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Elected in 1988

“For outstanding contributions in developing and understanding deformation processes, and for leadership in education and research for manufacturing.”


ON THURSDAY, JULY 30, 2009, KURT LANGE went to work in his office at the Institute of Metal Forming Technology of Universität Stuttgart, as he had done for the past 46 years. On Friday morning he started to feel unwell, and the following day, August 1, he passed away. The metal-forming community has lost one of the most prominent figures in its field.

Kurt Lange was born on December 13, 1919, in Osnabrück, Germany, the son of a photographer. He studied mechanical engineering from 1939 to 1948 at Technische Hochschule Hannover and Braunschweig. His university life was interrupted between 1940 and 1945 by the Second World War when he was conscripted into military service with the artillery. During this period he came into contact with weapons, such as steel cartridges, that were produced by metal-forming processes.

The war period shaped his character considerably. His immense support of international collaboration and of academics in trouble worldwide in later years is probably a result of this time. His book, Flowers at the Roadside: A Life After Survival, also contains reflections of this emotional period. He recalled the time when he was involved in heavy fights, was wounded, became a prisoner of war, and saw the most inconceivable incidents; he remembered the crying mother beside her two dead children somewhere in Russia in August

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