Association of German Engineers
|Association of German Engineers
|legal form||registered association|
|founding||May 12, 1856|
|founder||Carl Friedrich Euler , Joseph Pützer , Richard Peters , Franz Grashof , Wilhelm von Kankelwitz , Carl Bischof , Heinrich Caro and others|
|Chair||Volker Kefer (President)|
|Managing directors||Ralph Appel (Director)|
The Association of German Engineers is a German technical and scientific association . In the public perception, the abbreviation is mainly associated with the VDI e. V., which is why in the following the term VDI is mostly used to refer to the registered association VDI e. V. is meant, unless otherwise specified.
The VDI group consists of the non-profit association itself (VDI e.V. for short) and the also non-profit VDI-Ingenieurhilfe as well as the VDI GmbH with its commercial operations.
The tasks that the VDI sets itself in accordance with its statutes are:
- Collaboration of all technology designers and other designers of human creativity with the aim of responsible use of technology,
- Promotion of technical science and research,
- Promotion of young technical talent,
- technical regulation,
- Further training of engineers,
- Enabling the exchange of experiences and
- Creation of certification marks.
Professional and corporate policy objectives are not listed in the statutes.
The VDI e. V. claims to be the largest association of engineers and natural scientists in Germany. He represents his interests in national politics and also acts internationally in transnational umbrella organizations such as FEANI or WFEO .
The members of the VDI group carry out technical and scientific work in standardization and as project management bodies for public research funding. The Association of German Engineers e. V. operates national and international interest representation and has therefore u. a. to be entered in the lobby list of the Bundestag .
Promotion of young technical talent
There are various networks and initiatives at the VDI to promote young technical talent:
- The VDIni Club for children from the age of four to get children excited about technology and science
- The VDI future pilots for young people with an interest in MINT subjects
- The network of students and young engineers for students, doctoral candidates and young professionals
Working group women in engineering
The VDI working group women in engineering sees itself as a representative of the interests of female engineers and students in engineering in society and technology. He maintains national and international contacts with the German Association of Women Engineers , the European Platform of Women Scientists , European Women in Mathematics , the AKC of the German Zoological Society , Women in Industrial Research , INWES and the Center for Women and Information Technology . The FIB is organized in several regional working groups within the VDI. The working group has been chaired by Kira Kastell since October 2014.
In order to enable the exchange of ideas between the engineers, the first five district associations of the VDI were founded in the year it was founded. Its founders included the men who were also involved in founding the VDI. For the 25th anniversary of the association, the number of district associations had increased to 26. Until 1910, the VDI members were free to decide whether they wanted to belong to a district association or not. At the annual general meeting in Gdansk this year it was decided that the VDI members living in the German Reich should belong to a district association.
There are currently 45 VDI district associations spread across the whole of Germany. The respective chairmen of the district associations as well as another authorized representative belong to the board meeting of the VDI.
With currently more than 2000 published VDI guidelines , the VDI is the third largest technical regulator in Germany. Between 220 and 240 new guidelines are added or updated every year. In addition, there are national and international standards that are drawn up by the VDI specialist societies Commission for Air Pollution Control (KRdL) and the Acoustics, Noise Reduction and Vibration Technology Standards Committee (NALS).
The technical work on the technical rules is carried out by experts from interested groups who work on a voluntary basis for the VDI . In contrast to DIN , people are included in the guideline committees who can also stay on when changing employers. At DIN, companies and their representatives are usually invited. The purchase of the VDI guidelines is also subject to a fee for VDI members, but a price reduction is granted. VDI guidelines can be viewed at numerous university locations.
A total of twelve specialist societies with a total of 53 specialist areas are responsible for the technical work within the VDI:
- Construction and building technology
- energy and Environment
- Vehicle and traffic technology
- Materials engineering
- Measurement and automation technology
- Microelectronics, microsystems and precision engineering
- Standards committee for acoustics, noise reduction and vibration technology
- Product and process design
- production and logistics
- Air Pollution Control Commission - Standards Committee
- Technologies of Life Sciences
- Process engineering and chemical engineering
Measurement and automation technology and microelectronics, microsystems and precision engineering are joint specialist societies of VDI and VDE , while the Acoustics, Noise Reduction and Vibration Technology Standards Committee and the Air Quality Commission collaborate between VDI and DIN .
