Our Story as a Timeline

Starting with our foundation towards our recent movements. We evolve continuously with the changing tasks of our environment.

1836 Higher vocational school of the Grand Duchy of Hesse is founded.
1859 Establishment of five departments, including an engineering department divided into “General Machine Functions” and “Mechanical Technology”.
1868 The school was granted the title of a polytechnic school
1869 Opening of a new institute for “Power and Working Machines” to the Mechanical Engineering department.
1872 Nomination of Philipp Waibler as the first official professor in Mechanical Engineering.
1873 Third subject area added to the Mechanical Engineering department: “Machine Elements, Kinematics, Machine Design”.
1877 The school was renamed to “Großherzoglich Hessische Technische Hochschule zu Darmstadt”
1886 Studies are now of equal value at the Technical Universities of Aachen, Berlin, Braunschweig, Darmstadt, Dresden, Hanover, Karlsruhe and Munich.
1892 Otto Berndt is appointed as a professor of the department of Mechanical Engineering. He would later become the founder of the Institutes of “Hydroelectric Machines” and “Paper Science”
1895 Women can take part in individual classes as observers.
1897 Establishment of a new professorship for Mechanical Engineering, especially Hydraulic Engines.
The Technische Hochschule is granted the right to award the title of Diplom-Ingenieur and to allow graduates to complete doctoral studies.
Building of a Powerplant and a new laboratory in the Magdalenenstrasse
1905 For the first time, four female students enroll at the TH Darmstadt.
1907 Establishment of a new professorship for Airships and Aeronautics.
1918 Reform of the Curriculum in the tree main areas of “Basic Subjects”, “Vocational Subjects” and “General Subjects”
1927 Establishing of the Institutes of “Material Science”, “Thermal Engines”, “Mechanical Technolory”, “Machining tools” and “Rail industry”
1944 During World War 2 the Department of Mechanical Engineering was involved in the research and developement of the V2-Rocket that was built in Peeneemünde. In the same year aerial bombings destroyed more than 70% of the city of Darmstadt aswell as huge parts of the University.
1948 Foundation of a degree in Industrial Engineering, discipline Mechanical Engineering, in cooperation with the Department of Law and Economics.
1952 Second professorship in Paper Technology as part of the foundation of the Institute for Printing Science and Technology.
1955 The Institute for “Thermal Engines” was split up into the Institute for “Thermal Turbo-machines” and the Institute for “Internal Combustion Engines”. Furthermore the Institute for “Heating and Drying Technology” aswell as the Institute for “Thermal Process Engineering” were founded.
1956 A new Institute for “Reactor Technology” was established.
1957 Increase in the number of new students to 250.
1958 Start of teacher further education in Hesse, the Department takes on parts of the training for teachers in vocational schools for the trade schools.
1959 Establishing of the Institute for “Maschine elements and Mechanics”
1962 Founding of the Institute for “Work Science”
1963 Start of construction at the Lichtwiese campus, commissioning of the Siemens teaching reactor SUR100 (operation until 1995, 800mW power).
1965 Academic reform to strengthen “General Mechanical Engineering” while avoiding specific departments apart from Paper Technology.
1967 New Hessian Universities Law with quantitative representation of all university groups provided on an equal basis.
1972 Establishment of a 'departmental computer' to help with numerical calculations.
1974 First DFG Collaborative Research Centre on the topic of Surface Technology until 1987.
1975 New amendment to the Hessian Universities Law with majority rule for professors in all committees for issues regarding research and teaching.
1976 New construction of testing halls on the Lichtwiese campus.
1977 100 years Department of Mechanical Engineering, 22 institutes in the Department, 1,432 students.
1982 Significant increase in student numbers; at times 50% more students than capacity allows.
1983 Split of the Faculty for “Airships and Aeronautics” into the Institutes for “Fluid Mechanics and Aerodynamics” and “Aviation Systems and Control Technology”
1987 Introduction of numerus clausus for a maximum of 500 students (Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Engineering and Management) in the first semester.
1990 Drop in student numbers to under 70% of the planned figures by the middle of the decade.
1995 Merging of the management of the Material Research Laboratory and the Institute of Material Science into one professorship in the Department.
1996 26 professors, as well as honorary professors and lecturers, contract teachers and assistants in permanent, state-funded positions.
1998 First “Introduction to Mechanical Engineering” course. New course in Machine Elements: “Machine Elements and Mechatronics”.
2000 Fundamental revision of the Mechanical Engineering Diplom course, introduction of the accredited Bachelor and Master degree courses, opening of the MechCenter.
2001 As a trial, students can also begin their studies in the summer semester.
2002 371 new students in the Mechanical Engineering Diplom course, another 79 start the other Mechanical Engineering courses.
2003 The new “Mechanical and Process Engineering” degree course wins a prize from the Stifterverband für die deutsche Wissenschaft.
2006 Restructuring of the Department after adoption of several new institutes from the dissolved Department of Mechanics. Now a total of 26 institutes. Establishment of a dual degree programme with the partner university Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA;.
Last enrolment for the Diplom course.
2007 Further strengthening of project courses as a compulsory part of degree studies, introduction of “Philosophy for Mechanical Engineers” as a compulsory module.
2014 The degree courses of the Department of Mechanical Engineering are reaccredited and are now present in their 3rd revision.