The History of Carl Benz

Mon, 2011-11-07 19:23 — Carl Benz Academy…

Carl Benz was born in 1844 in Karlsruhe, Baden, Germany, a son of an engine driver. Despite the limited means of his family, his mother insisted upon providing him with a good technical education. Being a diligent student, Benz passed the entrance exam to study mechanical engineering at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), formerly known as the Polytechnic College. At the tender age of fifteen he came under the instruction of Ferdinand Redtenbacher and graduated on July 9, 1864, with a degree in mechanical engineering. During his years at the university he had already started to envision concepts for a vehicle that would eventually become the horseless carriage.

In 1871, at the age of twenty-seven, Carl Benz joined a mechanical workshop in Mannheim, working together with his friend August Ritter. He first began his work on a two-stroke engine in the hopes of finding new sources of income and despite some early business misfortunes, successfully developed new types of engines and patented key engine components. These patents, among them the patent for the first internal combustion engine (approved in 1879), soon led to substantial revenue increases and helped to subsidize the workshop business.

Carl Benz’ true genius became obvious thanks to his successive inventions registered whilst designing what would become the production standard for his two-stroke engine. During this time he patented the speed regulation system, the ignition using sparks with a battery, the spark plug, the carburetor, the clutch, the gear shift, and the water radiator.

The success of the company gave Carl Benz the opportunity to indulge in his old passion of designing a horseless carriage. He finished his creation in 1885 and named it the Benz Patent Motorwagen. It was the first automobile entirely designed as such to generate its own power, which is why Carl Benz was granted his patent and is regarded as its inventor. The car was first driven in Mannheim in 1885.

In 1887, after years of testing and modifications, Benz created the first definitive commercial vehicle, the Model 3, an automobile with a four-stroke engine of his own design which was gasoline powered, with wooden wheels. This became the first production automobile. The model 3 was introduced at the 1889 World Fair in Paris and soon received recognition from around the world.

In the 1880′s, automobile owners faced considerable problems as gasoline was only available from pharmacies. The early 1888 version of the “Motorwagen” had to be pushed when driving up a steep hill. This limitation was rectified after Berta Benz made her famous trip, driving one of the vehicles a great distance. On returning, she suggested the addition of another gear to her husband. The popular story goes, that on the morning of August 5, 1888, Berta Benz borrowed this vehicle (without the knowledge of her husband), and embarked on a 106 km (fifty mile) trip from Mannheim to Pforzheim to visit her mother, taking her sons Eugene and Richard with her. In addition to having to scrounge for fuel at pharmacies on the way, she also overcame various technical difficulties and finally arrived at nightfall announcing the achievement to Carl Benz by telegram.

In 1896, Carl Benz was granted a patent for his design of the first ‘boxer engine’ with horizontally-opposed pistons, a design principle which still remains relevant for high-performance racing car engines such as those used by Porsche. The great demand for internal combustion engines increased the size of, and indeed, completely transformed the Benz & Cie. automobile company. By 1899 it had become the largest of its kind in the world, increasing employment from 50 (1890) to 430 (1899) workers and producing 572 automobiles per year.

After World War I, the years of Depression led to an economic crisis and it became desirable for Benz & Cie to pool its resources with another leading company in Stuttgart, Daimler Motors, founded by Gottlieb Daimler and his lifelong partner Wilhelm Maybach. In 1926 the two merged to become the Daimler-Benz company, later to be renamed as Daimler-Benz, which is now part of Daimler AG. Following the merger in 1926, all new automobiles were called Mercedes-Benz in honor of the most important model of DMG automobiles, the Mercedes 35hp.

The name ‘Mercedes’ derives from the ten year-old daughter of Emil Jellinek, the wealthy European entrepreneur who sat on the board of Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft (DMG) in the early 1900′s and who helped to improve the design of the DMG engines.

Carl Benz served as a member of the supervisory board of Daimler AG from 1926 until he passed away in 1929.


