Rudolf C.K. Diesel
Born: Paris, France, March 18, 1858
School Attended: Industrial School
of Augsburg, Munich Polytechnic
Known for: Inventing the combustion
diesel engine
Death: English Channel, September 29, 1913

1858- Rudolf Diesel was born in Paris, France.
1870- The Diesel family is forced to move due to the Franco-Prussian War and they end up settling in London, England.
1871- Diesel's mother sends him to live in Augsburg to live with his aunt and uncle, Barbara and Christoph Barnickel. There he learned to become fluent in German.
1879- Diesel became ill with typhoid and was unable to graduate with his class.
1880- Diesel graduated with high honors. He returned to Paris and assisted his former Munich professor Carl von Linde with designing of the first
1883- Diesel published a book titled “Theory and a Rational Thermal Engine to Replace the Steam Engine and the Combustion Engines Known Today”.
1883- Diesel married Martha Flasche.
1893- The first functional engine prototype was built by Diesel at Maschinefabrik Augsburg plant.
1893- Diesel wrote a paper describing the internal combustion engine.
1894- Diesel filed patent for diesel engine.
1898- Diesel was granted patent for internal combustion diesel engine.
1913- Diesel died on the English Channel.

Famous quotations:

“The use of vegetable oils for engine fuels may seem insignificant today. But such oils may become in course of time as important as petroleum and the coal tar products of the present time.”
"The automobile engine will come, and then I will consider my life's work complete."

Early Life:
Rudolf Diesel was born in Paris, France in 1858. His parents names were Theodore Diesel and Elise Diesel, both German immigrants. Diesel spent most of his early life in France, but when the Franco-Prussian War became an issue his family like many other families fled the country. The Diesels ended up settling in London, England. Diesel's mother eventually forced him to move to Augsburg, Germany to live with his aunt and uncle, Barbara and Christoph Barnickel. This would be the start of his career as an inventor and an engineer. At the age of 14, Diesel told his parents he wanted to become an engineer. He graduated from basic education at the top of his class and then attended the Industrial School in Augsburg. Two years later, he received a merit scholarship to attend the Royal Bavarian Polytechnic of Munich. His parents did not want him to attend the school, they wanted him to start working, but he went to the school anyways. Diesel was unable to graduate in 1879 due to a disease called typhoid, better known as salmonella. While Diesel was waiting for treatments he gained some engineering experience in Switzerland. He graduated from Munich Polytechnic in 1880 and returned to Paris. in Paris he worked with his Munich professor and became a refrigerator engineer.
Rudolf Diesel, Inventor and Engineer
The First Diesel Engine

The Diesel Engine:
After graduating from Munich Polytechnic, Diesel became a refrigerator engineer but he was truly interested in engine design. He designed a number of different engines before patenting his design for the diesel engine, including a solar powered air engine and many heat engines. When working on his diesel engine, Diesel was almost killed from an explosion of the prototype, but he managed to survive. The initial design of his engine had only one cylinder and was very large with only a few applications. Over time it was refined into the modern diesel engine which is used worldwide in a range of applications from providing electricity to a small town, to powering a car or truck.

Rudolf Diesel is not only known for the invention of the pressure ignited heat engine. He was a well known thermal engineer and his creations usually dealt with the concept of heat. His mechanical designs were far more creative than any inventions of the time and the idea behind his work was to satisfy sociological needs. His original purpose behind the diesel engine was so that craftsmen and individuals could compete with large industries. He felt that steam engines were fuel-wasting machines that were over sized and expensive. After 13 years of hard work, Diesel's 10 foot iron cylinder with a fly wheel at its base, ran on its own. He spent two more years making adjustments until creating a new model with an efficiency of 75.6% which was far greater than the 10% efficiency of steam engines at the time.

The Effects of the Diesel Engine
The diesel engine changed the world. The diesel engine is used in all construction vehicles because they are used in situation with large weight loads and low RPM needs. It is used in submarines, ships, and also used as stationary engines. Later, the diesel engine was starting to be found in locomotives and they were becoming more popular in the automobile. It has adapted and is now used in small aircrafts and is also used in all large trucks for shipping. The diesel fuel is much more cost efficient compared to the gasoline, due to the longer duration of combustion and the higher pressure in the diesel engine. If the diesel engine was not created by Diesel himself, then the shipping industry would be much more complicated than it is today and it would also cost a lot more money for the consumer. Another thing that the creation of the diesel engine really benefited is the construction industry. Without the use of the diesel engine in the construction industry, construction that would take a few hours with a digging machine, would take days when just using man power and it
Common Truck with a Diesel Engine
would also take a lot more labor when considering the number of men that will be on one job. It would also be found when digging for oil and at oil refineries. It affects our group because we all eat food that has been shipped in something using aengine. This allows us to have a wide variety of food options and it is not that difficult to receive the food as well.

On September 29, 1913, Rudolf Diesel boarded a ship that would be taking him to his factory in London, England. Once on the ship Rudolf Diesel had dinner and reported to his cabin at about ten o'clock in the evening. He told someone to call for him at six fifteen the next morning. Once Diesel entered his cabin that night it was the last time anyone would see him alive. Ten days later a corpse was found floating in the ocean. The crew that found the body did not take it aboard because it was so decomposed. They took his belongings instead. The body was then left in the ocean and was later identified as the body of Rudolf Diesel. Some people say that this was an act of suicide, while others say that it may have been linked to homicide.

Other Useful Sources:


Bellis, Mary. "Rudolf Diesel - Inventor of the Diesel Engine Rudolf Diesel." Inventors. Web. 25 Sept. 2011.

"Hall of Fame | Search | Inventor Profile." Invent Now. Web. 25 Sept. 2011.

"Inventor Rudolf Diesel Vanishes — This Day in History — 9/29/1913." — History Made Every Day — American & World History. Web. 25 Sept. 2011.

"Rudolf Diesel." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 25 Sept. 2011. <l>.

"World Changer - Rudolf Diesel - YouTube." YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. Web. 25 Sept. 2011.

Research conducted by:Will DonahueEric SalzilloCharlie Simmons(Scummy Scrappers)