History of the Chair of Lightweight Structures

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wilhelm Messerschmitt

W. Messerschmitt was born in Frankfurt am Main on June 26 1898. In 1923 he finished his studies of machine engineering with a work about the S14 sailplane at the Technical academy of Munich (THM). In the same year he founded his "Flugzeugbau-Messerschmitt GmbH" in Bamberg, which was incorporated into the Bavarian airplane works (BFW) and then renamed to Messerschmitt AG in 1938. In 1929 a regular professorship for aeronautics became vacant but wasn`t occupied for reasons of economy. Instead of that W. Messerschmitt obtained a university teaching position and was appointed honorary professor in 1937. In 1938 the THM awarded him the honorary doctorate. After the Second World War (from 1955) Messerschmitt went on building airplanes in licence for the Deutsche Luftwaffe and the NATO. In 1968 the Messerschmitt AG, the Bölko group and the aviation department of the hamburgian Blohm combine merge to the Messerschmitt-Bölko-Blohm group (MBB). Messerschmitt was copartner and honorary board member of this group until old age. Prof. Messerschmitt died on September 15 1978 in Munich aging 80 years.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Julius Krauss

In 1922 J. Krauss finished his studies of machine engineering at the Technical academy of Munich(THM). Before his assignment to the THM J. Krauss was head of the statics department (from 1932) and director of Messerschmitt AG from 1941. In 1936 he took over the lecture of Prof. Messerschmitt and became assistant lecturer at the THM. In 1940 the bavarian state government approved the professorship of aircraft construction and occupied it with the assignment of J. Krauss to the THM. The chair wasn`t occupied during the postwar period. In 1954 J. Krauss was called to THM again and took over his ophaned professorship for aircraft construction. Prof. Krauss became emeritus in 1964.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Gerhard Czerwenka

G. Czerwenka was born on November 12 1909 in Ober Rydultau (Upper Silesia). In 1936 he graduated construction engineer at the TH Breslau. In 1958 he did his doctor`s degree at the TU Berlin with his doctoral thesis "Untersuchungen an dünnen, kurzen Zylindern, die durch Ring-Kleinstprofile enger und mittlerer Teilung verstärkt sind und unter Manteldruck stehen" ("Analysis of thin, short cylinders under pressure which are reinforced with small ring profiles of narrow and middle division"). After this the State doctorate followed with a work calling "Querkrafteinleitung in zylindrische oder abschnittsweise konisch veränderliche dünne Schalen" ("Shear force injection into cylindrical or partially conically changeable thin shells"). After his State doctorate he achieved a university teaching position at the TU Berlin in the "department for aeroelastical problems in aircraft construction". Before his appointment as professor at the TU Munich he was chief of the department of statics and dynamics as well as head of the research department of Focke-Wulff GmbH in Bremen. In August 1964 he was appointed professor in ordinary after Prof. Kraus turning emeritus professor. At the same time the institute was renamed "Institute of Lightweight Structures and Aircraft Construction". Prof. Czerwenka became emeritus on March 31 1978.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Reimer Johannes Meyer-Jens

R.J. Meyer-Jens was born on July 03 1931 in Uetersen. In 1957 he finished his studies of construction engineering at the TH Hannover and did his doctor`s degree at the local chair and institute of statics. The theme of his dissertation was "Einleitung von Querlasten in umfangsversteifte zylindrische Membranschalen mit elliptischer Querschnittsform" ("Injection of radial loads in perimeter-stiffened cylindrical membrane shells with elliptical cross-sectional form"). Before his appointment to the THM (renamed Technical University of Munich in 1970) he was compartment director at VFW-Fokker in Bremen. On April 4th 1979 Meyer-Jens was appointed professor in ordinary of the chair after Prof. Czerwenka became emeritus. At the same time the chair was renamed Institute of Lightweight Structures. Prof. Meyer-Jens became emeritus on September 30 1996.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Horst Baier

H. Baier was born on June 10th 1950 in Heusenstamm. In 1972 he finished his studies of machine engineering at the TH Darmstadt and in 1978 he did his doctor`s degree there. The subject of his dissertation was "Mathematische Programmierung zur Optimierung von Tragwerken insbesondere bei mehrfachen Zielen" ("Mathematical coding to optimize girders particularly with multiple objectives").After this he changed to the department of structural mechanics at Dornier System in Friedrichshafen and became the head of this department later on. In the following H. Baier was head of the department "Technology and CAE" (Computer Aided Engineering) at Dornier Sattelite Systems (today: ASTRIUM) with the key issues CAD Simulation; fiber compound structures; smart materialsand structures; high performance devices for space flight and terrestrical applications.From 1981 to 1997 he held a university teaching position and was honorary professor at the TU Darmstadt. In 1997 he was head and appointed professor in ordinary of the Institute of Lightweight Structures till his retirement in April 2016.