Max Kneissl

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Max Kneissl (also Kneißl ; born September 9, 1907 in Munich ; † September 15, 1973 in Munich) was a German geodesist and long-term university professor in Munich. He gained constant fame as the author and editor of the multi-volume handbook of surveying .


He was a university professor for general geodesy from 1949 at the Technical University of Munich (today TU Munich), initiator of numerous research projects and author of well over 100 specialist articles. It was also important to Kneissl to be a mentor for younger scientists and also to ensure the establishment of professorships for new subject areas - especially as rector of the Technical University of Munich from 1958 to 1960. Just as he was promoted as successor to Martin Näbauer , he did this itself u. a. with the later representatives of his department, Rudolf Sigl and Klaus Schnädelbach .

From 1950 to 1955, in addition to many work at his institute and the European network, he also headed the German Geodetic Commission as the successor to the founding chairman Martin Näbauer. Since 1952 he was a full member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences .


A standard work on geodesy that he has revised and re- edited is known to this day: the so-called "JEK" (Jordan-Eggert-Kneissl: Handbook of Surveying ), a 13-volume compilation . Max Kneissl managed to win an author who is respected in Germany for each of the subject areas. Of the 13 individual volumes, which comprise an average of 700 to 900 pages, he edited four volumes himself, volumes V, VI and IIIa were written by Karl Ledersteger and Karl Rinner from Austria .

Kneissl's areas of specialization were national surveying (e.g. “rebalancing the main European triangular networks” in ED 50 (published between 1958 and 1963) and volumes IVa and IVb of “JEK”), parts of the subject of higher geodesy , the surveying of major technical projects and photogrammetric Triangulation.

honors and awards

Through his collaboration and management of many projects in Europe, the Lake Constance conferences and other activities, he had an overview of all major developments in global geodesy, which was of particular importance for the above-mentioned compilation. It can be regarded as one of the last “universal geodesists”. Kneissl has received numerous high awards from all over the world and several honorary doctorates . He was honored with the Bavarian Order of Merit on November 20, 1959. In 1969 Kneissl was awarded the Helmert commemorative coin of the German Association for Surveying and in 1972 the Great Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.


  • Max Kneissl: Mathematical Geodesy ( land surveying ). (Handbook of Surveying, Volume IV). 10., completely reworked. and reorganized edition. JB Metzler-Verlag, Stuttgart.
    • Volume IV / 1: The figure of the earth and the geodetic reference surfaces, the field work for the main triangulation (Triangulation IO). 1958, OCLC 613455478 .
    • Volume IV / 2: The geodetic calculations on the sphere and on the ellipsoid. 1959, OCLC 613455743 .


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