A German engineer, born July 11, 1826, at Dusseldorf, Germany, Franz Grashof left school at the age of 15 to work as a mechanic while attending trade school. From 1844 until 1847, Grashof studied mathematics, physics and machine design at the Berlin Royal Technical Institute. In 1849, he set sail on a voyage which took him as far as the Dutch Indies and Australia and where he stayed for nearly three years before returning to Berlin to continue his studies in 1852.
Grashof was one of the founding leaders of the Society of German Engineers (Verein Deutscher Ingenieure, VDI) and assumed an enormous load as author, editor, corrector and dispatcher of publications. By 1863, Grashof's name was so esteemed that the Technical of Karlsruhe appointed him to be a successor Superintendent of the Engineering School. He also served as Professor of Applied Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering where his reknowned lectures included "Strength of Materials," "Hydraulics," "Theory of Heat," and "General Engineering."
After Grashof's death on October 26, 1893 at Karlsruhe, the
Society of German Engineers honored his memory by instituting the Grashof
Commemorative Medal as the highest distinction that the society could bestow
for merit in the engineering skills.