The VDI group consists of nine privately organized companies that pursue profit-oriented goals, two registered associations and a non-profit GmbH:
- VDI e. V., founded in 1856
- VDI GmbH, holds the stakes in the subsidiaries of the VDI group and is therefore responsible for the economic activities
- VDI Service GmbH, central service provider for the VDI house in Düsseldorf
- VDI Technologiezentrum GmbH, 1975 as part of the VDI e. V. founded and operating as a GmbH since 2003
- VDI Center Resource Efficiency GmbH
- VDI Wissensforum GmbH, registered in the Düsseldorf Commercial Register as VDI-Bildungswerk GmbH in October 1957, renamed VDI Wissensforum in 2001 and removed from VDI e. V. spun off as a GmbH
- VDI Verlag GmbH, founded on October 6, 1923
- VDI Fachmedien GmbH & Co. KG, emerged from the name change from Springer-VDI-Verlag, which was a joint venture between VDI Verlag and Springer Nature
- VDI / VDE Innovation + Technik GmbH
- VDI Insurance Service GmbH
- VDI - GaraGe non-profit GmbH, founded in September 2000 as a technology center for young people
- VDI Ingenieurhilfe e. V., founded in 1894 to help engineers in need or their bereaved families
The roots go back to the year 1846 in the Royal Trade Institute in Berlin . The association was founded on May 12, 1856 in Alexisbad ( Harz ) by members of the Academic Association Hut e. V. Berlin was founded on the occasion of an excursion to its 10th foundation festival. The order to a commission headed by Joseph Pützer to draw up a draft of the statutes for an association of German engineers had already been given the previous year. In the first year, the first district associations were founded in Düsseldorf, Berlin, Aachen, Saarbrücken and Dortmund. The annual membership fee was a uniform five thalers to finance administration, membership magazine and district associations. In addition, a fee of three talers had to be paid when joining the association.
The first chairman was the engineer Carl Friedrich Euler for the years 1856 and 1857. The other members of the first board included Franz Grashof , Richard Peters and Wilhelm Kankelwitz . The journal of the Association of German Engineers appeared for the first time in 1857 . In addition to reports on club affairs, it also contained technical articles. In 1866, the VDI initiated the establishment of steam boiler monitoring associations as a forerunner of today's technical inspection associations (TÜV). The first German patent law of 1877 was significantly influenced by preparatory work by the VDI. The first VDI guideline was published in 1884 . The machine monument, financed by the VDI, to commemorate the commissioning of the first German Wattsch steam engine , was inaugurated on August 20, 1890. On December 12, 1891, the VDI received the rights of a legal person due to a decree of the King of Prussia . On August 28, 1894, the "Aid Fund for German Engineers" - the predecessor of VDI-Ingenieurhilfe eV - was founded to support engineers and their families in need. Also in 1894, a piece of land was acquired on which a club-owned house was built for the first time , which was inaugurated in 1897.
On December 21, 1896, the VDI published an appeal, which Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin's plans to construct a rigid airship , sponsored. After the accident in the airship LZ 4 in 1908, the VDI donated 50,000 marks from its own funds to build a new airship.
The decades-long attempts by the VDI to establish engineering as a scientific discipline were successful. In 1899, the technical universities were granted the right to award doctorates ( Dr.-Ing. ), And at the same time the academic degree of Diplom-Ingenieur was established. In 1900 the project of a technology lexicon was started, which was supposed to contain all terms of technology at the time, but was discontinued in 1907 by the VDI board of directors because of the escalating scope. The VDI Annual General Meeting 1903 in Munich the impetus for the founding of the German Museum by Oskar von Miller . In 1916 the VDI was one of the founders of the German Association of Technical and Scientific Associations (DVT). In 1917 the VDI was a co-founder of the German Standards Committee , and in 1921 the VDI nachrichten first appeared . On October 6, 1923, the VDI publishing department of the Association of German Engineers , which had existed since 1918, was converted into VDI Verlag GmbH . Ilse Knott-ter Meer became the first female member of the VDI in 1925.
