Rudolf Diesel – NYSSPE’s Engineer of the Week

Rudolf Diesel

Rudolf Diesel

NYSSPE’s Engineer of the week features Rudolf Diesel, a German inventor and mechanical engineer best known for inventing the diesel engine.

Rudolf Diesel was born on March 18, 1858 in Paris, France. After receiving a scholarship, he graduated the Royal Bavarian Polytechnic of Munich in 1880. Following school, Diesel worked with one of his professors to design and construct a modern refrigeration and ice plant. From there he began to test steam and explore the idea of designing an engine based on the Carnot cycle. After much research, Diesel received a patent for his compression-ignition engine, which had a much higher efficiency than the existing steam engines of the time. Because of all of his inventions and advancements, in 1978 he was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame.

Diesel’s life ended unexpectedly in 1913 when he boarded a ship to London. It is speculated that he jumped ship and committed suicide.

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