Pictogram of a Robot © Copyright: IGMR

2017: Renaming

Pictures of Prof. Corves © Copyright: IGMR

2000: Prof. Corves

Picture of Prof. Dittrich © Copyright: IGMR

1972: Prof. Dittrich

Picture of Prof. Meyer zur Capellen © Copyright: RWTH Aachen University

1959: Prof. Meyer zur Capellen

RWTH building destroyed by war © Copyright: RWTH Aachen University

1945 - 1959


Renaming to Institute of Mechanism Theory, Machine Dynamics and Robotics

In 2017, the institute's name was changed to Institute of Mechanism Theory, Dynamics of Machine and Robotics to include the research field of robotics and mechatronics in its name.


Since 2000

Pictures of Prof. Corves Copyright: © IGMR

On August 1, 2000 Prof. Dr.-Ing. Corves took over the Department of Mechanism Theory and Dynamics of Machines. Contrary to his predecessors, Prof. Corves did not change the name of the department. It also represented the direct replacement of Prof. Dittrich to the outside. The focus of teaching and research continues to be the Mechanism Theory.

As Prof. Dittrich, Prof. Corves keeps supporting the national and international exchange of transmission research departments and companies. The project DMG-Lib, a mechanism specialized internet portal, was built in 2004 in cooperation with the universities of Ilmenau and Dresden.

In September 2005, the Institute hosted the 6th Colloquium of the transmission technology, which has been held in regular intervals since 1995. In 2006, the award-winning research project ROBKIDS ended. The project was developed in collaboration with the Department of Applied Medical Engineering, led by the Helmholtz Institute for Biomedical Engineering of the RWTH Aachen. The project worked on the development of new wheelchair-hand bikes for children with spastic paralysis. Under the direction of Prof. Corves, the research field of robotics was greatly expanded and included in the name of the institute. In addition to research and development for industrial partners, the institute is also involved in numerous international research projects.


1972 - 2000

Picture of Prof. Dittrich Copyright: © IGMR

On January 1, 1972, Dr.-Ing. Gunter Dittrich became director of the department as the successor to Prof. Meyer zur Capellens at the age of 36 years. Prior to his years at the Robert Bosch GmbH, Prof. Dittrich had been chief engineer at the Institute. Therefore he knew not only the structure and workflow, but also most of the employees.

Prof. Dittrich changed the name of the department into "Department of Mechanism Theory and Dynamics of Machines".

In 1979, Prof. Dittrich reinserts the course "Vibration technology" in the curriculum. Nowadays, next to the lectures mechanism theory and dynamics of machines, that lecture is one of the focal points of doctrine.

As the first and only professor of the IGM, Prof. Dittrich received an honorary doctorate Dr. h c. by the University of Cluj-Napoca of Romania in June 1994.

At the age of 65 years, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gunter Dittrich retired on July 31, 2000, his successor as director and as professor at the same time is Prof. Dr.-Ing. Burkhard Corves. He is a former chief engineer at the Institute and worked as lecturer at the RWTH Aachen and the IGM for over seven years.


1959 - 1970

Picture of Prof. Meyer zur Capellen Copyright: © RWTH Aachen University

In 1962, the new building for mechanical engineering in Eilfschornsteinstraße was completed. Since then the chair of transmission teaching was located in the 5th and 6th floor until 2012; a new workshop had been setup at the same time which was located on the 5th floor until 2012 as well.

Then, in 1964, the Department finally became an independent department and Prof. Meyer zur Capellen becomes the first director of the "Institute of Mechanism Teaching."

For the winter semester 1966/1967, the newly established department added the teaching and research field of Machine Dynamics in which Professor Meyer zur Capellen was active since he started to work as an assistant researcher.

Because of the importance and value of the departments internal points of the new course, the department was renamed "Institute of Mechanism Teaching and Dynamics of Machines" the same month. The course "Machine Elements for Electrical Engineers" was given to an electro-technical institute.

In 1970, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Meyer zur Capellen finished his 68th year of life and was retired at his own request. Because it was such a short-term decision it wasn’t possible to find a suitable successor, the lead of the department was officially put under the management of various professors in Aachen.


1945 - 1959

RWTH building destroyed by war Copyright: © RWTH Aachen University

After Aachen and therefore the university conceded victory to the Western Allies in October 1944, the American occupation forces took over the control of the university which suspended the teaching offer of the RWTH.

At the end of the war, about 70% of the university's buildings were destroyed and uninhabitable. Many tools and possessions of the University had been moved to various places by the end of the war. A considerable part remained missing or was destroyed even after the war had stopped.

In January 1946, the teaching had started again, although much reduced, and many of the outsourced departments and institutions came back at the university during the following year.

In January 1947, Prof. Rauh started teaching again and conducted classes of transmission for students in Aachen.

In April 1952 Prof. Rauh suffered a severe pneumonia after returning from a conference and was forced to stop teaching.

He recovered in his home in Aachen, but died on April 18, 1952 as a result of an embolism, which was caused by the disease in the preceding weeks.

The unexpected death of Professor Rauh forced the leaders of the RWTH to make a quick decision about the continuation of the teaching assignment.

In summer Dr.-Ing. Walther Meyer zu Capellen was appointed to start as a lecturer to teach mechanism theory.

Mr. Meyer zur Capellen conducted almost the same lectures as his predecessor. He only gave up teaching patent immediately and also focused more on the field of transmission technology.

In 1958 the first of many research reports for North-Rhine Westphalia that originated in Aachen regarding transmission technology came out. Soon the teaching and especially the new research projects were beyond the means of a simple teaching assignment.

As a consequence, the lectureship ended on the January 13, 1959 and the "Chair of transmission teaching" was founded. First owner was Prof. Dr.-Ing. Meyer zur Capellen, who was simultaneously appointed associate professor of transmission teaching.