In 1930 the VDI hosted the second world power conference in Berlin . The ten-day event with around 3900 participants was chaired by VDI chairman Carl Köttgen . Also in 1930 the VDI published a large number of the memorandum Research is not necessary to point out the glaring mistake from the VDI point of view of cutting research funds in the wake of the global economic crisis . On May 12, 1931, on the occasion of its 75th anniversary, the VDI inaugurated a monument at its founding site, Alexisbad , which shows an engineer standing on a double T-beam as a bronze figure and is now in Düsseldorf.
The seizure of power by the National Socialists on January 30, 1933 also made itself felt at the VDI that the first employees came to work in the following days wearing the appropriate party uniforms. Gottfried Feder , co-founder of the Association of German Architects and Engineers , asked to become chairman of the VDI. The VDI chairman Adolf Krauss and with him five other board members then resigned from their posts. With the backing of the party leadership, Heinrich Schult, AEG director and NSDAP member since 1931, fought off Feder's request and the further demand for the VDI to be brought into line and instead of his VDI chairman. At the VDI general meeting in May 1933, the “commitment of German engineers to the new government” was formulated.
In June 1933 the VDI merged with other engineering associations to form the Reich Association for Technical and Scientific Work (RTA). The RTA took up residence in the VDI building , as did the National Socialist Federation of German Technology (NSBDT) later . Until then, independent organizations were transferred to the VDI in the years after 1933 as a working group or specialist group, such as B. the Association of Consulting Engineers and the German Refrigeration Association . By 1937 all VDI members were transferred to the NSBDT. Management positions within the VDI had to be filled by party members; Party membership was not necessary for professional work in the VDI.
The membership policy of the VDI from 1933 was based on the ideas of the National Socialist regime: Initially, those wishing to join who were categorized as Jews were refused entry by statute, and a little later Jewish members were excluded from the association. With the establishment of committees such as “job creation”, “settlement and nutrition” and “labor service”, the wishes of the new rulers were also met. In 1937 the "Wehrtechnische Arbeitsgemeinschaft" was founded; At the VDI general meeting in the following year, a symposium for defense technology took place for the first time.
During the Second World War , work on the war economy was intensified, even if the VDI was not at the center of the power structure. The VDI therefore held specialist conferences and training events on war-related technical topics. After the German defeat in the Battle of Stalingrad , the VDI board of directors was attuned to the total war in February 1943 . As a result, the VDI initiated a touring exhibition entitled “Increase in performance”, which was shown in a total of 97 locations. And at the beginning of 1945, the then VDI director Hans Ude wrote in the journal of the Association of German Engineers that the admitted material superiority of the opponent had to be countered with a "higher degree of efficiency".
After the end of the war, the employees of the VDI tried to get the club going again, but in November 1945 the Berlin magistrate forbade any club activity; Existing files and documents were confiscated and the club rooms were closed. The reason given was the association's membership of the NS-Bund Deutscher Technik. It was not possible to appeal against this ruling.
In West Germany , the 20 VDI district associations based in the British occupation zone were allowed to resume their activities as early as November 1945. On the initiative of the Lower Rhine District Association, the VDI was founded again on September 12, 1946 and relocated its office from Berlin to Düsseldorf . In the Soviet Zone , the Association of German Engineers was absorbed into the newly founded Chamber of Technology .
In 1956, the VDI founded the working group for nuclear technology, from which the German Atomic Forum emerged in 1959 .
The Air Cleanliness Commission was established in 1957 and the VDI Noise Reduction Commission in 1964. The VDI has been critically accompanying the development of engineering education in Germany since the late 1950s, the introduction of the graduation for engineering school graduates in 1964 and the concept of the technical colleges were milestones. In 1990 the VDI was re-established in the GDR as the VDI division of the GDR and was integrated into the VDI as the Leipzig district association when the German reunification took place . In national, European and international technical standardization and regulation, the Air Cleanliness Commission in the VDI and DIN standards committee as well as the Acoustics, Noise Reduction and Vibration Control Standards Committee (NALS) in DIN and VDI have been working as joint bodies since the mid-1990s . The VDI-Verlag and the Wissenschaftsverlag Springer Berlin / Heidelberg founded a joint company in 1997, the Springer-VDI Verlag GmbH & Co KG Verlag for technical journals . In 2000 the VDI and EXPO 2000 Hannover GmbH organized the first World Engineering Day in Hannover .
