Prof. Krebs

Happy 80th Birthday, Professor Krebs!

For all of us in the management team and staff of KREBS+KIEFER Ingenieure GmbH, it is a great pleasure to celebrate the 80th birthday of our company founder and senior partner, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Albertus Krebs today, 12th January 2012. His impressive career is closely linked with the foundation and development of our consultancy.

Prof. Krebs studied civil engineering at Technische Hochschule Darmstadt from 1950 to 1955. He then became one of the first staff members of a private engineering consultancy owned by his teacher, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Alfred Mehmel, Germany’s most prominent bridge expert in the post-war period. In 1962 Prof. Krebs completed his doctorate with a dissertation on annular slabs.

For all of us in the management team and staff of KREBS+KIEFER Ingenieure GmbH, it is a great pleasure to celebrate the 80th birthday of our company founder and senior partner, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Albertus Krebs today, 12th January 2012. His impressive career is closely linked with the foundation and development of our consultancy.

Prof. Krebs studied civil engineering at Technische Hochschule Darmstadt from 1950 to 1955. He then became one of the first staff members of a private engineering consultancy owned by his teacher, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Alfred Mehmel, Germany’s most prominent bridge expert in the post-war period. In 1962 Prof. Krebs completed his doctorate with a dissertation on annular slabs.

This was the era of several groundbreaking projects such as the Nibelungen bridge over the River Rhine in Worms, constructed using the free cantilever method, the first pre-stressed concrete bridge around a slope on the Kranenberg mountain near Andernach (curved mobile scaffolding) and a variety of construction projects arising from the rapid development of Frankfurt’s Rhein-Main Airport, including Terminal 1.

Prof. Krebs became a partner in the Mehmel-Krebs consultancy in 1965. Only a year later, at 34, he became the youngest-ever checking engineer for building statics in the fields of concrete and timber construction, a record that still stands today. Following the death of Prof. Mehmel in 1973 and the inclusion of a third partner, Dr.-Ing. Gerhard Kiefer, the consultancy was renamed KREBS+KIEFER. Today, KREBS+KIEFER is one of the largest and most important German engineering consultancies in the construction industry.

At this time, the Mehmel-Krebs consultancy had already planned or checked a number of outstanding projects. Prof. Krebs was granted a checking license for metal construction in 1973 and in 1995 he was appointed by the Federal Railway Authority as a checking engineer for structural engineering and bridge construction in all fields. He championed the implementation of the principle of double checking by a second person and was a committed member of the association of checking engineers for building statics (VPI), chairing the association’s Hesse section from 1979 to 1992.

The focus of all his efforts was on establishing and maintaining high quality levels. He always had more than just compliance with technical rules in mind: his aim was (and still is) to ensure that all further-reaching aspects are taken into consideration. With his sharp, analytic mind – occasionally feared by some colleagues – and his always polite but determined manner, he dedicated himself to the analysis of technical problems and to the development of pragmatic solutions.

Prof. Krebs shaped and supported the growth of KREBS+KIEFER from a regional engineering consultancy to a Germany-wide engineering enterprise that is also internationally active.

During his work on further landmark projects such as

- the Rombachtal viaduct on the new Fulda – Kassel high-speed railway line

- Terminal 2 at Frankfurt Airport

- overall planning of the new Erfurt - Leipzig/Halle high-speed railway line

- a variety of tower buildings in Frankfurt / Main (Deutsche Bank, Helaba, DG-Bank, Commerzbank)

Prof. Krebs never forgot his scientific background. He is the author of a number of specialist publications on concrete construction and bridge construction as well as on oscillations of tower buildings. Together with his colleague, Dr.-Ing. Bernhard Hartung, he established generalized technical bending theory. This holistic design approach that connects all section dimensions M, N and V is the basis for today’s structural re-analyses and designs of complex bridge cross-sections. Prof. Krebs was appointed Honorary Professor in the department for civil engineering works at TU Darmstadt in 1986.

Another major focus of his technical work is on formwork and mobile scaffolding. He has been a member of the DIBt expert committee since 1971. The checklist for formwork scaffolding that he co-authored is now a standard work.

As an entrepreneur, he fought for appropriate payment for engineers, working as a member of the fee committee AHO (Ausschuss der Ver­bän­de und Kammern der Ingenieure und Architekten für die Honorarordnung e. V.), and chairing its specialist commission on civil engineering works and structural design. He played a significant part in the development of the HOAI fee scale and wrote the text on structural design services for Prof. Rudolf Jochem’s overall commentary on HOAI. His many talks and training events on the subjects of fee law and HOAI took him all the way to China. His sincerity and integrity have always won him the greatest respect and confidence from both planners and clients.

The final highlight in Prof. Krebs’ active professional career was a project supporting the planning of the ship lift at the Three Gorges Dam in China. The ship lift is currently under construction and will be the largest in the world.

Prof. Krebs has always led our engineering consultancy with a far-reaching vision and strategy. When he ended his active role in the management team and took up an advisory position in 2005, our company had well over 300 staff members and continues to be active in all areas of civil engineering. KREBS+KIEFER is now led by a group of partners, currently in the third generation. Prof. Krebs is still a member of this group and is always ready to give advice and assistance.

Our sincere congratulations, Professor Krebs, on your 80th birthday! We wish you continued health and energy to enjoy life with your family!