Going back memory lane

Going back memory lane

to the photo album
Celebrating around the world!

Celebrating around the world!

to the Social Wall

This was our anniversary and we look back to an exciting anniversary year 2019 together with our employees, customers and partners!

Everything started in 1869 in a small office in Hamburg. Today we are represented in more than 70 countries and strengthen companies and partners in their responsibility for people, technology and the environment. In the anniversary year, numerous activities took place for our customers, partners and employees.

On these pages, we collect all the memories about the anniversary.



All about the jubilee

The Jubilee Book

Much has changed over the past 150 years. The anniversary book accompanies the reader through this exciting history.
Order your copy

The anniversary films

Pictures say more than 1,000 words: Our anniversary year films show the activities surrounding 150 years of TÜV NORD and provide an insight into our history.
...and action!

Photo album: Going along memory lane

Our photo album gives you a brief walk through 150 Years of TÜV NORD.
to the photo album

Look back: There was something for everyone - The anniversary activities

After all, you only live to be 150 once: many events took place during the year.
Event overview

Around the World

We celebrated our anniversay with all our collegues form around the world and shared it on this social wall.

There’s no future without a past

With our technical knowledge, we have been the byword for safety, independence and quality for 150 years. We protect life and goods and help conserve natural resources. With our gaze set firmly on the future, we use our expertise to ensure that our customers will be even more successful in the networked world.

When the story of TÜV NORD began back in 1869, there was only one task: the inspection of steam boilers. Steam power was, after all, the central source of energy in the 19th century. It was the engine of industrialisation and of the first industrial revolution. Motors and electricity then precipitated the second industrial revolution; electronics and information technology dominated the third. Today, in the midst of Industry 4.0, the fourth industrial revolution, we remain your reliable partner. Come with us on a journey through our history.



On 15 June 1869, Hamburg-based owners of steam boilers and shipping operators found the “Norddeutscher Verein zur Überwachung von Dampfkesseln in Hamburg” (“The North German Association for the Monitoring of Steam Boilers in Hamburg”). The founders take their cue from a British model: English entrepreneurs had founded the Manchester Steam Users Association - the first technical inspection association in the world - as early as 1855. The year of the Hamburg initiative also witness the launch of an equivalent body in Saxony-Anhalt, the “Sächsisch-Anhaltische Verein zur Prüfung und Überwachung von Dampfkesseln in Bernburg” (“Association of Saxony-Anhalt for the inspection and monitoring of Steam Boilers in Bernburg”).

Picture: Invitation to the founding meeting on June 15, 1869


The “Magdeburger Verein für Dampfkesselbetrieb” (“Magdeburg Association for Steam Boiler Operations”) launches in 1871. A good example of the efficiency of private sector monitoring provides the work of Magdeburg DÜV engineer Rudolf Weinlig: In his inspection district between 1871 and 1873, Weinlig succeeds in reducing the incidences of external boiler damage from 60 to 20 percent and also slashes the risks posed by the internal workings of boilers, which until then hardly attracted any attention, from 30 to 16 percent.


In 1872, the “Verein zur Überwachung von Dampfkesseln in den Industriebezirken der Lenne, Sieg und Dill” (“Association for the Monitoring of Steam Boilers in the Industrial Districts of the Lenne, Sieg and Dill”) is found in Siegen, thus becoming the earliest precursor to the Rheinisch-Westfälische TÜV.


The “Verein zur Überwachung der Dampfkessel mit dem Sitz in Hannover” (“Hanover-based Association for the Monitoring of Steam Boilers”) is found in 1873. As he takes up the reins of his work, Ludwig Grabau, the first engineer appointed by the steam boiler monitoring association (Dampfkesselüberwachungsverein - DÜV) in Hanover, notes the following: “The condition of the boilers we have investigated is extremely poor. Design flaws, improper operation and water shortages have given rise to dangerous conditions."

Picture:  Ludwig Grabau, 1. Association Manager DÜV, Hanover


The principles for material testing developed by Rudolf Weinlig, chief engineer of DÜV Magdeburg, are important foundations for the so-called "Würzburg Standards". For the first time, these set binding standards for the construction of steam boilers.


Rudolf Weinlig from DÜV Magdeburg plays a key role in the expansion of the Association’s powers in Prussia. As technical director of the largest Prussian DÜV, he persuades Otto von Bismarck, Reich Chancellor and Prussian Prime Minister, in 1884 not merely to order the inspection by the DÜV of steam boilers in Prussia but also to insist that the association approves and officially signs them off.

Picture: Certificate for the installation of a steam boiler (between 1870 - 1900)


Training opportunities offered by the DÜV are initially not well received. It takes a competition between boilermen on the testing grounds of DÜV Magdeburg in 1885 to finally turn things around: Not only are the boilermen who were trained in courses fully conversant with all the safety requirements, but they also need only half as much coal as their untrained colleagues to generate the same amount of steam.


