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Biographical Information

Name: Fritz Leonhardt
Born on 11 July 1909 in , Baden-Württemberg, Germany, Europe
Deceased on 30 December 1999 in , Baden-Württemberg, Germany, Europe
Collaborator of
Place(s) of activity:
1927 - 1931

Studies civil engineering at the Technical School (TH) in Stuttgart

1932 - 1933

Travels to the United States and Mexico


Works under Karl Schaechterle in the bridge construction division of the main office of the Reichsautobahn in Stuttgart, then in the Reichstransportation Ministry in Berlin;
Develops a light deck system, later called orthotropic deck



1938 - 1941

Design and construction supervision of the Cologne-Rodenkirchen Bridge.


Opens own consulting engineering office in Munich.

1948 - 1951

Technical direction for the Cologne-Mulheim Bridge, first use of an orthotropic deck.

1950 - 1957

Cooperation with Schaechterle, Wintergerst, Grassl and Tamms on the design of the Düsseldorf cable-stayed bridges.


Patents mono-cable suspension bridge.


Professor at the TH Stuttgart.


Freyssinet-Medal by the Fédération Internationale de la Précontrainte (FIP)

Structures and Projects

Participation in the following structures & large-scale projects:

checking engineer
consulting engineer
structural engineer

Biography from Wikipedia

Fritz Leonhardt (12 July 1909 – 30 December 1999) was a German structural engineer who made major contributions to 20th-century bridge engineering, especially in the development of cable-stayed bridges. His book Bridges: Aesthetics and Design is well known throughout the bridge engineering community.


Born in Stuttgart in 1909, Leonhardt studied at Stuttgart University and Purdue University. In 1934 he joined the German Highway Administration, working with Paul Bonatz amongst others. He was appointed at the remarkably young age of 28 as the Chief Engineer for the Cologne-Rodenkirchen Bridge.

In 1954 he formed the consulting firm Leonhardt und Andrä, and from 1958 to 1974 taught the design of reinforced concrete and prestressed concrete at Stuttgart University. He was President of the University from 1967 to 1969.

He received Honorary Doctorates from six universities, honorary membership of several important engineering universities, and won a number of prizes including the Werner von Siemens Ring, the Honorary Medal Emil Mörsch, the Freyssinet Medal of the FIP, and the Gold Medal of the Institution of Structural Engineers. In 1988, he was awarded an Honorary Degree (Doctor of Science) by the University of Bath.

Throughout his career, Leonhardt was as dedicated to research as to design, and his major contributions to bridge engineering technology included:

  • development of a launching system for prestressed concrete bridges, first used in his 1963 bridge over the Caroní River in Ciudad Guayana, Venezuela
  • the 'Hi-Am' anchor for cable stays, in collaboration with the Swiss firm B.B.R.V.
  • anchorages in prestressed concrete
  • experiments during the 1930s on steel orthotropic decks.

Fritz Leonhardt Prize

This prize was established in 1999 on the 90th anniversary of Leonhardt's birth, to recognise outstanding achievements in structural engineering. The first prize was awarded to Michel Virlogeux. Subsequent winners have included Jörg Schlaich (2002), René Walter (2005), and William F. Baker (engineer) (2009).

Text imported from Wikipedia article "Fritz Leonhardt" and modified on 22 July 2019 under the CC-BY-SA 3.0 license.


  1. Leonhardt, Fritz (1964): Aerodynamisch stabile Hängebrücke für grosse Spannweiten. Presented at: Septième Congrès de l'AIPC = Seventh Congress of IABSE = Siebter Kongress der IVBH, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 10-16 August 1964.


  2. Leonhardt, Fritz (1980): Aesthetics in structural engineering. Presented at: 11th IABSE Congress, Vienna, Austria, 31 August - 5 September 1980.


  3. Leonhardt, F. (1980): Ästhetik im Ingenieurbau. Presented at: 11th IABSE Congress, Vienna, Austria, 31 August - 5 September 1980.


  4. Leonhardt, Fritz (1976): 75 Jahre "Beton- und Stahlbetonbau" - Rückblick und Ausblick. In: Beton- und Stahlbetonbau, v. 71, n. 1 (January 1976), pp. 1-2.


  5. Leonhardt, Fritz (1968): Aesthetics of Bridge Design. In: PCI Journal, v. 13, n. 1 (February 1968), pp. 14-31.


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