In mid-2020, the number of members was around 145,000, with engineers from various disciplines increasingly also including natural scientists and computer scientists . For comparison: In 2011 there were around 1,661,000 employed engineers in Germany. Although only around one in ten of the employed engineers is organized in the VDI, the VDI is considered to be one of the largest technically oriented clubs and associations in the world. The main office of the VDI is in Düsseldorf . The association is regionally divided into 15 state representations, 45 district associations, groups of students and young engineers (SuJ) in the VDI and VDI representations abroad. In addition, the VDI maintains a number of university offices at German universities.
Responsible positions are in the VDI e. V. and in the district associations often occupied by professors and other university members. This explains the VDI's attitude towards higher education in questions of education policy, e.g. B. with the introduction of the Bachelor and Master courses. As a member of ASIIN, the VDI is directly involved in the accreditation of engineering courses at German universities.
The Association of German Engineers was founded on May 12, 1856 by 23 men in Alexisbad. 14 others, as they were not personally present, had declared in writing that they would join the newly founded association. After the VDI was founded, it took almost a decade to reach a four-digit number of members. Stronger growth only started when the number of 6000 members was exceeded for the first time. A sharp increase in membership at the end of the 1930s was due to the prescribed takeover of other clubs. The following table shows the development of the number of members. The number of members at the end of the year is given. The figures for 1935 and 1944 are approximate, and those for 2005, 2014 and 2020 are probably also.
Benefits for members
- All members receive the national weekly newspaper VDI nachrichten , which is also available in newsagents. In addition to detailed reports on all current developments in technology, it also contains an economic section and sections on management and careers.
- The association offers its members a range of services , e.g. B. individual advice, insurance, discounted purchase of specialist magazines and books as well as the opportunity to participate in various local and national specialist events aimed at supporting the professional development of the members.
- The VDI-Wissensforum is an important provider of professional training events, especially for engineering and technical topics. The seminars, conferences and specialist meetings offered are also accessible to non-members.
Presidents (until 1977 chairmen)
- Carl Friedrich Euler (1856-1857)
- Eduard Haenel (1858)
- Simon Schiele (1859-1860)
- Theodor Simons (1861)
- Simon Schiele (1862)
- Eduard Haenel (1863)
- Simon Schiele (1864)
- Heinrich Carl Kayser (1865)
- Richard Peters (1866-1867)
- Carl Richard Petersen (1868)
- Carl Wintzer (1869)
- Simon Schiele (1870–1871)
- Carl Richard Petersen (1872)
- Eugen Langen (1873)
- Carl Wintzer (1874)
- Ewald Dittmar (1875)
- Simon Schiele (1876)
- Adolf Dresel (1877)
- Carl Friedrich Euler (1878)
- Theodor Peters (1879)
- Eugen Langen (1880)
- Carl Friedrich Euler (1881)
- Ewald Dittmar (1882-1883)
- Erich Becker (1884–1885)
- Carl Gaertner (1886)
- Carl von Bach (1886)
- Rudolf Wolf (1887–1888)
- Hermann Blecher (1889–1890)
- Viktor Lwowski (1891)
- Heinrich Caro (1892-1893)
- Viktor Lwowski (1894–1895)
- Ernst Kuhn (1896-1897)
- Hermann Bissinger (1898–1899)
- Albert Lemmer (1900-1901)
- Wilhelm von Oechelhäuser (1902–1903)
- Carl von Linde (1904–1905)
- Adolf Slaby (1906–1908)
- Ernst Heller (1909)
- Paul Treutler (1909)
- Kurt Sorge (1910–1911)
- Oskar von Miller (1912-1914)
- Anton von Rieppel (1915–1917)
- Karl Reinhardt (1918–1921)
- Georg Klingenberg (1922–1925)
- Karl Wendt (1926–1928)
- Carl Köttgen (1929–1931)
- Adolf Krauss (1932–1933)
- Heinrich Schult (1933–1938)
- Fritz Todt (1939–1942)
- Hanns Benkert (1943–1945)
- Hans Bluhm (1947–1952)
- Hans Schuberth (1953–1956)
- Heinz Goeschel (1957-1958)
- Alfred Friedrich Flender (1959–1964)
- Karl Schäff (1965–1967)
- Fritz Meyer (1968–1970)
- Walter Ludewig (1971–1974)
- Wilhelm Dettmering (1975–1977)
- Gerhard Wilhelm Becker (1978–1982)
- Karl Eugen Becker (1983–1988)
- Joachim Pöppel (1989–1991)
- Klaus Czeguhn (1992–1994)
- Hans-Jürgen Warnecke (1995–1997)
- Hubertus Christ (1998-2003)
- Eike Lehmann (2004-2007)
- Bruno O. Braun (2007–2012)
- Udo Ungeheuer (2013-2018)
- Volker Kefer (since January 2019)
Honors and prizes
Grashof Memorial Coin
The highest honor of the VDI, the Grashof memorial coin, was donated in 1894 in memory of Franz Grashof (professor of theoretical mechanical engineering at the Technical University of Karlsruhe, co-founder and first director of the VDI from 1856 to 1890) as an award for engineers who did outstanding scientific or have provided professional achievements in a technical field.