By 1899, the DÜV are inspecting about 90 percent of all Prussian steam boilers. Even outside Prussia the DÜV organisations establish - with just a few exceptions, the principle of safety monitoring by technical associations is put into practice across Germany!

Picture: The engineering room of the DÜV Essen as subtenant in 3 rooms of the mining association, 1901


1900 marks the establishment of the largest DÜV in the Ruhr area, the “Dampfkessel-Überwachungs-Vereins der Zechen im Oberbergamtsbezirk Dortmund zu Essen” (“Boiler Monitoring Association for Collieries in the Upper Mining District from Dortmund to Essen”), known for short as the “Zechen-Verein” (“Collieries Association”), which assumes responsibility for the safety of steam boilers in the mining industry. The Zechen-Verein is the largest forerunner of RWTÜV.

Bild: certification mark DÜV Hannover, 1873

1902 - 1933

For the first time, engineers from DÜV Hannover inspect five motor vehicles. In 1903 the first ever driving tests follows. For a while, however, motor vehicle tests remain a minor side-line for the association’s engineers.


In Hamburg, steam boiler monitoring continues to be a matter of state regulation, which lead the Norddeutsche DÜV to focus on the surrounding Prussian territories. At the turn of the 20th century, it is already responsible for over 5,300 plants. In 1903, at the request of the Prussian Department of Commerce, the association moves its headquarters from Hamburg to the Prussian city of Altona.

Picture: Building Hamburg-Altona, Julius-Leber-Straße 10, corner Gerichtsstraße. Here the TÜV Norddeutschland had its headquater for 55 years, 1903 to 1958 (approx. 1950 - 1969).


Electrification of the economy and society as a whole is picking up speed. DÜV Hannover and the Essen Zechen-Verein spots this trend at an early stage and found electro-technical departments as early as 1903. By 1914, DÜV Hannover already inspects 30 electrical plants, 137 lightning protection systems and 950 lifts.

In 1914, the First World War brakes out, and many DÜV employees are conscripted. After two years of war, only 11 of the original 25 employees are still working for DÜV Hannover. The supply situation get steadily worse in the course of the war. The Norddeutsche DÜV responds by founding a thermal efficiency department. This pursues the aim of developing methods to maximise the efficiency of fuel use.



DÜV Hannover and the Essen Zechen-Verein follow suit by also setting up thermal efficiency departments, in 1920 and 1921 respectively. The thermal efficiency laboratory of the Zechen-Verein in particular is soon recognised as a research institute. In the early 1920s an automotive department by the Norddeutsche DÜV is also established.

Picture: Title page Info brochure "Die Prüfung des Kraftfahrzeugführers", 1927


In 1928, DÜV Hannover likewise set up an automotive department. Whereas fleet owners are interested in regular inspections by the associations, private car drivers have yet to develop any safety awareness - even though police checks repeatedly shows that, in most cases, neither the brakes nor the lights of their vehicles work properly.


30 January 1933 marks the start of the Nazi dictatorship. The National Socialists suspends the rule of law. At the same time, much of society voluntarily submitts to the principles of Nazism. Opponents and critics of the Nazi regime in many cases lose their professional status and are imprisoned and replaced by Party comrades. Nor are the DÜV spared personnel changes: at the Nordeutsche DÜV, for example, two board members are replaced by Nazis.

Picture: Adolf Langer, 4th chairman of the association DÜV Hannover


In 1935, the Prussian monitoring associations are given the official responsibility for safety checks in cinemas, theatres, circuses and public meeting rooms, for which new staff has to be appointed.


In 1938, the German Reich is divided into 14 monitoring districts, in each of which only one monitoring association is allowed to operate. Given that there are by this time 37 DÜV associations, some of them are forced to merge to form bigger units. This results, for example, in the merger of the Bernburg association with DÜV Magdeburg. The goal is to standardise the monitoring system. This also includes renaming all the associations “Technische Überwachungs-Vereine” (“Technical Monitoring Associations”) or TÜV. TÜV Essen also arise out of the merger of various associations.


In 1939, the Second World War begins with the German invasion of Poland. Even though they are classified as important for the war effort, TÜV employees are not considered indispensable. As early as 1940-41, a third of TÜV employees are required to render military service.


In the course of the air war being waged by the Allies, which intensify after 1943, TÜV buildings are hit by bombs. In Hamburg, Bremen, Braunsschweig, Paderborn, Essen and Duisburg, administrative buildings and technical facilities are completely destroyed; those in Hanover and Osnabrück sustain major damage.

Picture: Moltkestraße 2a, first own office building (1921-1928), destroyed in 1945, rebuilt in 1951/54.


