Federal Institute for Hydraulic Engineering

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Federal Institute for Hydraulic Engineering
- BAW -

BAW Logo.png
State level Federation
position Higher federal authority
Supervisory authority Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure
founding 1948
Headquarters Karlsruhe
Authority management Christoph Heinzelmann
Servants 470 (as of 2019)
Web presence www.baw.de

The Federal Institute for Hydraulic Engineering ( BAW ) is a central technical and scientific higher federal authority to support the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI). It is the central service provider for advising and supporting the Ministry and the Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration (WSV) in the context of their waterway engineering tasks.

The BAW is responsible for the Information Center Hydraulic Engineering (IZW). In addition, the office of the Board of Trustees for Research in Coastal Engineering (KFKI) is located at the BAW .


The BAW is an institution under public law with no legal capacity and, as a higher federal authority, is part of the BMVI's division.

The core task of the BAW is to advise the waterway and shipping administration on all hydraulic engineering issues, in particular the assessment of waterway systems and facilities of the waterway infrastructure . As a departmental research institution, the BAW carries out research and development in the fields of structural engineering , geotechnical engineering and hydraulic engineering . The BAW conducts applied, practice-oriented research and development. The BAW is a member of the working group of departmental research institutions and was evaluated by the Science Council in 2008.

The BAW is the main expert for the Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration for all major expansion and adaptation projects on the federal waterways.

The BAW is intensively concerned with guaranteeing structural safety and the optimization of structural management for the structures on the federal waterways. The development of environmentally-oriented solutions for waterways engineering and the processing of digitization issues for planning, construction and operation of waterway infrastructure have developed into further important fields of action.

The BAW has established a large number of innovations on the federal waterways from its research. Examples are: The use of ship navigation simulations for the alignment of fairways; The further development of multi-dimensional numerical models for the prognosis of the effects of hydraulic engineering measures; The establishment of rubber dam technology for the federal waterways.

The tasks of the BAW also include helping to update and further develop standards for the construction, maintenance and operation of waterways. The focus of the standardization work is on the regulations, the application of which is concentrated on waterways engineering.

IZW logo

The Information Center Hydraulic Engineering (IZW), which is located at BAW, and the Board of Trustees for Research in Coastal Engineering (KFKI) offer a wide range of freely accessible specialist information. The BAW also makes digitized image material on the history of the waterways available to the public in the historical picture archive of the federal waterways . BAW is a signatory to the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Scientific Knowledge of October 22, 2003.

The BAW publishes the Technical Regulations on Waterways (TR-W). This is the compilation of the relevant technical rules in waterways engineering for federal waterways and in the related areas of responsibility. In its publicly accessible wiki system, the BAW provides, among other things, an extensive technical glossary for hydraulic engineering. The BAW operates the Hydraulic Engineering Repository (HENRY). HENRY is a specialist repository for scientific publications from the field of hydraulic engineering.

Locations and structure

BAW organization chart

In addition to its headquarters in Karlsruhe's north-west town , the Federal Agency has an office in Hamburg-Rissen . There are extensive test and laboratory facilities at both locations. The Federal Institute is divided into four specialist departments (hydraulic engineering in the inland area, hydraulic engineering in the coastal area, civil engineering, geotechnical engineering) and an administrative department.


The end of the Second World War and the special situation in Berlin meant the end of the Prussian research institute for hydraulic engineering, earthworks and shipbuilding . Karlsruhe was selected as a suitable location for the reconstruction and reorganization of the hydraulic engineering administration in the western occupation areas. The decisive factor for the choice of location was the spatial and professional proximity to the then Technical University of Karlsruhe . The first head of the BAW, Heinrich Wittmann , was also head of the Theodor Rehbock Institute at the university.

The Federal Institute for Hydraulic Engineering was founded in 1948 as a technical successor to the Prussian Research Institute for Hydraulic Engineering , Earthworks and Shipbuilding, founded in Berlin in 1903 . On October 3, 1990 the Research Institute for Shipping, Hydraulic Engineering and Foundation Engineering (FAS) of the GDR was merged with the BAW.

