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Muhlenbruch, Carl W. (Carl William), 1915-2007



Carl W. Muhlenbruch was born November 21, 1915 in Decatur, Illinois. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois in 1937. He later earned a Master of Science from Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1943, followed by a Professional Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois in 1945, and was a Registered Engineer in Pennsylvania and Illinois. Muhlenbruch's field of research was in materials and material properties; his master's thesis was titled “The Effect of Repeated Loading on the Bond Strength of Concrete,” and his civil engineering thesis was “Foundation Problems Encountered for a Bridge Built on Slag Fill.” He received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Concordia University in 1995, for his “outstanding contribution to Christian education.”

Muhlenbruch was also a member of many different professional organizations, including American Society of Civil Engineers, National Society of Professional Engineers, American Society for Engineering Education, American Management Association, the Society for Advancement of Management, Industrial Relations Association of Chicago Tau Beta Phi, Sigma Iota Epsilon, and Sigma Xi. His credentials led Muhlenbruch to be listed in Who's Who In America (1968), Who's Who in Engineering, American Men of Science, Who's Who in the Midwest, and Who's Who in Illinois. Muhlenbruch was also actively involved with the American Society for Testing Materials in the 1950, and was Chairman of their Teaching Aids Committee, and later spearheaded an impressive $7000 fundraising campaign.

While working his way through school, Muhlenbruch took a position as Research Engineer at Alcoa Labs from 1937-1939, and later became and Instructor, and later Assistant Professor and Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at the Carnegie Institute of Technology from 1939-1948. Muhlenbruch came to Northwestern University in 1948, and remained until 1954 as Associate Professor. While at Carnegie and Northwestern, Muhlenbruch began career-long associations with various testing and industry companies through his research and consulting work. It is this work that led Muhlenbruch to leave Northwestern for the private sector, where he founded the research and consulting company Educational and Technical Consultants, which later became known as TEC-SEARCH, Inc. Muhlenbruch served as President and Director of TEC-SEARCH, Inc. from 1953-1966, and became Chairman in1967, and finished his last consulting project in 2006. He later returned to Northwestern as a Lecturer in Civil Engineering from 1956-1959.

Muhlenbruch was also a devout Christian, and served as the Director of the Aid Association for Lutherans beginning in 1964, and as the Director, beginning in 1965 and later Board Member of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, where he stayed active for fourteen years. He also participated in the Concordia Theological Seminary at Concordia University in 1981, and the Institute for Philanthropic Management at Concordia in 1987. Many of his speeches were to Lutheran organizations, and often spoke openly about his faith. He was a frequent commencement speaker for area Lutheran high schools, and an active member of the Rotary, and served as District Governor for the years 1980-1981. He was instrumental in developing an agricultural education and training program in Ghana, West Africa.

Muhlenbruch spent the majority of his professional career as a consultant, while at Northwestern and at TEC-SEARCH, and his clients include companies such as the Allegheny Ludlum Steel Corporation, Association of Iron and Steel Engineers, Hamilton Watch Company, International Nickel Company, Inc., Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company, the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, and the Illinois Central Railroad, just to name a few. Muhlenbruch also had many speaking engagements, both through TEC-SEARCH, Inc. and independently. His most popular speeches include “Common Failings of Local Industrial Development Efforts” and “MUMPSIMUS-Dread Killer of Management Development.”

Much of the consulting work and research Muhlenbruch conducted later became the basis for technical papers and articles published in industry journals and presented at management and industry conferences, although he published throughout his professional career. Muhlenbruch is also the author of the textbook originally published under the title “Testing of Engineering Materials,” which was reprinted nine times through 1954, when it was renamed “Experimental Mechanics and Properties of Materials,” and went into its second edition in 1955.

Muhlenbruch remained active in his profession, and continued his consulting up until the year before his death. He divided his time between the family home in Wilmette, IL, and a summer home in Arcadia, Michigan. Although he continued to speak, including at his granddaughter's commencement address, he devoted most of his time to the Synod and his faith. He married his wife Agnes in 1939 (she died in 2003), and had two daughters, Phyllis and Joan. He died on February 15, 2007.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Carl Muhlenbruch (1915-2007) Papers

Identifier: 22/4/17
Abstract Carl W. Muhlenbruch came to Northwestern University in 1948. While teaching at Carnegie Institute of Technology and Northwestern, Muhlenbruch began career-long associations with various testing and industry companies through his research and consulting work. Muhlenbruch’s field of research was in materials and material properties. The Carl W. Muhlenbruch Papers span the years 1937-2007. Contents include correspondence, billing statements, notes, data sheets, graphs, exams, blue prints,...
Dates: 1937 - 2007; Other: Majority of material found within 1940 - 1965