Max Jakob 1879 - 1955

 Max Jakob was a German Physicist, born July 20, 1879, in Ludwigshafen, Germany. He studied Electrical Engineering at the Technical University of Munchen where he graduated in 1902. He was awarded a Diploma Ingenieur in Applied Physics in 1903, and the degree of Doctor Ingenieur in 1904. From 1903 until 1906, he was an assistant to O. Knoblauch at the Laboratory for Technical Physics and later joined the Physikalisch-Technische Reichsanstalt at Berlin-Charlottenburg in 1910, where he started his career in thermodynamics and heat transfer. He conducted a large amount of important work in these fields, covering such areas as steam and air at high pressure, devices for measuring thermal conductivity, the mechanisms of boiling and condensation, flow in pipes and nozzles and much more. During this time, he wrote over 200 technical papers and was a prolific source of critical reviews, articles and discussions.

In 1936, he emigrated to the United States, and began a one-year lecture tour sponsored by ASME. He became a research professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology and a Consultant in Heat Transfer Research for the Armour Research Foundation. In 1942, he founded and became the first director of IIT's Heat Transfer Laboratory.

His long years of research resulted in significant contributions to the literature of the profession; nearly 500 books, articles, reviews and discussions have been published bearing his name. His formal honors include an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Engineering from Purdue University in 1950, and The Worchester Reed Warner medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 1952.

 He was admired by colleagues and students alike, for his warm personality, subtle wit, and rare humility of spirit. He died on January 4, 1955.

 The Max Jakob Memorial Award was created in 1961 to commemorate the outstanding contributions of this much admired pioneer. It is bestowed annually by ASME, to honor eminent achievement of distinguished service in the field of Heat Transfer

Grigull, Sandner, Straud, Winkler. Origins of Dimensionless Groups of Heat and Mass Transfer. Lehrstuhl a Fuer Thermodynamik Technische Universitaet Muenchen. IHTC, Muenchen 1982.

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