Jakob, Max, 1879-1955
Max Jakob, IIT Hall of Fame Inductee, 2001
Name & Brief Biography:
Max Jakob, 1879–1955, was a faculty member of the Mechanical Engineering department at Armour Institute of Technology, and subsequently at Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago), and a research scientist at Armour Research Foundation. He was internationally known for his work in heat transfer.
Education History: • Diploma-Ingenieur in Electrical Engineering, Technische Hochschule (Royal Institute of Technology), Munich, Germany, 1902 • Diploma-Ingenieur in Applied Physics, Technische Hochschule (Royal Institute of Technology), Munich, Germany, 1903 • Dr. Ingenieur, Technische Hochschule (Royal Institute of Technology), Munich, Germany, 1904 • Doctor of Engineering (Honorary), Purdue University, 1948
Employment History: • Assistant at Laboratorium fur Technisches Physik (Laboratory of Applied Physics) of the Technische Hochschule, Munich, 1902-1906 • Employed as an engineer in German and Swiss manufacturing firms: Allgemeine Elektrictatsgesellschaft (AEG), Berlin, Germany, 1906-1907; Felten-Guillaume-Lahmeyerwerks, Frankfurt, Germany, 1907-1909; Brown, Bovert, & Co., Baden, Switzerland, 1909-1910 • Professor in the Physikallisch-Technische Reichsanstalt (German National Institute for Applied Physics; the equivalent of the U. S. Bureau of Standards), Berlin, Germany, 1910-1935 • Director, Laboratory of Heat Exchange, Research Foundation of Armour Institute of Technology, 1937 • Research Professor of Mechanical Engineering, AIT and IIT, 1937–1955 • Research Associate of Institute of Gas Technology, 1937–ca. 1942 • Non-resident Research Professor of Heat Transfer, Purdue University, 1944
Awards/Recognitions: • The Max Jakob Memorial Award was established by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers in his honor, 1961 • Awarded the Worchester Reed Warner Medal by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 1952 • Delegate to the International Steam Table Conference, London, 1929 • Member Sigma Xi (national honorary scientific fraternity), Purdue Chapter • Member Pi Tau Sigma (honorary mechanical engineering fraternity)
Professional/Civic Service: • Chairman of the German Engineers Committee for Heat Research, ca. 1910s-1930s • Scientific adviser for the Society of German Engineers, ca. 1910s-1936 • Director, professor, and chairman of various German government laboratories and professional societies • Delegate to the International Steam Table Conference, 1929 • War Research Committee, ca. 1943 • Member, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 19380-? • Member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 1938-?
Quote About Jakob: “Jakob’s coming to America was terribly important for us. We were far behind Germany in understanding heat flow, and we were working hard to make up ground. Jakob gave us our first direct conduit to that knowledge....With Max Jakob showing the way, heat flow expertise passed to America.” Lienhard, John H., Engines of Our Ingenuity, “No. 1546: Max Jakob,” /www.uh.edu/engines/epi1546.htm> July 6, 2001, Copyright 1988-2000 by John H. Lienhard.
Significance to IIT: One of the many eminent German scientists to emigrate to America rather than work under Hitler's regime, Max Jakob was actively recruited by President W. E. Hotchkiss to join Armour Research Foundation and take on the task of directing the newly created heat exchange laboratories. Jakob was recognized as one of the “four or five leading scholars of the world in his field” who could probably have found an appointment with any of several U. S. universities or businesses. Reportedly wooed to Armour Institute of Technology by his friend and colleague Enrico Fermi, Jakob was 58 when he arrived here, having left behind a thirty-year career in his native country to begin a twenty-year career in his adopted country. As a result, the free world was able to take advantage of knowledge born of a brilliant mind, a compassionate heart, and a pure scientist.
Jakob is an individual whose impact on his discipline should be rediscovered and re-evaluated in light of the political power shift from Europe to America after World War II. His name may never have been a household word, but the hundreds of books, articles, and journals written or edited by him attest to the primacy of his chosen research field to the scientific advances of the first half of the twentieth century. Late twentieth century scientists and textbooks continued to cite Jakob’s pioneering research on heat transfer and fluid flow. The fundamental principles he derived found applications in the nuclear, electronics, and aerospace industries.
Partial Bibliography of Titles Authored or Edited by Max Jakob: • Technisch-physikalische Untersuchungen von Aluminium-Elektrolyt-Zellen. Authored by Max Jakob. Stuttgart, Union, deutsche Verlagsgesellschaft. 1906. • Uber die spezifische wärme Cp der luft zwischen l und 200 atmosphären. Authored by Max Jakob and Ludwig Friedrich Christian Holborn. Berlin, Die Reichsdruckerei. 1914. • Steam research in Europe and in America. Report of a course of four lectures delivered in May, 1931, for the University of London. Authored by Max Jakob. London. 1931, 1932. • Der Chemie-Ingenieur; ein Handbuch der physikalischen Arbeitsmethoden in chemischen und verwandten Industrie-Betrieben. Edited by Max Jakob. Authored by A. Eucken. Leipzig, Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft m.b.H.. 1932 - 1940. • Messung von Zustandsgröseen im Betriebe. Authored by Max Jakob, Hermann Ebert, Karl Hencky, and others. Leipzig, Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft m. b. h. 1933. • Hydrodynamische Materialbewegung / Wärmeschutz und Wärmeaustausch. Authored by Max Jakob and Sigmund Erk. Leipzig, Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft m. b. h. 1933. • Heat transfer in evaporation and condensation. Authored by Max Jakob. Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois. 1937. • A survey of the science of heat transmission, a series of lectures. Authored by Max Jakob. Lafayette, Ind.: Purdue University. 1939. • Elements of heat transfer and insulation. Authored by Max Jakob and George A. Hawkins. New York: Wiley. 1942, 1946, 1950, 1957. • Heat transfer from a vertical plate to an air stream. Authored by Max Jakob, Louis Slegel, and George A. Hawkins. Lafayette, Ind.: Purdue University. 1946. • Heat transfer. Authored by Max Jakob. New York: Wiley. 1949. • Studies of accuracy attainable in the measurement of atmospheric pressure by means of hypsometers. Authored by Max Jakob and Maurice Spielman. S.l.: Illinois Institute of Technology. 1951.
Researched and written by Catherine Bruck, University Archivist, 2001
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