Karl-Eugen Kurrer

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Karl-Eugen Kurrer (2018)

Karl-Eugen Kurrer (born August 10, 1952 in Heilbronn ) is a German civil engineer and historian of construction technology.


From 1959 to 1963 Kurrer attended Dammschule and then Dammrealschule in Heilbronn. He was a student of Friedrich Löchner , who led Kurrer to secondary school in 1968 and who knew how to arouse his interest in German-language literature. After completing secondary school and completing an apprenticeship as a bricklayer at Paul Ensle in Heilbronn, Kurrer studied civil engineering at the Stuttgart State Building School from 1970 to 1974 and worked as a working student at Losberger in Heilbronn (today Losberger De Boer in Bad Rappenau ). After completing his studies, he worked at Losberger in the hall construction department as a civil engineer.

In 1974 he got access to university studies and went to the TU Berlin , where he studied civil engineering and physical engineering, received his diploma in 1981 with the work on the development of the vault theory from the 19th century to the current state of science using the example of the calculation of an arch bridge and became 1986 also received his doctorate with a dissertation on the kinematics and kinetics of vibratory tube mills .

In collaboration with Eberhard Gock (1937–2016), Kurrer pursued the topic of the dissertation further. The development finally led in 1993/94 at the Clausthal University of Technology to the eccentric vibratory mill, which is significantly more energy-efficient than conventional vibratory tube mills. For this new type of mill, the head of the research group, Eberhard Gock, and the industrial partner received the 1998 Technology Transfer Prize of the Braunschweig Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

From 1989 to 1995 Kurrer worked as a development engineer at Telefunken Sendertechnik in Berlin (among other things, he was involved in the development of support structures for large antenna systems and a rotating shortwave antenna).

In 1996, Kurrer became head of the technical history working group of the VDI district association in Berlin-Brandenburg e. V. (At the end of 2003, Stefan Poser became the head of the working group).

From January 1, 1996 to February 28, 2018, Kurrer was editor-in-chief of Stahlbau magazine at Ernst & Sohn . There he promoted the establishment of the magazine Steel Construction , which has been published quarterly since 2009 in cooperation with the European Convention for Constructional Steelwork (ECCS), and was responsible for the steel construction division at the publishing house.

Kurrer is a leading historian in civil engineering. In addition to numerous articles and book chapters, he also wrote a monograph (540 printed pages), which was also translated into English in an expanded version (848 printed pages) and was distributed worldwide. With the 2nd, greatly expanded German (1164 printed pages) and English editions (June 2018, 1212 printed pages), Kurrer succeeded in creating the first complete presentation of the history of the development of structural engineering, which includes a history of earth pressure theory and computer statics. With Achim Hettler, Kurrer published a book on earth pressure in March 2019 , the English version of which was published in November 2019. He also works on the New German Biography (NDB) and the Austrian Biographical Lexicon (ÖBL). Together with Werner Lorenz , Kurrer publishes the book series “Construction History Series / Edition Bautechnikgeschichte”, which is published by Ernst & Sohn.

Since 2002 he has been involved in the organizations of international congresses on the history of construction technology (International Congress on Construction History). With Werner Lorenz, the holder of the chair for the history of structural engineering and structural maintenance at the BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg , Kurrer has been organizing the lecture series "Practices and potentials of structural engineering history" at the German Museum of Technology Berlin since 2007 . Kurrer is a founding member of the Society for the History of Technology and the Society for the History of Building Technology. On the homepage of the latter company you can also find his text on the "Tasks of the history of building technology".

Since 2018, Kurrer has been a lecturer in the master’s degree in civil engineering at the Coburg University of Applied Sciences , where he represents the subject of technical history in the summer semester.

Since 1980, Kurrer has also published numerous newspaper articles that deal with technology as well as engineering and natural sciences in a social context. For the online magazine "momentum", founded in autumn 2012, he regularly writes texts on topics from the areas mentioned and construction technology.


  • On June 1st, 2016 he received the badge of honor from the VDI Berlin-Brandenburg.
  • On October 18, 2017, the BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg awarded him an honorary doctorate for his outstanding scientific achievements in the field of structural engineering history.


