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Johann Gottfried Tulla who was responsible for the rectification and training of the upper Rhine River established the Polytechnical School 1825. This was the foundation for research and education in hydraulic engineering in Karlsruhe. Another milestone was the establishment of the first hyraulic laboratory by Theodor Rehbock in 1901. Through major advancements in theory and practice of hydraulic modeling the Karlsruhe school gained a worldwide reputation.




The Institute for Hydromechanics (IfH) was formed in 1948 as one of two successor institutes to the prior Chair of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources. In the succeeding years the IfH was involved in two major special research initiatives (SFB) sponsored by the German Science Foundation (DFG). These were the SFB 80 (1971-83) "Mixing and transport processes in flows" and the SFB 210 (1983-95) "Fluid mechanical design principles  for structures". These initiatives led to a major new research direction and expanded the laboratory installations.

The following professors have taught and directed research at the IfH in this period:

  • Paul Böss (1934-59)
  • Max Breitenöder (1964-67)
  • Eduard Naudascher (1968-94)
  • Harry Thielen (1969-95)
  • Helmut Kobus (1973-77)
  • Franz Durst (1977-82)
  • Wolfgang Rodi (1982-2007)
  • Gerhard Jirka (1995-2009) 
  • Bodo Ruck (seit 1998)
  • Markus Uhlmann (seit 2008)





Since the mid-90s the IfH has been organized into five reserach divisions, employing a scientific and technical staff of about 50 people: