Famous German Engineers

Right IconThis ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite German Engineers
 1 
Wernher Von Braun
(Known as Father of Rocket Science)
Wernher Von Braun
8
Birthdate: March 23, 1912
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Wyrzysk, Poland
Died: June 16, 1977

German-born American aerospace engineer and space architect, Wernher Von Braun, worked in Nazi Germany's rocket development program as a young man. After World War II, he moved to the United States where he became a pioneer of rocket and space technology in the nation. In his later career, he became director of the newly formed Marshall Space Flight Center.

 2 
Rudolf Diesel
(Inventor of Diesel Engine)
Rudolf Diesel
10
Birthdate: March 18, 1858
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: September 29, 1913

Rudolf Diesel was a German mechanical engineer and inventor best remembered for inventing the Diesel engine. After Diesel's demise, his engine became an important substitution for the steam piston engine. The engine became widespread in applications, such as agricultural machines, submarines, ships, and trucks. His life inspired the 1942 biographical film Diesel, in which he was played by Willy Birgel.

 3 
Ferdinand Porsche
(Automotive Engineer and Founder of the ‘Porsche AG’)
Ferdinand Porsche
5
Birthdate: September 3, 1875
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: ratislavice nad Nisou, Liberec, Czechia
Died: January 30, 1951

Ferdinand Porsche was an Austrian-German automotive engineer. He is credited with founding one of the most popular car companies in the world, Porsche AG. He is also credited with creating the Lohner-Porsche mixed hybrid, the first gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle. During World War II, Porsche was a prominent contributor to the German war effort.

Recommended Lists:
 4 
Wilhelm Rontgen
(German Mechanical Engineer and Winner of the 1901 Nobel Prize in Physics)
Wilhelm Rontgen
4
Birthdate: March 27, 1845
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lennep, Remscheid, Germany
Died: February 10, 1923

Wilhelm Rontgen was a German physicist and mechanical engineer. He is best remembered for producing and detecting X-rays for which he was honored with the first Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901. His discovery of X-rays remains one of the greatest achievements in the field of medical science.

 5 
Konrad Zuse
(Pioneering German Computer Scientist Who Created the World's First Programmable Digital Computer)
Konrad Zuse
4
Birthdate: June 22, 1910
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Berlin
Died: December 18, 1995

Award-winning German computer scientist Konrad Zuse created the world's first program-controlled computer, named Z1. He then moved on to Z3, the first fully functional programmable computer in the world, and Z4, the first commercial digital computer in the world. Post-retirement, he spent most of his time painting.

 6 
Gottlieb Daimler
3
Birthdate: March 17, 1834
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Schorndorf, Germany
Died: March 6, 1900

Gottlieb Daimler was a German engineer, industrialist, and industrial designer. A pioneer of automobile development and internal combustion engines, Daimler is credited with inventing the liquid petroleum-fueled engine. In 1978, Gottlieb Daimler was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame.

 7 
John A. Roebling
3
Birthdate: June 12, 1806
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Mühlhausen, Germany
Died: July 22, 1869
 8 
Dieter Rams
(German Industrial Designer and Educator Who Believed in the "Less but Better" Approach)
Dieter Rams
4
Birthdate: May 20, 1932
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Wiesbaden, Germany

German industrial designer and educator Dieter Rams became one of the first designers to focus on environment-friendly design. He headed design at Braun and designed a furniture collection for Vitsœ. Associated with the functionalist school of design, he believed in "Less, but Better," which was also the name of his 1995 book.

 9 
Charles Proteus Steinmetz
(German Mathematician and Engineer Whose Research on AC Systems Revolutionized the US Electric Industry)
Charles Proteus Steinmetz
4
Birthdate: April 9, 1865
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Wrocław
Died: October 26, 1923

Though German-born American mathematician and engineer Charles Proteus Steinmetz suffered from a deformed back since childhood, he excelled in math, physics, and classical literature. His ideas on alternating current (AC) systems initiated the electrical era in the US. By the time he died, he had over 200 patents under his name.

