|Birth Day:||May 11, 1859|
|Death Date:||25 December 1942(1942-12-25) (aged 83)
|Birth Place:||Liptovský Mikuláš, Slovakia|
As per our current Database, Aurel Stodola died on 25 December 1942(1942-12-25) (aged 83)
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Aurel Stodola was born in Vrbica-Hušták (now a part of Liptovský Mikuláš), in the Kingdom of Hungary (now in Slovakia) on 11 May 1859. His father Ondrej Stodola was a leather manufacturer. His mother was Anna (born Kováčová). He was baptized as Aurel Bohuslav, but he used just name Aurel. He was baptized by the famous person of the Slovak emancipation movement, Protestant priest, poet, linguist, and representative of the Slovak national movement in 1840s Michal Miloslav Hodža.
In 1876, he moved to Budapest, where he studied two semesters at the Royal Jeseph University in Budapest. He was acknowledged as gifted student and he received a grant. In 1876, he transferred to the Eidgenössische Polytechnische Schule (Federal Polytechnic School), today known as the ETH. In 1881, he completed his degree in Mechanical Engineering. After graduation, he went to work in a factory in Budapest for seven months. In 1882/1883, he attended The TH Charlottenburg (Royal Technical Higher School of Charlottenburg) in Berlin.
In 1892, he was appointed Professor of Machine Construction by the Polytechnikum in Zürich. He worked and taught at Polytechnikum until his retirement in 1929. He gave his first lecture on 23 October 1892. Stodola provided stimuli in the development of the curriculum and the construction of the first machine laboratory (now Laboratory for Energy Conversion). It was opened in 1900. He was invited as evaluator to The Exposition Universelle in Paris, during the same year.
In 1903, one of his major textbooks ‘Die Dampfturbine’ (the Steam Turbine) was first published. This was translated into several languages and formed a groundbreaking basis for the construction of thermal turbo-machinery.
In 1924 he endowed a foundation with the stated aim ‘to promote the development of mechanical and electro-technical science in the ETH’. This foundation still exists today.
Stodola's book Steam and Gas Turbines was cited by Soviet rocket scientist Fridrikh Tsander in the 1920s. Published in English in 1927 and reprinted many times up to 1945, it was a basic reference for engineers working on the first generation of jet propulsion engines in the United States. Stodola worked closely with industries on the development of the first practical gas turbines, in particular Brown, Boveri & Cie, who built the first gas turbine-powered electric generator in 1939.
Stodola retired at the age of 70. Then, he did not teach, but he carried on as expert and advisor. He was interested in Theoretical physics and philosophy, as well. In 1931, he published his book about philosophy of technology ‘Gedanken zu einer Weltanschauung vom Standpunktedes Ingenieurs’ (‘Thoughts of a worldview from the standpoint of the engineer’). The title of the fourth and fifth edition was Die geheimnisvolle Naturweltanschauliche Betrachtung. It was his contribution to social, political and technological issues of his time. This book was reprinted several times and made a significant contribution to the technical philosophy in Europe.
Stodola's farewell lecture is also included in this publication. In 1939, he led a team at Brown Boveri in the first test worldwide using a gas turbine to generate electricity. This machine is still exhibited today at the Alstom works in Birr and due to its importance is considered to be an ‘historical milestone in mechanical engineering’.
He died on December 25, 1942 in Zurich. His remains were moved to his birthplace in 1989 because the ETH denied paying for his grave.
Currently, Aurel Stodola is 162 years, 2 months and 13 days old. Aurel Stodola will celebrate 163rd birthday on a Wednesday 11th of May 2022.
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