The commemorative coin, embossed in gold, bears the portrait of Franz Grashof on the obverse, the name of the recipient and the date of the award on the reverse. The miniature is a pin with the reduced commemorative coin in gold on a blue ribbon.
The award is made by resolution of the VDI Presidium on the occasion of the German Engineering Days. The owners of the Grashof Memorial Coin are engineers such as Ferdinand von Zeppelin , Wilhelm Maybach , Carl Bosch , Max Eyth , Ferdinand Porsche and Rudolf Schulten . Up until the 100th anniversary of the VDI, the award had been presented 49 times.
Honorary membership was the first honor that the VDI bestowed on deserving people. This form of honor was already described in the founding statutes. Julius Weisbach became the first honorary member on August 28, 1860 . The appointment as honorary member takes place after the decision of the executive committee. The honorary member receives a gold image of the VDI gear with a blue ribbon.
Corresponding membership is awarded to engineers from abroad or representatives of non-technical fields who advance engineering in their own way. The appointment as a corresponding member takes place after the decision of the executive committee. The corresponding member receives the small VDI pin in gold.
Badge of honor
The VDI badge of honor for deserving engineers from Germany and abroad was donated in 1931 on the occasion of its 75th anniversary. It is a plaque cast in gold with the inscription “For Merit in Technology” on the front and the name of the recipient on the back. The award of the honorary badge takes place after a decision of the executive committee. The first to be honored included the German ironworker Otto Petersen and the Dutch engineer Rudolf Adriaan van Sandick .
Ring of honor
In 1934 the “Ring of Honor of the VDI” was donated. Since then, it has been awarded to engineers who have distinguished themselves in the technical-scientific field and who have not yet reached the age of 40. The first prize winners included Siegfried Kiesskalt and Ernst Mahle . The ring of honor is designed as a golden circlet with the letters "VDI" and the inscription "For services to technology". By December 2019, the ring of honor had been awarded a total of 209 times.
Benz Daimler Maybach Medal
The VDI-Gesellschaft Fahrzeug- und Verkehrstechnik (FVT) recognizes special achievements with the Benz-Daimler-Maybach Medal, which is named after the pioneers of automotive technology. With the medal, which is equivalent to the VDI Medal of Honor, the FVT honors particularly deserving members and volunteers as well as outstanding personalities in the field of vehicle and traffic technology.
Max Eyth commemorative coin
As part of the merger of the Max-Eyth-Gesellschaft für Agrartechnik with the VDI-Gesellschaft Agrartechnik to form the Max-Eyth-Gesellschaft Agrartechnik in the VDI 1995, the Max Eyth commemorative coin was given a VDI honor. The commemorative coin honors pioneers in the development of agricultural technology since 1950.
Conrad-Matschoß-Kreis, Conrad-Matschoß-Prize competition, Conrad-Matschoß-Prize for the history of technology
The Conrad-Matschoss-Kreis was founded in 1981 as an association of personalities who have made a special contribution to the VDI in connection with their professional work in the area of voluntary community work. The Conrad-Matschoß-Kreis should maintain the tradition of the VDI and contribute to the lively development of the community work through recommendations and suggestions. The members of the Conrad Matschoss circle include the holders of the Grashof memorial coin and the honorary members of the VDI.