University of Karlsruhe

University Of Karlsruhe

The University of Karlsruhe, which is also known as Fridericiana, was established in 1825, and is located in Karlsruhe, Germany. The university started as a polytechnic school. Grand Duke Frederick I of Baden raised the status from school to a university in 1865. It was renamed as Institute of Technology in 1885 and became a full fledged university in 1967. Fridericiana’s recent enrollments have been more than 18,000 students. The university offers undergraduate and graduate programs of study through the following academic divisions:

* Architecture
* Chemical and Process Engineering
* Chemistry and Biology
* Civil engineering, Geology, and Ecological Sciences
* Computer Science
* Economics
* Electrical engineering and Information Technology
* Humanities and Social sciences
* Mathematics
* Mechanical Engineering
* Physics

Qualified instructors train the students for various types of sports. The university publishes an online magazine known as clicKIT. This magazine is published three times per semester. The students are associated with organizations like Protestant Student Community, IEEE Student Branch Karlsruhe, Students of the community,Business Masters Karlsruhe eV and Students for Christ.
The university alumni include eminent personalities such as Georg Karl Wilhelm Hamel, a mathematician; Hermann Hummel, politician and chemist; Edward Teller, theoretical physicist, Karl Friedrich Benz, an automobile engineer; and many others.
Campus Location

Kaiserstraße 12serstraße 12
Karlsruhe 76131
Main Tel: +49(0)721/608-0

University Web Site :


University-Industry Collaboration and Its Impact on Manufacturing

Leading German and U.S. experts discussed best practice examples of university-industry relations and their impact on regional development at the German Center for Research and Innovation on November 7, 2012.

In the U.S., Albany and Pittsburgh are examples of regions in which the economy has turned around as a result of successful university-industry collaboration. According to Dr. Marc Malandro, Associate Vice Chancellor for Technology Management and Commercialization at the University of Pittsburgh, the university’s commercialization efforts and industrial invention transfers have led to a “manufacturing comeback.” The university’s start-up companies have attracted over $400 million in investments to the Pittsburgh region.

Dr. Robert E. Geer, Chief Academic Officer at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE), University of Albany, SUNY, presented CNSE as a financially and technically competitive environment to empower nanotech companies in New York State. Based on a shared-use co-location model, CNSE established an on-campus work and life infrastructure for students, faculty members, and collaborating companies, and provides shared facilities, joint investments and financing opportunities.

Dr. Bernd Reissert, President of the Berlin School of Economics and Law, indicated that innovation capacity in Germany is linked to firms’ embeddedness into a highly decentralized system of research organizations and applications oriented universities. Whereas American universities collaborate with larger companies for additional resources to conduct basic research, German educational institutions partner with SMEs on a client-based scale. Dr. Hans-Jürgen Pfisterer, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences, highlighted labor market differences. The “German Mittelstand,” which consists of mostly family-owned small and medium-sized companies, considers a candidate’s potential and personality for long-term job development. U.S. companies tend to hire top-of-the-field candidates for particular job purposes.

The speakers agreed on a common interest in public investment for education, training, and research. Innovative German and U.S. manufacturers depend on universities to cultivate a highly skilled and adaptable workforce. The benefits of university-industry collaboration are two-fold: Companies share resources and investments, while universities serve as early-stage recruitment centers where students train with cutting-edge equipment and are integrated into work environments of future employers. Dr. Kaushik Kumar from Tokyo Electron (TEL), which established its first R&D facility outside of Japan on the CNSE campus, emphasized that “without a qualified workforce, we are not able to push R&D forward.”

Successful university-industry collaboration results in increased workforce development and more students. The economic impact can be measured with the number of companies attracted to the university, regional investments, and job creation.

The event was sponsored by the German Center for Research and Innovation and UAS7, German Universities of Applied Sciences. UAS7 is a strategic alliance of seven leading German universities of applied sciences committed to excellence in teaching and research. This ‘alliance for excellence‘ includes the Berlin School of Economics and Law, Bremen University of Applied Sciences (UAS), Cologne UAS, Hamburg UAS, Munich UAS, Münster UAS and Osnabrück UAS. UAS7 is represented in the U.S. and Canada by its Liaison Office in New York City.

