Innovation Since 1868 – TUM Celebrates Its 150th Anniversary

13 April 2018

Innovation Since 1868 – TUM Celebrates Its 150th Anniversary

Munich, Germany, 12 April 2018 

German Federal President attends 150th anniversary celebration of the Technical University of Munich.

German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier addressed the 1200 invited guests at Munich’s Residenz palace on the occasion of the 150th anniversary celebration of the Technical University of Munich (TUM). He called for courage in shaping the future and pointed to the potential exemplary role of TUM with its “passion for the future”. The Bavarian Minister President Dr. Markus Söder highlighted the importance of TUM for Bavaria as an attractive research and business location. 

Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier described the Technical Universities as the flagship of Germany and referred to TUM as the flagship of the Technical Universities. “We can be the nation where so many individuals like you look to the future, experiment and engage,” Steinmeier said to the students and researchers in attendance at Munich’s Residenz palace. (watch the whole celebration online >) “We can also be the nation in which society as a whole has the courage to jointly conceive and shape the future. This is exactly what I would like to see our country be: A country with a passion for the future! And this passion for the future is clearly evident here at the TUM.”

At the same time the Federal President reminded the audience of the societal responsibility of the sciences in the context of drastic technological transformations. “People’s trust in the positive impact of technological progress is essential to a country like Germany – poor in natural resources and abundantly rich in ideas.” He added that this trust has to be treated with care and regained again and again. “In order to achieve this, people have to be given the toolset needed to remain competent and entitled citizens, even in times of new technologies and digital transformation.”


“Cornerstone Of Bavaria’s Modernity”

Bavarian Minister President Dr. Markus Söder: “As an elite university and recipient of many awards and honors, the Technical University of Munich is an internationally and extremely well-respected scientific ambassador of the State of Bavaria. Numerous Nobel laureates have conducted research here, their students are in high demand and many companies benefit from the innovative power of TUM. The first-rate interaction between research and business is a cornerstone of Bavaria’s modernity and success.”

“Connecting The Home With The World”

TUM President Prof. Wolfgang A. Herrmann highlighted TUM’s self-conception as a servant and visionary in society, in a world increasingly shaped by technology. He added that since the university’s founding it has literally had “entrepreneurialism in its DNA”. TUM is today considered Germany’s most active university in terms of spin-offs.

In connecting the home with the world, Herrmann continued, we find the true meaning of internationality associated with the mission of the sciences to achieve understanding among people beyond all political and religious boundaries. He went on to say that the vanguard position of the university is a collective achievement on the part of the human aspect of the university, those who from generation to generation have become an emotionally coherent family. “The key to the future is in our technical innovative power, which reconnects dynamically with the capricious challenges facing society.” This is why the humanities and social sciences, including political science, are being integrated in the TUM teaching and research agenda, he said. “Interdisciplinarity character is our guiding vision.”

Special Edition Postage Stamp Shows Symbolic TUM Buildings

German Federal Minister of Finance Olaf Scholz presented the special edition stamp commemorating the TUM anniversary. The 150 cent stamp shows three characteristic buildings in the history of TUM: the Oskar von Miller Tower of 2010, which collects weather data for research at the Garching campus; the legendary 1958 Atomic Egg, Germany’s first research reactor, and the Thiersch Tower, symbol of the historical Munich main campus.

On the occasion of the 150th anniversary, this clock tower, completed by Friedrich von Thiersch in 1916, has been renovated and is now also home to an impressive event space, the Tschira Forum. The Klaus Tschira Stiftung provided financial support for the work done on the historical monument.

Debut Of “TUM Festmusik”

The Bavarian Minister of Science Prof. Marion Kiechle, Munich mayor Dieter Reiter, student representative Franziska Ochsenfarth, and Prof. Joachim Sauer from Berlin’s Humboldt University addressed the audience regarding the history and the future of TUM, hosted by television moderator Anouschka Horn. The musical portion of the ceremony was created by the Symphonisches Ensemble München, led by Prof. Felix Mayer. The Franz Hummel composition “TUM Festmusik” made its debut at the event.

TUM Made “German Engineering” Famous

Since its founding TUM has embodied the successful model of German technical universities: a combination of fundamental research and technological development, in intensive exchange with industrial practice. TUM President Herrmann: “Fundamental research wants to understand the world, while application research wants to shape the world. Both aspects belong together.”