 10 
Karl Benz
(Entrepreneur)
Karl Benz
3
Birthdate: November 25, 1844
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Mühlburg, Karlsruhe, Germany
Died: April 4, 1929

Karl Benz was a German engine designer, automotive engineer, and entrepreneur.  He designed the Benz Patent Motorcar, for which he received a patent in 1886. He studied mechanical engineering at the University of Karlsruhe before venturing into developing motorcars. His Benz Patent Motorcar is widely regarded as the world's first production automobile. 

 11 
Dieter Zetsche
(German Businessman, Chairman of 'TUI AG' and Former Head of 'Mercedes-Benz')
Dieter Zetsche
3
Birthdate: May 5, 1953
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Istanbul

German business tycoon Dieter Zetsche had just completed his education in electrical engineering when he joined the research department of Daimler-Benz AG. He later headed the Mercedes-Benz Group as its CEO and also appeared as Dr. Z in the company’s commercials. He also served as the chairman of the tourism company TUI AG.

 12 
Fritz Todt
(Engineer, Politician, Civil engineer, Architect)
Fritz Todt
6
Birthdate: September 4, 1891
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Pforzheim
Died: February 8, 1942

Fritz Todt was a German civil engineer and architect. A senior Nazi, Todt oversaw the construction of Reichsautobahnen, a controlled-access highway, and also served as the Reich Minister for Armaments and Ammunition. Before the start of the Second World War, Todt initiated a military-engineering company called Organisation Todt that oversaw the construction of many Nazi concentration camps. 

 13 
Stefan Quandt
(German Billionaire Heir, Industrialist and Co-Owner of 'BMW')
Stefan Quandt
4
Birthdate: May 9, 1966
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bad Homburg, Germany

Stefan Quandt is a German billionaire heir, industrialist, and engineer. Born into one of the wealthiest families, Quandt inherited 17.4% of BMW after his father's death in 1982. He also inherited from Herbert Quandt's substantial holdings in other companies. The Quandt family's role as business people during World War II was depicted in the documentary, The Silence of the Quandts.

Ferdinand Alexander Porsche
3
Birthdate: December 11, 1935
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Stuttgart
Died: April 5, 2012

The grandson of Porsche founder Ferdinand Porsche, Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, nicknamed Butzi, was surprisingly dismissed from his industrial design course due to his supposed incompetence. He ended up designing the legendary sports car Porsche 901, later known as the Porsche 911. He also established the Porsche Design Studio.

 15 
Ralph H. Baer
(German-American Inventor, Game Developer, and Engineer Best Known for Developing the First Video Game System)
Ralph H. Baer
4
Birthdate: March 8, 1922
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Rodalben, Germany
Died: December 6, 2014

Born to a German Jewish family, Ralph H. Baer and his family escaped to New York later. He went from working in a factory to becoming an engineer. While working at Sanders Associates, he developed the idea of playing games on TV and later created the first video game console.

 16 
Otto Lilienthal
(German Aeronautical Engineer Who Completed Successful Glider Flights for the First Time)
Otto Lilienthal
3
Birthdate: May 23, 1848
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Anklam, Germany
Died: August 10, 1896

German aeronautical engineer Otto Lilienthal became the first known person to use gliders for a successful flight. A mechanical engineer, he owned a shop and flight factory and developed gliders, with which he completed around 2,000 flights. Lilienthal, however, died after breaking his back in a glider crash.

 17 
Albert Göring
(Mechanical engineer)
Albert Göring
8
Birthdate: March 9, 1895
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Friedenau
Died: December 20, 1966
Apart from being an engineer who worked for the German army during World War I, Albert Göring is also remembered as the brother of infamous Nazi Party figure and military leader Hermann Göring. Surprisingly, he was anti-Nazi and had helped many Jews, though he remained ostracized due to his family name, post-war.
 18 
Wilhelm Maybach
(German Automobile Designer Known for Designing the Initial Mercedes Cars, and Founder of 'Maybach')
Wilhelm Maybach
3
Birthdate: February 9, 1846
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Heilbronn
Died: December 29, 1929

German engineer and auto designer Wilhelm Maybach once earned the nickname The King of Designers. He collaborated with Gottlieb Daimler and formed Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft, eventually designing the first Mercedes automobiles. He and his son later started an aircraft engine company. In 1996, he was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame.