A video of the event can be watched (

The German Center for Research and Innovation provides information and support for the realization of cooperative and collaborative projects between North America and Germany. With the goal of enhancing communication on the critical challenges of the 21st century, GCRI hosts a wide range of events from lectures and exhibitions to workshops and science dinners. Opened in February 2010, GCRI was created as a cornerstone of the German government’s initiative to internationalize science and research and is one of five centers worldwide.


Engineering in Germany by John Kowal & Leif Juergensen (November 7, 2008)

German engineers have a reputation for having more practical backgrounds than their American counterparts, but does that translate into more-fulfilling careers?

Germany has always been synonymous with engineering. It is well known for its technical universities, internships that are practical and immersive, and perhaps most important, a culture and an economy that rewards engineering skills with both prestige and career growth.

Who, What, Where
Authored by Leif Juergensen,  John Kowal :  ELAU Inc., a company of Schneider Electric, Schaumburg, Ill.,
Edited by Leland Teschler, [email protected]

Is it better in Germany?

German engineers have many of the same concerns as their U.S. counterparts.
Apprenticeships play a large role in bringing German companies new talent.

While there are no substitutes for aptitude and motivation, the environment in Germany does favor technical education at all levels. The relative lack of engineering technology curricula in the U.S. stands in bleak contrast to the many and varied technical universities in Germany and their close collaboration with industry. In Germany, hands-on internships at companies span the engineering student’s senior year.

Nevertheless, many Germans are unhappy with the country’s primary education system. One criticism concerns the large influx of new grade school teachers in the 1970s. There is a feeling voiced among parents that this generation of teachers has became entrenched, stagnant, and quite bureaucratic and unapproachable. The fear is that the foundation for higher education has deteriorated as a result of their policies. And though many of them are looking at imminent retirement, their departure is a dual-edged sword because it could potentially cause wholesale disruption of the primary school system.

Despite such problems at the primary-school level, German universities have a stellar reputation. They have a long history of close ties to industry. And cooperation between business and education starts young. Companies frequently extend apprenticeships and internships even to high-school students. So young engineering grads and technicians have the opportunity to start careers with an intimate knowledge of their company’s business. Companies start these programs because they are effective at developing employees who are productive the day they’re hired. These relationships also breed stability and loyalty, especially in smaller communities where many engineering firms reside.

Fast facts about German engineering

• Germany exports more mechanical engineering products than any other country, according to the German Engineering Federation.
• Twenty percent of all exported machinery globally came from Germany last year.
• Last year, German machinery and equipment makers added about 50,000 employees. This year they are expected to add another 15,000.
• The number of mechanical engineers in Germany doubled over each of the last two decades.
• The fastest-growing segment for German robotics and automation companies in 2006 was machinevision technology.

But apprenticeships aren’t automatic. Students must seek these jobs out. Nor are apprenticeships mandatory for employment at industrial companies. And there is no guarantee of employment once the apprenticeship has run its course.

Still, it is easy to find high-ranking officials in German manufacturers who began their career with the company as apprentices in high school. And there is an attitude in Germany that employment longevity is a plus for both employer and employee. So it is not uncommon to hear Germans express bewilderment over the practices of large U.S. companies which appear to favor assignments that are only two years long. Most German manufacturers figure it takes closer to five years to both master a position and prepare a replacement before transitioning to the next step on the career ladder.

Becoming a German engineer

The hottest engineering fields in Germany today are in IT, automation, and mechanical engineering geared toward design of machinery. But if ever there was a success story in Germany’s engineering education system, it’s mechatronics. Combining computer science, electrical and mechanical-engineering disciplines, mechatronics programs attract top students with the lure of the best jobs. There are actually two kinds of colleges in Germany that award engineering degrees. The first are called Technical Universities (more emphasis on theory). It takes about five or six years to complete a degree at a Technical university. Graduates typically end up doing R&D, or eventually in corporate management and education.