  • History of structural engineering. Ernst & Sohn, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-433-01641-0 .
  • The history of the theory of structures. From arch analysis to computational mechanics. Ernst & Sohn, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-433-01838-5 .
  • Werner Lorenz: Karl-Eugen Kurrer 60 years . In: Steel construction . tape 81 , no. 9 , 2012, ISSN  1437-1049 , p. 731–732 , doi : 10.1002 / stab.201290127 .
  • On the history of the development of the German-language tables in civil engineering. In: Uta Hassler (ed.): The textbook discourse on building. Vdf Hochschulverlag, Zurich 2015, ISBN 978-3-7281-3686-2 , pp. 262–281.
  • Johann Wilhelm Schwedler. In: Jessica Hänsel, Jörg Haspel, Christiane Salge, Kerstin Wittmann-Englert (Eds.): Builders - Engineers - Garden Architects (= Berlinische Lebensbilder. Volume 11). Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2016, ISBN 978-3-428-14587-4 , pp. 439-456.
  • History of structural engineering. In search of balance , 2., strong ad. Edition, Ernst & Sohn, Berlin 2016, ISBN 978-3-433-03134-6 .
  • Construction technology history in Germany . In: Bautechnik 94 (2017), No. 5, pp. 274-294, ISSN  0932-8351 (together with Werner Lorenz).
  • The History of the Theory of Structures. Searching for Equilibrium. Construction History Series / Edition Bautechnikgeschichte, ed. By Karl-Eugen Kurrer and Werner Lorenz. Ernst & Sohn, Berlin 2018 (with biography, pp. XXVIII – XXIX), ISBN 978-3-433-03229-9
  • Earth pressure . Ernst & Sohn, Berlin 2019, ISBN 978-3-433-03274-9 (together with Achim Hettler )
  • Kurt Beyer's contribution to structural engineering. In: Concrete and reinforced concrete construction . 115 (2020), Issue 1, pp. 62-80, ISSN  0005-9900 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. My time at Losberger De Boer had a lasting impact on my career. Losberger GmbH, accessed on June 7, 2019 .
  2. On the internal kinematics and kinetics of vibratory tube mills. Dissertation . VDI-Verlag, Düsseldorf 1986, ISBN 3-18-142403-X .
  3. KE. Kurrer, Jih-Jau Jeng, Eberhard Gock: Analysis of vibratory tube mills. VDI-Verlag, Düsseldorf 1992, ISBN 3-18-148203-X .
  4. KE. Kurrer, Eberhard Gock: Eccentric Vibratory Mills for Fine Comminution - a Kinematic Analysis. In: Cement-Lime-Gypsum International. 50 (1997), No. 7, pp. 362-373, ISSN  0949-0205 .
  5. Technology transfer award from the Braunschweig Chamber of Commerce and Industry: “1998 - Prof. Dr. Eberhard Gock - eccentric vibrating mill for the finest grinding of raw and waste materials ”( braunschweig.ihk.de ).
  6. P. Bruger, B. Buchmann, KE Kurrer, C. Ozimek: Rotatable shortwave curtain antenna operable at very high wind speed. In: IEEE Transactions on Broadcasting. Volume 42, No. 1, March 1996, pp. 50-54, ISSN  0018-9316 .
  7. ^ Working group on technology history of the VDI district association Berlin Brandenburg .
  8. 200 years 'Introduction to Static Architecture'. In: civil engineer. 65 (1990), H. 1, pp. 3-10, ISSN  0005-6650 .
  9. ^ The Tasks & Aims of a History of Theory of Structures. In: iacm expressions. 24/09, pp. 8-13 ( cimne.com PDF).
  10. Konrad Zuse and the structural engineering. In: Structural Engineering. 87 (2010), H. 11, pp. 676-699 and H. 12, pp. 763-783, ISSN  0932-8351 .
  11. ^ Science with a practical purpose. Structural engineering as a basic inductive building science discipline. In: Structural Engineering. 91 (2014), No. 1, ISSN  0932-8351 , pp. 58-62 ( onlinelibrary.wiley.com PDF).
  12. Georg Christoph Mehrtens (1843--1917) protagonist of steel bridge construction in Wilhelmine Germany In: Stahlbau 86 (2017) H. 6, pp. 527-547, ISSN  0038-9145
  13. Ground plan for a historical technical science. In: Uwe Fraunholz, Sylvia Wölfel (Hrsg.): Engineers in the technocratic ultra-modern. Waxmann Verlag, Münster 2012, ISBN 978-3-8309-2771-6 , pp. 45-63.
  14. ^ The civil engineer August Hermann Adalbert Hertwig (1872–1955). In: Mühlhauser contributions. Issue 34, 2011, ISBN 978-3-935547-46-8 , pp. 135-146.
  15. Between recognition and responsibility. Civil engineering and society In: Documentation German Civil Engineering Award 2016 - State Award ed. v. Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety and Federal Chamber of Engineers Berlin: Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning 2016, ISBN 978-3-941867-90-1 , pp. 10-19
  16. ^ History of structural engineering. Ernst & Sohn, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-433-01641-0 .
  17. ^ The History of the Theory of Structures. From arch analysis to computational mechanics. Ernst & Sohn, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-433-01838-5 .
  18. ^ History of structural engineering . In search of balance. 2nd, strong adult Edition. Ernst & Sohn, Berlin 2016, ISBN 978-3-433-03134-6 .
  19. ^ The History of the Theory of Structures. Searching for Equilibrium. 2., considerably enlarged edition. Ernst & Sohn, Berlin 2018, ISBN 978-3-433-03229-9 .
  20. a b Karl-Eugen Kurrer, The really ingenious engineer is a poetic thinker , momentum magazine, January 29, 2016, First interview on the new edition of his history of structural engineering and in particular the history of earth pressure theories
  21. Karl-Eugen Kurrer, The Entanglement of Recognition, Shaping and Responsibility , Momentum Magazin, May 25, 2016, Second interview on the new edition of his history of structural engineering and in particular about the mathematization of statics and Goethe's "delicate empiricism ..."
  22. A. Hettler, KE. Kurrer. Earth pressure. Ernst & Sohn, Berlin 2019, ISBN 978-3-433-03274-9 .
  23. A. Hettler, KE. Kurrer. Earth Pressure. Ernst & Sohn, Berlin 2020, ISBN 978-3-433-03223-7 .
  24. ^ Tasks in the history of structural engineering. (PDF).
  25. The Engineer's Melancholy
  26. When train wheels get tired.
  27. A basic innovation in crane construction is celebrating its 100th birthday.
  28. The beginnings of the theory of strength in Galileo.
  29. ^ Karl Bernhard - A forgotten master of engineering.
  30. Honorary badge of the VDI for working group leader Kurrer. (PDF) VDI Berlin-Brandenburg, 2016, No. 2, p. 7 , accessed on October 25, 2017 .
  31. Award of an honorary doctorate to Dr.-Ing. Karl-Eugen Kurrer. Retrieved October 25, 2017 .