The BAW was assigned technical and scientific tasks from all areas of hydraulic engineering, as far as the federal waterways were affected. At the end of the 1960s, BAW's range of tasks was expanded to include electronic data processing. In 1969 the authority was designated as the computer center for the waterways and shipping administration.

In addition, the BAW was assigned the tasks of special shipbuilding for the water and shipping administration. The Federal Agency also oversees the construction planning of special ships for other federal authorities in the non-military sector. Most recently, BAW was involved in the construction of the research ship Sonne . The information and communication technology tasks that are part of the BAW were transferred to the Federal Agency for IT Services on January 1, 2012 . This in turn went up on January 1, 2016 in the Federal Information Technology Center .

Origin of the BAW

1903 On July 7, 1903, the "Royal Research Institute for Hydraulic Engineering and Shipbuilding" was founded in Berlin.
1913 Expansion of the "Earthworks" department.
after the Second World War During the reconstruction and reorganization of the hydraulic engineering administration in the western occupation areas, the need for a suitable research institute became loud. On the site of what was then the Technical University of Karlsruhe, there was still an intact test hall and another on the site of the former "telegraph barracks". The spatial and professional connection to the traditional Theodor Rehbock Institute were the roots for the establishment of a research institute in Karlsruhe.

Origin of the Hamburg office

1934 Foundation of the soil testing center for the Supreme Site Management of the Reichsautobahn in Hamburg-Altona.
1938 Foundation of the soil test center of the Hamburg Bridge Construction Office.
after May 1945 The two soil testing stations are named "Earthwork Institute of the Central Road Authority and Earthwork Institute Prof. Dr. Loos "summarized.
1950 With the decree of November 12, 1949, the model test facility in Wedel was incorporated into the BAW as a branch of the hydraulic engineering department on April 1, 1950. At the end of 1950, the name “Seebau branch” was assigned.
1953 Takeover of the two earthworks institutes in Hamburg by the Federal Highway Research Institute as the building site department and relocation to Cologne. Since earthworks and foundation work in the coastal area continued to arise, a branch office of the BAW based in Hamburg was set up on October 1, 1953 with the designation “Hamburg branch of the Federal Institute for Hydraulic Engineering - Earthworks and Foundation Engineering Department”.


1948 Foundation of the BAW With the decree of the administration of the United Economic Area on December 7, 1948, the technical successor institute of the Royal Research Institute for Water, Earth and Shipbuilding, Berlin, founded in 1903, was named "Research Institute for Water, Earth and Shipbuilding" in Karlsruhe Foundation "erected.
1951 After the establishment of the Federal Republic of Germany, new name: "Federal Institute for Hydraulic Engineering, Earthworks and Foundation Engineering".
1953 Allocation of the name "Federal Institute for Hydraulic Engineering (BAW)", which is still valid today.
1962 Consolidation of the branch offices in Hamburg that were previously directly subordinate to the BAW under a joint local management in Hamburg as a branch of the BAW with the designation "Federal Institute for Hydraulic Engineering - Coastal Branch Office - Hamburg".
1969 The BAW is designated as the computer center of the Waterways and Shipping Administration (WSV).
1985 New organizational decree with the division into the management of the BAW, civil engineering, geotechnical engineering, hydraulic engineering, hydromechanics, coastal branch, data processing center, administration.
1990 October 3: Restoration of German unity. Dissolution of the research institute for shipping, hydraulic engineering and foundation engineering (FAS), which was active in the area of ​​the former Soviet occupation zone and later GDR in Berlin and Potsdam, also emerged from the Royal Research Institute for Hydraulic Engineering and Shipbuilding, and its transfer to the new Berlin branch of the Federal Institute for Hydraulic engineering.
1992 May 27: Decision of the “Independent Federalism Commission” of the Bundestag and Bundesrat to relocate 16 federal authorities to the new federal states, including the BAW branch in Thuringia. The choice fell on the town of Ilmenau.
1994 July 1: Integration of the Central Office for Ship and Machine Technology into the BAW as a mechanical engineering department with the departments of watercraft (Hamburg) and land facilities (Berlin).
1998 June 24th: After an investigation by Kienbaum Unternehmensberatung, the BAW was restructured by organizational decree, including the following measures: The former building construction office of the WSV (Hanover) was assigned to the BAW's structural engineering department. The mechanical engineering department is dissolved; the watercraft unit is assigned to the coastal branch of the BAW; the land systems division is assigned to the structural engineering department as the system technology division with its seat in the Berlin branch.
1999 November 15: Opening of the new Ilmenau office with the areas of information and communication technology, building maintenance, subsoil dynamics and central service.
2000 July 15: Establishment of the MaAGIE specialist center at the BAW, Ilmenau office, information and communication technology department (MaAGIE = ​​modernization of administrative tasks through business process optimization and IT use).

