Founder of the German lab equipment manufacturer KNAUER Dr Herbert Knauer has died at the age of 92.
The chemist and engineer revolutionised high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with his modular design solution almost a decade after quitting his post at Technical University of Berlin in 1962 to set up the business.
With his wife Roswitha, he grew Knauer into an international business and the first company in Europe to manufacture osmometers for chemical and medical applications.
"For me, Dr. Knauer is not only our founder and an important thinker for the company who has passed away, but also an exceptionally open personality," said MD Carsten Losch.
“He was a mentor and advisor to me, someone with whom you could discuss ideas and gain new perspectives. Dr. Knauer was always willing to pass on his enormous wealth of knowledge and experience.”
Developing an electronic temperature measuring device that could measure to an accuracy of 1/1000 of a degree Celsius, the Knauers launched the business on October 1, 1962. In the early 1970s, KNAUER spotted the potential of the nascent technology of high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).
His mark on the world of science and technology will forever remain alive and of lasting significance
In 2000, Herbert Knauer transferred all company shares to his daughter Alexandra but continued in an advisory capacity. The company expanded further into new areas, such as systems for the production of lipid nanoparticles for mRNA active ingredients, with the workforce nearly tripling and turnover quadrupled.
In 2021, German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel paid a visit to the company and congratulated the Knauers (pictured), describing the company as a "jewel of the German SME sector".
In a statement, the company reiterate its founder’s insistence that measuring instruments for science should function as “useful tools for users, serve progress and be as robust and simple as possible in order to avoid sources of error”.
“In Herbert Knauer's silent memory, the company is confident that his mark on the world of science and technology will forever remain alive and of lasting significance.”