 19 
Willy Messerschmitt
(Aeronautical engineer, Engineer, University teacher)
Willy Messerschmitt
3
Birthdate: June 26, 1898
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Frankfurt
Died: September 15, 1978
 20 
Kurt Tank
(German Aeronautical Engineer and Designer of Fighter Aircrafts 'Fw 190' and 'Ta 152')
Kurt Tank
3
Birthdate: February 24, 1898
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bydgoszcz, Poland
Died: June 5, 1983

Legendary German aircraft designer Kurt Tank established the design and testing department at the Rohrbach aircraft factory. Apart from developing the German fighter aircrafts Fw 190 and Fw 200 Condor, he also developed warplanes for other countries, the most notable being the Marut for India’s Hindustan Aeronautics.

 21 
Peter Schreyer
(German Automobile Designer Known for His Contributions to 'Audi TT')
Peter Schreyer
3
Birthdate: 1953 AD
Birthplace: Bad Reichenhall

German auto designer Peter Schreyer began working with Audi as a student and later designed its revolutionary sports car Audi TT. He also designed the VW New Beetle and VW Golf IV for Volkswagen and headed design at Kia. He now serves as the executive design advisor of the Hyundai Motor Group.

 22 
Marco Minnemann
3
Birthdate: December 24, 1970
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hannover, Germany
 23 
Carl Wilhelm Siemens
(German-British Electrical Engineer and Businessman)
Carl Wilhelm Siemens
2
Birthdate: April 4, 1823
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Gehrden, Germany
Died: November 19, 1883

German-British inventor and electrical engineer, who revolutionized the steel-making and glass-making industries, is best remembered for using the Siemens-Martin process to create the regenerative furnace. His achievements earned him accolades such as the Albert Medal. He was a Fellow of The Royal Society and was knighted shortly before his death.

 24 
Hugo Junkers
(Engineer)
Hugo Junkers
3
Birthdate: February 3, 1859
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Rheydt, Rhine Province, Kingdom of Prussia
Died: February 3, 1935
 25 
Gustave Whitehead
(Aerospace engineer, Engineer)
Gustave Whitehead
3
Birthdate: January 1, 1874
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Leutershausen
Died: October 10, 1927
 26 
August Horch
(Entrepreneur, Engineer, Racecar driver)
August Horch
3
Birthdate: October 12, 1868
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Winningen
Died: February 3, 1951
 27 
Hugo Schmeisser
(Inventor, Engineer)
Hugo Schmeisser
3
Birthdate: September 24, 1884
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Jena
Died: September 12, 1953
 28 
Felix Wankel
(Inventor, Engineer, Politician)
Felix Wankel
2
Birthdate: August 13, 1902
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lahr
Died: October 9, 1988
 29 
Arthur Rudolph
(Aerospace engineer, Engineer)
Arthur Rudolph
3
Birthdate: November 9, 1906
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Stepfershausen
Died: January 1, 1996
 30 
Andy Bechtolsheim
(Businessperson, Electrical engineer)
Andy Bechtolsheim
0
Birthdate: September 30, 1955
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Finning, Germany
 31 
Hans von Ohain
(Physicist)
Hans von Ohain
2
Birthdate: December 14, 1911
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Dessau, Duchy of Anhalt, Germany
Died: March 13, 1998
 32 
Heinz Lammerding
2
Birthdate: August 27, 1905
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Dortmund
Died: January 13, 1971
 33 
Ludwig Prandtl
(Physicist, Mechanical engineer, University teacher)
Ludwig Prandtl
2
Birthdate: February 4, 1875
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Freising
Died: August 15, 1953
 34 
Ken Adam
(Scenographer, Production designer)
Ken Adam
3
Birthdate: February 5, 1921
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Berlin
Died: March 10, 2016

A master production designer, Ken Adam won his first Academy Award for his work in Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon. While working as a flight lieutenant during World War II, he had earned the nickname Heinie the Tank-buster. He is also remembered for his sets in a number of James Bond films.

