KIT Steel and Lightweight Structures

Former Institute Directors



Prof. Dr.-Ing. h.c. Friedrich Engesser

  • 1885 Call to TH Karlsruhe
  • Research and teaching in the fields of construction engineering and structural analysis
  • Numerous publications in the fields: Characteristics of building materials, strength theory and statics of building structures, earth pressure theory and foundations, steel structures, timber construction, solid construction, hydraulic engineering and railway engineering


Friedrich Engesser


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ernst Gaber

  • 1921 Call to TH Karlsruhe and foundation of the research center as an organizational unit
  • former name: "Versuchsanstalt für Stahl, Holz und Eisen", resp. "Prüfraum Gaber"
  • Spatial expansion with "open-air site"
  • Self-built of testing machines up to 300 tons (stat.), 150 tons (dyn.)
  • Erection of the 5000 tons press located in "Gaberturm"


Ernst Gaber


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr.Sc.techn. h.c. Otto Steinhardt

  • 1949 Appointment as full professor for bridge construction and structural design at the Universität Karlsruhe (TH)
  • Reconstruction of the test facility after the war
  • Expansion of the research center in terms of space and personnel
  • Introduction of the service "inspection of companies"
  • Construction work on behalf of the building ministries
  • Extension of the testing activity e.g. to pressure pipelines
  • Installation of an independent "timber construction department"



Otto Steinhardt


Prof. Tekn. Dr. hon. DSC Rolf Baehre

  • 1978 Appointment to the chair for steel and light metal construction at the University of Karlsruhe (TH)
  • Modernisation of workplaces
  • Modernization of the testing facilities
  • Extension of testing activities e.g. to lightweight construction
  • Certification of quality management systems



Rolf Baehre


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Helmut Saal

  • 1993 appointment to the chair for steel and light metal construction at the University of Karlsruhe (TH)
  • Modernisation of workplaces
  • Modernization of the testing facilities
  • Extension of testing activities e.g. to tank construction, fire behaviour
  • Activity as testing, inspection and certification body
  • Accreditation as testing laboratory (DIN EN ISO 17025)
  • Expansion of activities in the international field



Helmut Saal