From 1953 to 1962, the VDI organized the Conrad-Matschoß competition for work on the history of technology every two years. Here, works were awarded that either brought new knowledge based on their own research in the history of technology or their own memories of important personalities from technology and business and / or of decisive events that are worth recording for the history of technology.
The VDI's Conrad Matschoss Prize for the History of Technology was founded in 2007. The prize is awarded annually as part of the VDI's Technology History Conference and is an award for German-language contributions to the history of technology that have been published in print media, imaging media or on the radio and have been made since 2005. It is intended to promote research in the history of technology and public interest in the history of technology.
Awards and recognitions received
In August 1927, the Technical Emergency Aid awarded the VDI the plaque of honor “for the deeds of the engineer in the technical emergency aid”.
On the occasion of the centenary on May 12, 1956, the Deutsche Bundespost Berlin (Landespostdirektion Berlin) issued the special stamps “100 Years of the Association of German Engineers (VDI)” . For the 125th anniversary of the association in 1981, the Deutsche Bundespost Berlin issued a special stamp with a reference to the German Engineers' Day taking place in Berlin.
The German Society for Association Management has already awarded the VDI twice in the past as "Association of the Year": for the first time in 2001 and again in 2012 in the newly created category "Reform and Management".
Criticism of the EngineerING Card
The VDI initiative for the introduction of a uniform European professional card under the designation " EngineerING Card " is supported by IG Metall u. a. criticized for the cost of the acquisition and that the introduction of the ID will bring about a standardization of vocational training based on the Anglo-Saxon model. Data protection aspects are also unclear.
Criticism of the campaign on the shortage of skilled workers
The VDI campaign on the shortage of skilled workers in the engineering professions , which has been going on for years , is carried out both inside and outside the VDI u. a. criticized on the grounds that the methodology on which the VDI relies to collect the figures leads to double surveys of job advertisements and thus to an exaggeration of the actual labor market situation. Among other things, it will be discussed to what extent the assumed distortion of the labor market situation is intended by the VDI and what interests the VDI is pursuing with this.
With its position paper, VDI successfully campaigned for the lowering of the income threshold for foreign skilled workers in 2011. The paper says:
“In order to make Germany more attractive as a job market for foreign engineers, the immigration law should be optimized in several places in order to simplify the entry into work in Germany. The lower income limit for the highly qualified is still too high at 66,000 euros - especially for medium-sized businesses. The priority check procedure is also too complicated and takes too long. [...] In addition to further simplifications in immigration law and the lowering of the income threshold of 66,000 euros for highly qualified workers, in the short and medium term, skilled workers who are well below a new, lower income threshold should also be granted immediate, unlimited permanent residence. "
The ARD documentary by Ulrike Bremer "The job market report - the fairy tale of the shortage of skilled workers" accuses the VDI of aiding in wage dumping after the VDI press spokesman, Marco Dadomo, described the halving of the lower wage limit for foreign engineers to 32,000 as a success. The arbitrary multiplication of each reported vacancy by a factor of 7 or 5 on behalf of the VDI to determine the unreported positions was assigned by statistician Gerd Bosbach in the documentation to the area of lying with numbers .
On April 15, 2015, Michael Schwartz, Head of Strategy and Communication at VDI, gave two reasons in the FAZ why there is no longer talk of a skilled worker gap:
“On the one hand, the dropout rate in engineering courses has fallen from 45 percent to 35 percent within two years. On the other hand, wooing women was worthwhile. In technical professions, they are still outnumbered by their male colleagues. But their share is slowly increasing. And in the medium term, it is becoming noticeable that two graduates graduated from high school a year ago and started studying. Therefore, in five years' time, a large group of young engineers will enter the job market. "
Engineers and natural scientists as well as persons who are entitled to use the professional title of engineer in accordance with the German engineering laws (e.g. the Bavarian engineering law ) can become full members of the VDI. The VDI Presidium decides on the regular membership of people who do not belong to the aforementioned groups, but whose participation is desired. According to the statutes of the VDI, ordinary members as well as honorary members and corresponding members can use the addition VDI immediately after their name. Use in company names is not permitted.
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- Tobias Sander: The double defense. Social situation, mentalities and politics of engineers in Germany 1890–1933 . VS-Verlag, Wiesbaden 2009, ISBN 978-3-531-16273-7 .
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