 35 
Gottfried Feder
(One of the Early Key Members of the Nazi Party)
Gottfried Feder
3
Birthdate: January 27, 1883
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Würzburg, Germany
Died: September 24, 1941

Gottfried Feder was a German economist and civil engineer. One of the most important members of the Nazi Party, Feder served as the party's economic theoretician during its formative years. In 1919, Gottfried Feder delivered one of his most famous lectures that lured Adolf Hitler into the Nazi Party.

 36 
Luigi Colani
(Architect, Engineer, University teacher)
Luigi Colani
2
Birthdate: August 2, 1928
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Berlin
 37 
Alexander Lippisch
(Aeronautical Engineer)
Alexander Lippisch
2
Birthdate: November 2, 1894
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Munich, Germany
Died: February 11, 1976
 38 
Siegfried Marcus
(Former inventor who built four of the world’s earliest gasoline-powered automobiles)
Siegfried Marcus
2
Birthdate: September 18, 1831
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Malchin, Germany
Died: July 1, 1898

Starting his career as a mechanic at age 12, Siegfried Marcus grew up to be one of the most legendary engineers and manufacturers of his time. His experimental creation, known as Marcus's second car, was the first automobile with a four-cycle engine and the first that used gasoline as fuel.

 39 
Fritz Hilpert
(Musician, Audio engineer, Record producer)
Fritz Hilpert
4
Birthdate: May 31, 1956
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Amberg
 40 
Carl von Linde
(Scientist)
Carl von Linde
2
Birthdate: June 11, 1842
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Berndorf, Germany
Died: November 16, 1934
 41 
Ernst Heinrich Heinkel
(Aeronautical engineer)
Ernst Heinrich Heinkel
2
Birthdate: January 24, 1888
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Grunbach, Germany
Died: January 30, 1958
 42 
Erich Topp
(Engineer, Submariner, Architect)
Erich Topp
2
Birthdate: July 2, 1914
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hanover
Died: December 26, 2005
 43 
Walter H. Schottky
2
Birthdate: July 23, 1886
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Zürich, Switzerland
Died: March 4, 1976
 44 
Karlheinz Brandenburg
(Inventor, Engineer, Audio engineer, University teacher)
Karlheinz Brandenburg
4
Birthdate: June 20, 1954
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Erlangen
 45 
Hugo Eckener
(Aeronautical engineer)
Hugo Eckener
2
Birthdate: August 10, 1868
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Flensburg, Germany
Died: August 14, 1954
 46 
Bernd Pischetsrieder
2
Birthdate: February 15, 1948
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Munich
 47 
Paul Gottlieb Nipkow
2
Birthdate: August 22, 1860
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lębork, Poland
Died: August 24, 1940
 48 
Nicolaus Otto
(German engineer)
Nicolaus Otto
1
Birthdate: June 14, 1832
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Holzhausen an der Haide
Died: January 26, 1891
 49 
Oskar Barnack
(German Inventor and Designer of the First Precision Miniature Camera)
Oskar Barnack
2
Birthdate: November 1, 1879
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lynow, Germany
Died: January 16, 1936

Oskar Barnack was a German photographer and inventor. He is credited with building a device, which would later become the first successful 35mm still-camera. Barnack developed the camera, which was named Leica, at the Leitz Company where he was working as an engineer. Oskar Barnack is also credited with creating news images, which he made with his 35 mm camera.

 50 
Josef Ganz
(Car Designer)
Josef Ganz
2
Birthdate: July 1, 1898
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: July 26, 1967