Bertha Benz becomes namesake of the main building of the Thuringian Innovation Center Mobility at the TU Ilmenau

On June 30, the ThIMo main building was ceremoniously named after the pioneer of the automobile and wife of inventor Carl Benz, Cäcilie Bertha Benz. Her great-granddaughter, Jutta Benz, traveled from Mannheim to Ilmenau especially for the occasion with her husband and honored her great-grandmother's contributions to the development of modern mobility in the presence of guests of honor from the state and Ilm district, the city and university administration, and numerous guests. Through her magnificent entrepreneurial and technical efforts, Bertha Benz (May 3, 1849 to May 5, 1944) paved the way for the development of the Benz Patent Motor Car. With the first long-distance trip in her husband Carl Benz's automobile, she proved the practicality of the new means of transport and at the same time laid the foundation for a transfer of technology from the inventor's forge to everyday life.

Michael Reichel Michael Reichel
Together with Jutta Benz, Prof. Kai-Uwe Sattler, President of TU Ilmenau, Dennys Klein, Chancellor of the University and Prof. Matthias Hein, Director of ThIMo, inaugurated the Bertha Benz Building with its new name.

It is a good custom of the TU Ilmenau to symbolically name its buildings after great personalities; thus, the list of previous names spans the entire alphabet from the Swedish physicist and chemist Svante Arrhenius to the German engineer and computer pioneer Konrad Zuse. The list of names is now extended to include Bertha Benz, a second important woman in the history of German science and technology after Lise Meitner.

The main building of the Thuringian Innovation Center for Mobility (ThIMo) at the Ilmenau University of Technology, named after Bertha Benz, houses modern research laboratories such as the MASTER four-roller high-performance test stand of the ThIMo core competence Automotive Engineering and the Virtual Road - Simulation and Test Facility VISTA of the core competence Radio Engineering, as well as the ThIMo office and the Department of Automotive Engineering. The building was constructed in 2014/15 with funds from the Free State of Thuringia and the TU Ilmenau's own funds in the immediate vicinity of the Ilmenau Technology and Start-up Center. Its technical infrastructure enables research work such as minimizing emissions from brakes and tires, networking laboratories and field tests in the real laboratory, or radio and radar technologies for automated and connected driving.

In her laudatory speech, Jutta Benz described the life of her great-grandmother and brought to life the circumstances surrounding the development of the three-wheeled Benz Patent Motor Car Number 3, including Bertha Benz's spectacular long-distance journey. As the motor carriage did not initially meet with the public reception she had hoped for, Mrs. Benz undertook a 106-kilometer drive from Mannheim to Pforzheim in August 1888, accompanied by her 15- and 13-year-old sons Eugen and Richard. This convincing practical test played a major role in dispelling any reservations that still existed about the vehicle and subsequently enabled the company to achieve commercial success. To honor and commemorate Bertha Benz's pioneering spirit and practical skills, her convincing commitment to technology transfer and her contributions to modern mobility, the main building of the Thuringian Innovation Center for Mobility at the TU Ilmenau now proudly bears her name.

May the Bertha Benz Building continue to serve as a think tank of innovative mobility and produce successful scientific careers, personnel developments and projects

said ThIMo Director Matthias Hein in his building dedication.

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Karina Schöler

Transfer Manager at ThIMo