Knauer Founder Dies at 92

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Herbert Knauer founded his namesake laboratory equipment company with his wife Roswitha in Berlin in 1962.

Herbert Knauer | Image Credit: © Knauer

Herbert Knauer | Image Credit: © Knauer

Herbert Knauer, founder of Knauer, the Berlin, Germany-based laboratory equipment company, died peacefully at home on Thursday, January 18, according to a press release. He was 92.

Knauer was born in Berlin in 1931 and obtained his doctorate in engineering in 1958, the release said, staying on as a research assistant at the Technical University of Berlin until he and his wife, Roswitha, launched the Knauer company on October 1, 1962.

In a little more than a decade, Knauer grew his operation from a home-based business into a Berlin office that is still the company headquarters. The headquarters quickly became known as a development hub for modular high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) systems.

Modular Knauer HPLC system, 1974 | Image Credit: © Knauer

Modular Knauer HPLC system, 1974 | Image Credit: © Knauer

Knauer transferred all his company shares to his daughter, Alexandra Knauer, in 2000, but continued to serve his company in an advisory capacity. Under Alexandra Knauer’s leadership, the Knauer company has branched out into areas of production such as lipid nanoparticles for active mRNA ingredients, and increased its workforce nearly threefold.

Carsten Losch, the company’s managing director, gave a brief statement in the press release in memoriam.

"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,” Losch said. “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.”

Herbert Knauer was married to wife Roswitha for 61 years, and “enjoyed his daughters and six grandchildren who lived nearby,” according to the release.

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