University Donors Gabriele and Robert Hertle

“We plan, build and shape for generations“

As aspiring engineers Gabriele and Robert Hertle met each other while studying at TUM. Meanwhile, they have been married for many years and complement each other perfectly – not only when working in their own engineering office.

What Gabriele and Robert Hertle have in common is the joy in finding intelligent solutions for tricky situations. They met each other while studying Civil Engineering at TUM. “There have always been civil engineers in my family so it was an obvious choice for me to do this subject as well”, says Robert Hertle. For his wife it was completely different: “I am the first one in our family who studied. My father was a brick layer and early on took me and my brothers to construction sites.”

Versatile and hands-on

Even during their studies, what both liked was how versatile and hands-on this profession is. “You don’t get bogged down in theoretical thought processes. Instead the job is about how to solve this or that problem”, Gabriele Hertle says. What shaped her husband most was the attitude the professors at TUM taught him: “That we can solve any problem we face if we only think about it sufficiently enough.” He added a doctorate to his studies and then set up his own engineering office straight after.

It’s important to us that our university is doing well.

Meanwhile Gabriele Hertle was responsible for the design loads on the roadway of maglev trains at AEG, a job she returned to after her eldest son’s birth. “My knowledge was very important for the company. That is why I was able to work from home when our son was born”, she tells us. Whenever big meetings were scheduled she just brought her son along. When the company was moved from Starnberg to Braunschweig, Gabriele Hertle resigned. After giving birth to her second son she worked in her husband’s engineering office on an hourly basis and then progressively increased her work time.

High social responsibility

Up until today both complement each other in their work together. “My husband likes to keep his head clear of all other things when he is working on important projects”, says Gabriele Hertle. She, on the other hand, is a keen organizer, and has the corresponding technical knowledge on top of that. At the same time both feel a strong social responsibility: “We make prototypes, not product lines. We don’t really get development time, yet have to predict that the building, the bridge, the tower, whatever we are building, is going to remain stable for the next 100 years and will serve society”, Robert Hertle explains. As a professor at TUM, he tries to prepare the next generation of civil engineers for this task in his lectures.

In the role of university donors Gabriele and Robert Hertle take on further social responsibility. They have donated 100.000 euro to the capital stock of TUM University Foundation, which aims at supporting outstanding students and young researchers. “It is important to us that our university is doing well. Without our education we would not be where we are today”, Gabriele Hertle states. And Robert Hertle adds: “If it is possible to create a certain stability through private funding, independent from political issues, then this is a good thing and worthwhile. It enables you to face the sponsors from politics in a self-confident manner and say: then we will just do it ourselves. A university of TUM’s rank is quite simply entitled to do that.”