17 Nobel laureates among TUM professors and alumni attest to the groundbreaking performance in natural sciences and medicine. Ingenious inventors and thousands of graduates have made “German Engineering” famous around the world. Carl von Linde began the entrepreneurial tradition of TUM as a young member of the group of founding professors: He brought his refrigeration technology to market through his own company, today’s Linde AG.

TUM has been a driving force behind innovation, from the epoch of industrialization all the way to today’s age of digitalization. The program-controlled electronic computing system PERM (1956), the first German research reactor (“Atomic Egg”) completed in 1958, and the first transplant of two arms for an accident victim (2008) are only some examples of the highlights of an uninterrupted story of high-performance.

The Entrepreneurial University

Over the last 20 years a new dynamic has emerged at TUM as the “entrepreneurial university”. Far-reaching and extensive reforms in the recent past have made it possible for TUM to successfully compete alongside the world’s best partners and rivals on an international scale. In the last 20 years more than 15,000 jobs have been created by TUM spin-offs. Currently a total of approximately 70 start-ups are created at TUM every year.

Research stories spanning 150 years of TUM history:


About TUM and TUM Asia

The Technical University of Munich (TUM) is one of Europe’s leading research universities, with around 550 professors, 41,000 students, and 10,000 academic and non-academic staff. Its focus areas are the engineering sciences, natural sciences, life sciences and medicine, combined with economic and social sciences. TUM acts as an entrepreneurial university that promotes talents and creates value for society. In that it profits from having strong partners in science and industry. It is represented worldwide with the TUM Asia campus in Singapore as well as offices in Beijing, Brussels, Cairo, Mumbai, San Francisco, and São Paulo. Nobel Prize winners and inventors such as Rudolf Diesel, Carl von Linde, and Rudolf Mößbauer have done research at TUM. In 2006 and 2012 it won recognition as a German “Excellence University.” In international rankings, TUM regularly places among the best universities in Germany.

As the first German academic venture abroad, TUM Asia opened its doors in Singapore in 2002. German in its roots and Asian in its approach, TUM Asia combines an emphasis on industry readiness and innovation with a distinct dedication to be relevant to Asia and its development. TUM Asia has seen more than a thousands students come through its Bachelor & Master programmes, including graduates from Asia and Europe. 

1st Picture: Celebrating 150 Years of TUM
2nd Picture: Prof. Wolfgang A. Herrmann (right), President of the Technical University of Munich, and Bavarian Minister President Söder (second from right) examine the WARR Hyperloop II. (Image: Andreas Heddergott / TUM)
3rd Picture: Special honour on the 150th anniversary of TUM: President Herrmann welcomes Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. (Image: Andreas Heddergott / TUM)
4th Picture: Ceremony on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Technical University of Munich in the Herkulessaal of the Munich Residence. 
Group photo in front of press wall; v.l.n.r .: Ilse Aigner, Bavarian Minister of State for Housing, Construction and Transport; Dieter Reiter, Lord Mayor of Munich; Olaf Scholz, Federal Minister of Finance; Prof. Dr. W. A. ​​Herrmann, President of the Technical University of Munich; Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier; Dr. Markus Söder, Bavarian Prime Minister; Prof. Dr. Marion Kiechle, Bavarian Minister of State for Science and Art (Image: Astrid Eckert /TUM)
5th Picture: The connection between home and the world, said Herrmann, is the true meaning of internationality, combined with the mission of international understanding. (Image: Astrid Eckert /TUM)
6th Picture: At the ceremony marking TUM’s 150th anniversary German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier emphasized the societal responsibility of the sciences. (Image: Andreas Heddergott / TUM)
7th Picture: Minister Aigner (f.l.t.r.), Minister President Söder, Fed. Minister of Finance Scholz, Prof. Herrmann of TUM, Fed. President Steinmeier, Bav. Minister of Science Prof. Kiechle, Mayor Reiter. (Image: Andreas Heddergott / TUM)
8th Picture: Finance Minister Scholz presents the stamp to the two presidents. (Image: Andreas Heddergott / TUM)
9th Picture: The special issue stamp for the anniversary has a special value of 150 for large letters abroad, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said. (Image: Andreas Heddergott / TUM)
10th Picture: The ceremony was musically framed by the Symphonic Ensemble Munich under the direction of Prof. Felix Mayer, lecturer at the Carl von Linde Academy of TUM. (Image: Astrid Eckert /TUM)
11th Picture: Research that amazes everyone: Federal President Steinmeier at a presentation by students of TUM. (Image: Andreas Heddergott / TUM)



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