On 8 May 1945, the war in Europe ends with Germany's unconditional surrender. 


Allied troops occupy German territory. The work of the TÜV comes to a standstill until further notice.


As a result of the war, Germany is divided into four occupation zones. In the Soviet occupation zone, which later becomes the GDR, all monitoring associations are disbanded. They are replaced by state-run technical monitoring organisations (TÜ). The Hanseatic City of Hamburg withdraw the authority to conduct inspections from TÜV Hamburg in 1946 and transfers it to the public sector. Other associations, such as TÜV Essen and TÜV Hannover, are permitted to resume their work largely without restriction.

Picture: Lighting test of a passenger car with the Bosch test device


In 1951, the German Highway Traffic Act (Straßenverkehrszulassungsordnung), which requires the inspection of every vehicle every two years after first registration, comes into effect. Bodies including the TÜV are awarded the contracts for these regular periodic tests. This requires considerable improvisational talent on the part of the TÜV engineers, as many of the technical testing facilities are destroyed, and those left are insufficient to meet the demands posed by a growing number of vehicles. Thus it is that the TÜV staff keep on working on railway property, in builders’ yards and even in restaurant car parks.

Picture: Main inspection TÜV Hannover, between 1950 - 1960


In 1955, TÜV Hannover becomes the first association of its kind to establish a Medical-Psychological Institute (MPI), whose task it is to compile reports on traffic offenders. These are above all drivers who had been caught drunk in charge of a motor vehicle. TÜV Hamburg and TÜV Essen soon follow suit by founding equivalent institutions.

Picture: Car owners observe the work of the examiners, 1956


As the West German economy begins to boom, the TÜV expanded their activities in a wide range of areas. The experts are called on to guarantee the safety of state-of-the-art technology. In 1956, experts from TÜV Essen in Marl inspect the first coal power plant in the world to use supercritical steam generation; the first inspections of a department store escalator takes place in Essen in 1958.


A new kind of energy source, nuclear power, evolves into another field of work for the TÜV. TÜV Essen develops a concept for the non-destructive testing of reactor pressure vessels. In 1957, TÜV Hamburg drafts the safety report for the Geesthacht research reactor in Schleswig-Holstein. Soon afterwards, TÜV Hannover inspects the research reactors of the “Physikalisch-Technischen Bundesanstalt” (“Federal Physical-Technical Institute”) in Braunschweig.

Picture: Lingen nuclear power plant, in the construction of which the experts from TÜV Hannover were involved as part of their construction supervision, between 1965 - 1973


The TÜV keep pace with the continued rapid growth of the automobile and set up a large number of new testing stations for periodic vehicle inspections. In 1965, the Essen association alone inspects some 500,000 motor vehicles on a total of 24 test rigs.


This year alone, the experts of the German TÜV (Technical Inspection Association) issues around 1,700 vehicle appraisals (type appraisals) and around 11,600 appraisals for vehicle parts.


The automotive laboratory of the RWTÜV carries out research on anti-lock braking systems on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Transport.


The TÜV grows strongly in the wake of the economic boom between 1948 and 1972: TÜV Norddeutschland (North Germany) (until 1963, TÜV Hamburg) employs nearly 600 staff, TÜV Hannover has over 900 employees. In 1972, the Rheinisch-Westfälische TÜV (until 1969, TÜV Essen) discloses a staff tally of 1,300.

Picture: Main inspection TÜV Hannover, between 1970 - 1975


The Rheinisch-Westfälische TÜV (RWTÜV) achieves an annual turnover of over 100 million marks in 1974. And yet, back in the 1970s, the TÜV has little in common with profit-oriented companies. Instead, the TÜV tends to act as government agencies - even though it was explicit that they are not state bodies.

1979 - 1990

In 1979, RWTÜV opens its first foreign subsidiary in London in the form of TÜV UK Ltd. The idea behind the launch is to improve service to customers on the ground in the steam and pressure vessel field. Only two years later, a further foreign subsidiary of RWTÜV, TÜV Nederland B.V. in Eindhoven, begins operations.


The RWTÜV Research Centre for Vehicle Testing takes over research and system testing for electric vehicles.


The activities of the TÜV on the international market continues to grow. One example of this is the development after 1985 of a motor vehicle inspection service in Saudi Arabia by TÜV Norddeutschland. Up to 8,000 vehicles per day can be tested with the test facilities from 1986 onwards.

Picture: Queuing in the desert


An economic trend towards deregulation gathers pace. Inspection monopolies were gradually abolished, and other testing organisations and freelance experts are granted licences, for instance in the fields of motor vehicle monitoring and lift inspection. The TÜV responds by setting themselves up in free market fields such as the provision of environmental assessments, certifications and product tests, and in the field of vocational education and training.


