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Rudolf Diesel was a German engineer and inventor known for inventing the internal-combustion engine, Diesel engine. Diesel is also known for his mysterious disappearance and death.
See the fact file below for more information on the Rudolf Diesel or alternatively, you can download our 21-page Rudolf Diesel worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION
- Rudolf Diesel was born as Rudolf Christian Karl Diesel on March 18, 1858 in Paris, France.
- He was the second of three children to Elise and Theodore Diesel.
- Elise was the daughter of a Nuremberg merchant, while Theodore was a bookbinder and leather goods manufacturer.
- At the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian war in 1870, the Diesel family was deported to England.
- They settled in London, where Rudolf Diesel attended an English school.
- Diesel was then sent to his father’s native town, Augsburg, to live with his aunt and uncle, Barbara and Christoph Barnickel, and to continue his schooling there.
- Diesel graduated as the top of his class in 1873.
- Diesel then went to the then-newly founded Industrial School of Augsburg.
- After two years, he received a merit scholarship from the Technical University of Munich.
- Diesel had a brilliant scholastic record in engineering while he was at the university.
- While Diesel was in Munich, he became a protégé of Carl von Linde, a refrigeration engineer.
- Diesel was supposed to graduate in July 1879 but was not able to attend due to being ill with typhoid fever.
- Diesel then graduated in January 1880 with highest academic honors.
- After graduating, Diesel returned to Paris where he assisted his former professor, Carl von Linde.
- Diesel became the director of the plant he and Linde built a year later.
- In 1890, Diesel moved to Berlin to manage Linde’s corporate research and development department and to join several other corporate boards in Berlin.
- Diesel expanded his research beyond the field of refrigeration. He started with steam.
- Diesel’s research on thermal efficiency and fuel efficiency led him to build a steam engine using ammonia vapor.
- Diesel then researched high compression cylinder pressures, and tested the strength of iron and steel cylinder heads.
- During the tests, one head exploded, which led to Diesel spending several months in hospital.
- In 1893, Diesel published a paper entitled Theory and Construction of a Rational Heat-engine to Replace the Steam Engine and the Combustion Engines Known Today, after several years of studying internal combustion engines based on the thermally efficient Carnot cycle.
- Heinrich von Buz, director of MAN SE, a German mechanical engineering company, allowed Diesel to run tests and develop his ideas more.
- Diesel ran his first successful Diesel engine in 1897.
- The first Diesel engine is now on display at the Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin, or the German Museum of Technology.
- In 1883, Diesel married Martha Flasche.
- They had three children: Rudolf Jr. who has born in 1883, Heddy who was born in 1885, and Eugen who was born in 1889.
DISAPPEARANCE AND DEATH
- On September 29, 1913, Diesel boarded the Great Eastern Railway (GER) steamer SS Dresden in Antwerp on his way to to a meeting in London.
- Diesel mysteriously disappeared from his room after eating dinner the night before he was supposed to be called.
- Ten days after his disappearance, a corpse of a man was found floating in the North Sea near Norway by the crew of Coertzen, a Dutch boat.
- The corpse was already in an advanced state of decomposition, which made it unrecognizable.
- On October 13, 1913, Diesel’s son Eugen identified the items found with the corpse as belonging to his father.
- On October 14, 1913, a report came saying that a boatman found Diesel’s body at the mouth of the Scheldt, a long river in northern France, but threw it overboard due to the heavy weather.
- Shortly after the announcement of Diesel’s death, his wife opened the bag that Diesel left behind with instructions to not open it until a week later.
- The bag contained money and a number of financial statements.
- A Diesel engine is an internal-combustion engine wherein the ignition of the fuel is due to the elevated temperature of air inside the cylinder because of the mechanical compression or adiabatic compression.
- The Diesel engine has the highest thermal efficiency or engine efficiency due to its very high expansion ratio and inherent lean burn that enables heat to dissipate due to excess air.
Rudolf Diesel Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Rudolf Diesel across 21 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Rudolf Diesel worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Rudolf Diesel who was a German engineer and inventor known for inventing the internal-combustion engine, Diesel engine. Diesel is also known for his mysterious disappearance and death.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Rudolf Diesel Facts
- Know Diesel
- Test Yourself!
- Diesel Engine
- Label Them
- What Do You Think?
- Letter to Diesel
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