History

Founded in 1868 by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, who had an affinity for technology, the Technische Hochschule München (THM) was to provide the "igniting spark of science" to industry and business.

Postcard after a watercolor depicting King Ludwig II in front of his steamship "Tristan".

Today, our university is one of the best in Europe. In its more than 150 years of existence, it has produced important Nobel Prize winners, scientists, and entrepreneurs. Many of these personalities shaped the character of TUM, its graduates, and the history of natural and technical sciences and medicine.

TUM in figures

1868 (WS 1869/70)

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Today

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On the image a shelf with historical documents in the TUM Archive is shown.

TUM Archive

The TUM Archive collects, preserves, and provides access to records and objects documenting the history of our university. Researchers from around the world can use these resources for their work.

TUM Archive
A hand with a magnifying glass, under which lies an origami crane.

Anniversary stories

Driven by curiosity and entrepreneurial spirit, our researchers have made countless vital discoveries and inventions in over 150 years of TUM history.

Read the anniversary stories
Medaille des Nobelpreises mit dem Porträt des Stifters, Alfred Nobel.

Nobel Prizes

The Nobel Prize in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, peace, or economics is considered the most prestigious award in the world. To date, 18 TUM researchers and alumni have received this award (date: 2022).

Nobel Prizes

1905: Women at technical universities in Bavaria

Women were permitted to study at the THM beginning in 1905. Agnes Mackensen was the first female student to enroll, followed by Anna Boyksen in 1906 as the first female engineering student. In 1946, Liesel Beckmann was appointed the first female professor. Many others followed, and they contributed significantly to our success, our reputation, and our research achievements.

Some 36% of our students and 24% of our professors are female. The commitment to equal opportunity and the promotion of talented women continues to be an essential mission of our university.

Women at TUM - a journey through time (in German)

I am a really tough character by nature, and I don't let difficulties or setbacks get me down.

TUM's first female professor in the natural sciences (medicine, 1973 - 1989)

Scientist working on a hybrid simulator.

Equal opportunity

The Diversity & Equal Opportunities unit and the Gender Equality Office are committed to all women's issues and concerns. They offer a variety of programs to support and promote women.

Women at TUM
Female panel guests at a lecture of the "Women of TUM Talks".

Women of TUM

The network connects women across disciplines and national borders. It offers workshops and events such as the "Women of TUM Talks" series.

See Community
Two researchers discuss their data on a laptop at TUM's Central Institute for Translational Cancer Research (TranslaTUM).

Agnes-Mackensen-Program

This program supports women with a non-academic background and strengthens their leadership skills through mentoring, workshops, and networking.

To the program

Coaching-Program

This individual coaching is aimed at female researchers and science managers. They can work with professional coaches to draw up their individual career plan.

Individual coaching

1933 - 1945: The time of National Socialism

The years of the National Socialist regime were characterized at the “Technische Hochschule München” (THM) by the suppression of Jewish students and scientists, dismissals, and the elimination of university autonomy. The THM was extensively involved in armaments research as part of German rearmament and during the Second World War.

In 2018, in a joint initiative with TUM, the NS Documentation Center presented the exhibition "Die THM im Nationalsozialismus" (The THM under National Socialism), which shed light on the role of the Technical University of Munich (TUM since 1970) during the Nazi era based on an extensive reappraisal and research project. Today, TUM remains committed to education and transparency regarding its history. In May 2023, it established a commission of experts to draw up recommendations for how to deal with former members of the university convicted of Nazi crimes, as well as with the buildings and rooms that bear their names.

Consistent reappraisal of the history of National Socialism

Implementing the results of the expert commission

The commission has submitted a report with concrete recommendations for action, which are being implemented by the university. The investigations included the use of names of people with Nazi convictions in university buildings and rooms, as well as the awarding of honorary titles to people with Nazi convictions. TUM is committed to continued research on and reappraisal of its history during the Nazi era.

To the press release from from 15.3.2024

Technical universities were a constitutive part of the system whose goals they helped pursue, and that is a fact we have to face.

Founding Director of the NS Documentation Center and TUM Emeritus of Excellence

"We have to face up to history."

A research project by TUM and the NS Documentation Center

A team of scientists conducted in-depth research into TUM's Nazi past and presented the research results to the public in an exhibition in 2018 to mark the university’s 150th anniversary. The architectural historian Prof. Winfried Nerdinger, Emeritus of Excellence of TUM and founding director of the Munich Documentation Center for National Socialism, was head of the project and is still committed to coming to terms with this period at our university.

Critical examination of the Nazi past

Memorial site for persecuted university members

A new place of remembrance for members of the former Technical University of Munich (THM) who were dismissed and persecuted by the Nazi regime is being created at TUM. The biographies of 17 victims are documented on large-format panels on the second floor of the building at the corner of Arcisstrasse and Gabelsbergerstrasse. The establishment of this central memorial site is an initiative of the TUM Senior Excellence Faculty in cooperation with the TUM Center for Culture and Arts. The exhibition will be opened as part of a public symposium on Tuesday, 9 July, from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Carl-von-Linde lecture hall. An evening featuring the film "Die Weiße Rose" in cooperation with the student initiative "der tu film" will follow (admission free).

HSTS