile construction.  

Ernst Ruska (1906–1988)

Ernst Ruska

received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1986 for developing the first electron microscope. He studied at TH Berlin and later taught at TU Berlin from 1949.

Hans Scharoun (1893–1972)

Hans Scharoun

studied architecture at TH Berlin and taught urban planning at TU Berlin. His design for the Berliner Philharmonie is an international masterpiece of architecture.  

Georg Schlesinger (1874–1949)

Georg Schlesinger

studied at TH Berlin and was appointed to the newly-created Chair of Machine Tools and Factory Management in 1904. Schlesinger is regarded as the founder of modern factory management.

Adolf Slaby (1849–1913)

Adolf Slaby

was appointed professor of theory of machines and electrical engineering at TH Berlin in 1882 where he was also rector from 1894 / 1895. His research was in the area of wireless telegraphy and the beginning of the process of industrial utilization of radio telegraphy is attributed to him.  

Konrad Zuse (1910–1995)

Konrad Zuse

studied at TH Berlin and developed the world’s first process control computer. This marked the birth of the age of the computer.  

Eugene Paul Wigner (1902–1995)

Eugene Paul Wigner

studied and taught at TH Berlin. He formulated the Law of Conversation of Parity and worked in the area of nuclear physics. In 1963 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics for his research into symmetry principles of nuclear and elementary particle physics.

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