The second type is called Fachhochschulen (more emphasis on applied technology). They tend to be more practical and deal directly with industrial technologies. Graduates generally finish in four to five years. In addition, there are automation technology institutes which are a little like trade schools. There are quite a number of all three institutions. They can be found in Cologne, Dresden, Magdeburg, Freiberg, Bremen, Stttgart, Rostock, Darmstadt, Bochum, Ilmenau, Merseburg, Halle, Wernigerode, Mittweida, Flensburg, Chemnitz, Karlsruhe, Berlin, Siegen, and Braunschweig.

There is a third route to an engineering degree through practical experience and certification. However, Germany is a country where even a baker must pass a three-year apprenticeship to be eligible for employment. So the process of earning an engineering degree without formal classroom time is also quite rigorous.

As in U.S. engineering schools, there is typically a dropout rate of 20% or more from German technical universities and Fachhochschulen. (In our coauthor’s first semester, 400 students started a math course wherein 70% of them eventually washed out.)

Adding to the difficulty is the fact that Germany has 16 different states, each with different policies and regulations that govern school attendance. These regulations tend to be more restrictive than what U.S. students are accustomed to. For example, our coauthor (who passed the math course) moved south and found he couldn’t resume study there in December. He had to wait until the next scholastic year. He ended up having to go out of the region to find a school on his schedule. And as in the U.S., German schools demand that students make high grades in courses for which they request a transfer of credits.

It is also more common in Germany for university classes to be a mix of students having different academic backgrounds. As an example, about 35 of the 70 students in our coauthor’s electrical engineering class were transfers. Another 20 came directly from high school. And 10 had apprenticed and worked as electricians. This was in an EE degree gram that focused on electrical energy generation with automation as a sub or side category.

The situation with engineering in Germany has several parallels with engineering in the U.S. One of them is in demographics. The feeling there is that too few women and minorities pursue engineering careers. So there are efforts underway to make the profession more well known among youngsters in these demographics. And it is easy to find engineering outreach programs targeting German high-school students because Germany is beset with the same aging population as the U.S. The feeling in Germany is that there may not be enough young engineers to continue the country’s traditional leadership in engineering. German leaders view this falloff in engineers as a critical problem because the country is a world leader in machinery exports. All in all, German politicians and businesses alike think a strong engineering base is an economic necessity.

Germans have blamed the impending shortage of engineers on various things at various times. One theory is that it is a result of changing world views. For example, the green movement has been strong in Germany since the 1970s and there is a feeling it may have led children to view engineering as a profession which creates things that hurt the environment. In addition, there is a perception in Germany that the traditional prestige of engineering has eroded somewhat, perhaps because the Germany manufacturing economy turned in a lackluster performance in the 1980s and 1990s. This, in turn, has led a significant number of German engineers to become ex-pats.

Another parallel with the U.S. is that German students with strong analytical skills have been attracted to degrees in finance and business. At least until recently, these degrees have been viewed as fast tracks to corporate success.

One other trend that worries Germans is the change in economic background of the average engineering student. Twenty years ago, roughly a third of engineering students came from affluent, educated households. Another 25% were from average income families, and 15-20% came from households considered poor. Today, at least half of German students are affluent and the poor are largely missing from universities. The thinking is that children from households at the poverty level are under pressure to augment the family income, so they elect to work rather than pursue higher education.

Most Americans would not view the tuition at German universities as exorbitant. Nominal tuition runs perhaps 1,000 to 2,000 annually. Over the course of four to six years of study, the combined cost of living away from home, books, clothes, etc., can be in the 55,000 to 60,000 range. There are government loans and scholarships available for those who demonstrate financial need. And as in the U.S., a few individuals game the system: The government does ask to be paid back once you are gainfully employed. Some people quit working in response.

Some German engineers complain, like doctors in the U.S., that they never recoup the income lost while spending long years in school. Moreover, salary compression is a fact of life. Engineers in Germany start at salaries of 40,000 to 50,000. This is considered high, but engineers fall behind in overall earnings compared to other professions as they progress within their career.