November 2nd: Renaming of the information and communication technology department to “Specialist Office of the WSV for Information Technology” in the Federal Institute for Hydraulic Engineering. The Berlin branch is closed. The BAW now includes the Karlsruhe location and the offices in Hamburg and Ilmenau. The system technology unit will be separated from the BAW and relocated to the specialist center for traffic technology in Koblenz.

2007 December 8th: Renaming of the "Specialist Office of the WSV for Information Technology" to "Service Center Information Technology in the BMVBS Division".
2012 January 1: Organizational and legal independence of the "Information Technology Service Center in the BMVBS division". It is no longer part of the BAW.

Head of the BAW

1948 to 1953 Heinrich Wittmann
1953 to 1964 Peter Canisius
1964 to 1968 Franz Jambor
1968 to 1979 Horst Stadie
1979 to 1983 Heinz Graewe
1983 to 1986 Klaus Lohrberg
1986 to 1999 Hans-Gerhard Knieß
1999 to 2005 Hans-Heinrich Witte
since September 2005 Christoph Heinzelmann


The BAW publishes various periodicals .

  • The BAW-Mitteilungen ( spelling : BAW-Mitteilungen ) are the BAW's scientific journal. They appear two to three times a year and contain original scientific articles on topics related to waterway engineering.
  • The BAW-Aktuell ( proper spelling : BAWAktuell ), which appears three times a year, contains articles on current waterway engineering topics from the work of the BAW.
  • The BAW-Brief, which appears irregularly ( own spelling : BAWBrief ) is aimed in particular at construction practice and provides practical information and recommendations.
  • The BAW leaflets and guidelines are regulations and recommendations for structural measures in federal waterways drawn up by the BAW.
  • The scientific lectures are published in the BAW conference proceedings.
  • In the Research Xpress series, the BAW publishes current reports on research and development projects. [1]
  • In addition, a large number of special publications, especially on research projects that have been worked on.

Web links

Commons : Federal Institute for Hydraulic Engineering  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Link to the CV (PDF).
  2. Annual Report 2019 (PDF).
  3. Federal Institute for Hydraulic Engineering: Competence center for hydraulic engineering . BAW Strategy 2030 . Karlsruhe, 2019 ( baw.de [accessed November 15, 2019]).
  4. Working group of departmental research institutions
  5. ^ Statement of the Science Council (PDF).
  6. Competence for the waterways today and in the future, page 3 (PDF).
  7. Proceedings Digitization in Waterways Engineering November 21, 2018. Federal Institute for Hydraulic Engineering, accessed on November 15, 2019 .
  8. Federal Institute for Hydraulic Engineering: BAWAktuell 1/2019 . 2019, ISSN  2192-3078 ( baw.de [accessed November 15, 2019]).
  9. ^ "Federal Institute for Hydraulic Engineering", forschungsinformationssystem.de
  10. ^ "Committees and Working Groups", baw.de
  11. ^ Federal Institute for Hydraulic Engineering: Historical Image Archive of Federal Waterways . Karlsruhe, 2018, ISBN 978-3-939230-58-8 ( baw.de [accessed November 15, 2019]).
  12. ^ "Berlin Declaration", openaccess.mpg.de
  13. "TR-W"
  14. "BAWiki", wiki.baw.de
  15. "Henry"
  16. Organization chart of the BAW (PDF).
  17. "BAW significantly involved in the renewal of the German research fleet" , July 11, 2014 (PDF)
  18. dlz-it - On our own behalf ( Memento from October 24, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  19. BAW communications
  20. BAWAktuell
  21. BAW letters
  22. ^ Conference volumes