The general economic situation in the GDR is deteriorating ever more sharply since the beginning of the 1980s; in many cases, industrial plants are in a truly desperate state. The staff of the technical monitoring bodies of the GDR (TÜ) can do little more than provide partial support and are unable to counter the universal shortages.

For the first time, TÜV Hanover offers training courses for external participants under the name TÜV AKADEMIE. In the first year, the employees organise around 250 courses, training courses and seminars.

The IT experts at RWTÜV carry out initial security analyses and consultations on the subject of data security in information technology for external customers.


With the fall of the SED dictatorship in 1989/90, the TÜV once again appears in East Germany. TÜV Hannover supports the founding of TÜV Saxony-Anhalt e.V., which establishes on 9 May 1990 as a merger of the former TÜ offices in Magdeburg and Halle. On 18 July 1990, TÜV NORD e.V. enters into the register of associations of the city of Rostock.


In 1992 the associations from Hanover and Magdeburg to form TÜV Hannover/Sachsen-Anhalt are merging. At the beginning of 1993, TÜV Norddeutschland (Hamburg) and TÜV Nord (Rostock) merge, taking the shared name of TÜV Nord in July that year. TÜV Hannover/Sachsen-Anhalt and TÜV Nord are each recording sales worth roughly 300 million marks by the beginning of the 1990s.


In 1997 TÜV Hannover/Sachsen-Anhalt and TÜV Nord agree on a merger to form the TÜV NORD GROUP. The merged company starts off with over 4,000 employees working in more than 200 areas of expertise. In the field of energy technology, the TÜV NORD GROUP is the largest expert service provider in Germany. A new heavyweight in the field of technical monitoring had been born.

Picture: The new logo of the TÜV NORD GROUP: symbol of the community and a symbol for a wide range of services



The merger with the Essen-based RWTÜV takes place on 1 September 2004.


Since certification began in 1991, RWTÜV issues around 13,500 certificates worldwide.


After the merger with the Essen-based RWTÜV, the TÜV NORD GRUPPE begins an enormously successful period: over several years, the Group is able to significantly increase its turnover and earnings. Already in the first joint business year of 2005, the return on sales increase to four percent and thus to 24.2 million euros.


The TÜV NORD GROUP acquire Essen-based DMT GmbH, a globally active engineering service provider working mainly in raw material exploration, coking technology and mining consulting. This acquisition marks the foundation of the Natural Resources business unit.


In the global financial crisis of 2008/09, the TÜV NORD GROUP  proves highly resilient. It concludes the 2008 fiscal year with a sales growth of around 13 percent. At the height of the crisis in 2009, the company continues to make a profit and hires over 400 new employees.


With effect from 1 July 2010, the Training business unit undergoes a significant enlargement with the acquisition of RAG Bildung. The company, which goes on to trade under the name of TÜV NORD Bildung, records an annual turnover of 112 million Euro with approximately 1,500 employees at some 50 sites.


With earnings of 1,025.1 million Euro, TÜV NORD brakes the billion-Euro-turnover barrier for the first time in 2011. It also notches up a strategically important acquisition with the takeover of Spain’s Alter Technology. This company is a global market leader in the selection, procurement, testing, certification and modification of high-reliability electronic components for the aerospace sector, and its acquisition marks the establishment of the Aerospace business unit of TÜV NORD.

Picture: In the laboratory of Alter Technology


At the beginning of 2015, TÜViT becomes a stand-alone business unit. This decision underscores once again the importance TÜV NORD attaches to the issues of IT security and digitalisation.

The Strategy 2020plus is presented. In this paper, TÜV NORD set out the Group’s direction for the next decade. All the departments are involved in its drafting. In future workshops, employees reflect on global megatrends such as digitalisation and Industry 4.0 and their relevance to the global business of TÜV NORD before coming up with initial ideas for new services.

Picture: The intelligent network brings all those involved in the electricity circuit together and also stores energy.


In December 2016, as planned, Dr. Dirk Stenkamp succeeds Dr. Guido Rettig as Chairman of the Board of Management. “In the digitalised and networked world,” Stenkamp says on becoming chair, “we want to carry on making a positive contribution to the success of our customers. And this is precisely the aim of our strategic realignment.”

Picture: The Board of Management of TÜV NORD AG


In September 2017, TÜV NORD founds the Digital Academy. The goal of the initiative under the auspices of HR Director Harald Reutter is to identify and exploit digitalisation potential anywhere in the Group.

Picture: Logo Digital Academy, 2017


TÜV NORD will celebrate its 150th birthday with a diverse and internationally-oriented jubilee campaign.

Over the course of 150 years, the experts of TÜV NORD and its precursor associations have time and again adapts the concept of technical safety to the real-life needs of people. Although fields of activity, standards and testing methods are subjects to constant change, the underlying idea remains the same: To make the world safer.

Picture: Logo "150 years", 2019