Top degrees

Still, a “Dipl.-Ing.” (short for Diplom-Ingenieur) from either a university or Fachhochschule is a respected degree. The Dipl.-Ing. in Germany is analogous to an engineering doctorate in the U.S. and still opens a lot of doors.

Like U.S. institutions, German universities and economic development organizations have recruited qualified candidates from outside Germany. Today it is not uncommon to find these programs populated by students from the U.S., India, and other places, all of whom aspire to have the degree, which roughly translates to “diplomaed engineer,” on their business cards.

Degrees granted by both kinds of institutions require a thesis. Thesis work is considered especially difficult, typically driven by research in a professor’s for-profit project. So degree candidates fuel the numerous cooperative ventures between industry and universities. Thus thesis topics are not mere academic exercises. They are serious efforts directed toward commercial R&D and developing new technologies.

To get an idea of where a lot of German engineering effort goes, consider the recently completed Interpack Show, widely regarded as the premier trade show for packaging machinery. There appeared to be no shortage of innovative, well-engineered and beautifully fabricated German equipment, with many advances in automation and robotics since the last show two years ago. From Interpack, it would be easy to think that German engineers are still at the top of their game. But they are not resting on their laurels. In packaging machinery, at least, the Italians are coming on strong.


German Engineering Is Leading The World

In 2004, Germany was the market leader in twenty-one out of thirty-one branches of the entire world’s engineering industry! At the time it represented a quarter of the entire world market.

Although most of the German engineering industry is dominated by small and medium sized businesses, that doesn’t at all hinder its success. In more than half of all exported items, computer and electronic expertise is included within the products manufactured.

You have to think about those wonderful German cars you purchase, like BMWs or Porsches. It’s not only the cars themselves that are engineering wonders, but over 25% of the value of the car is in the electronics and software these days. It makes for a good opportunity to work in the industry as the demand is high for excellent employees.

That is why Germany has become a very attractive place to come to train in computer and electrical engineering. You will find you can achieve a Bachelor’s degree, a Masters or PhD in a German university. Then you simply go out and apply for a job, and find one with ease. :-)

Upon conducting some surveys, it was found that engineers in Germany don’t just work in research and development. This area is a good place to enter, but many engineers work in production and even management. Prospective employers are looking for accomplished graduates every day.

Germany has often been dubbed a land of thinkers. This is true within the German engineering field, too. Many accomplishments can be traced to individuals who originated from here. And the intellectual accomplishments of Germans have helped to shape the world.

Some examples of Germany’s great minds are Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen and the X-rays he discovered (and won the Nobel Prize in Physics for). Heinrich Rudolph’s work led to the telecommunications of modern day.

German Engineering And Its World Renowned Products

Then you can’t forget the incredible worldwide products stemming from top German companies. There’s the sleek and beautiful BMW, the luxurious Mercedes, and of course, Audi and Porsche. These companies are known and respected the world over.

Another global powerhouse is Siemens AG, producing in the energy and healthcare areas. They have been working at giving us high quality products for over 125 years. Hearing aids are just one of the most popular that they make. These hearing devices have been deemed the most technologically advanced and fit all.

And then you have Bosch, a corporation that is the largest manufacturer of power tools and accessories in the world. They have branches in other parts of the world as well, such as North America.

Krupp and BASF are other German leaders in engineering. Krupp makes coffee makers as well as espresso machines and blenders, toaster ovens and mixers. BASF manufactures chemicals used in fibers, resins and finishing compounds.

There’s no doubt that German engineering has been a top contributor to our industrial successes, and has helped us have the best in products for our ease and pleasure. We will see more to come in the future. Of that there’s no doubt.


About the School

As part of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) , the Carl Benz School of Engineering offers quality German university education in the form of an undergraduate mechanical engineering degree program for English-speaking students from around the world. Carl Benz School students benefit from the mentor system that is tailored to meet their specific needs.

With international market evolution producing new global standards and changing educational demands throughout the world, Carl Benz School prepares graduates to play an active part in contributing to the industry and global economy.

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