Former Longtime Mechanical Engineering Chair Dies

Karl Maurer

Karl G. Maurer, former NDSU chair of mechanical engineering, died May 16 at age 87.

Maurer joined NDSU in 1967 as associate professor of mechanical engineering and applied mechanics and as assistant dean for the College of Engineering and Architecture. In 1970, he became chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics.

Under his leadership, the department gained a strong reputation for providing quality education, which became widely known in industry and educational circles. Maurer played an active role in establishing the cooperate education program at NDSU. He also created the Department of Mechanical Engineering Endowment Fund for the benefit of the university and students.

“Dr. Maurer was an exceptional leader with a strong passion for education,” said Alan Kallmeyer, professor and chair of the NDSU mechanical engineering department. “He was particularly focused on graduating engineers who were not only technically competent, but maintained high professional and ethical standards. The reputation our program now enjoys for providing a high-quality education is due in large part to his efforts.”

Maurer retired from NDSU in 1993 and was honored by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and Pi Tau Sigma student organizations for his contributions to the department.

Maurer’s three children, Walter, Erika and Karl-Michael, all earned mechanical engineering degrees at NDSU.

Maurer earned a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Drexel University and master’s and doctorate from the University of Kansas. He worked in an engineering capacity at companies including NASA, the Whirlpool Corp. and General Dynamics. Maurer also served on the faculty of the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

He served in the U.S. Army from 1950 until 1952.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the NDSU Department of Mechanical Engineering Endowment Fund by contacting the department at 701-231-8671 or online at

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