15.10.1850 Bolzano/I - 12.4.1912 Bregenz/A
Paul Ilmer was born in today's Alto Adige Province in Northern Italy, then a possession of the Austrian Empire. He graduated as a civil engineer from the Technical University of Munich to enter in 1874 in the K.K. governmental railways. Ilmer joined in 1883 the newly founded Tyrol river regulation funds following the large floods on the Adige River in 1882. Under the supervision of Philipp Krapf (1854-1939) he therefore was in charge of the design and the execution of river dikes, sediment retention dams and torrent rehabilitation works. From 1888, Ilmer headed the works along the Cavalese River and he moved in 1892 to Bregenz, the capital of the Vorarlberg County, as the county engineer. Ilmer was asked to design a road over the Flexenpass which should be safe against avalanches. These works involved in parallel suitable consideration of the torrents and therefore hydraulic engineering. The project was completed in 1911.
The Vorarlberg County was threatened by a large flood in 1910. The flourishing valley of Montafon was particularly subjected by large debris flows and the waters left a large destruction. Most of the protective works were also destroyed. Once the largest damages had been removed, the population asked from the authorities an adequate reconstruction and an improved flood prevention concept. Ilmer was in the center of all these works, both as an engineer and an organizer. He took the task seriously and within a comparatively short time was able to set up the main defense works. This load naturally left a sign on him and it may have caused his premature death at the age of only 62. Ilmer, the engineer of the practice has therefore contributed to the wealth of a region in Europe both as a hydraulic engineer and a friend of the population. He was decorated with the Golden Cross of Merits with Crown, and was appointed Landbaurat in 1910. Several of the villages concerned from the 1910 flood appointed him to a Honorary Citizen and sponsored commemorative plaques.
Ilmer, P. (1904). Die Wildbachverbauungen an der Alfenz und am Wäldlebache bei Klösterle. Archiv für Geschichte und Landeskunde Vorarlbergs 1(4): 33-35.
Krapf, P. (1934). Besprechung einiger an fliessenden Gewässern vorgenommenen Schwemmstoffmessungen. Wasserkraft und Wasserwirtschaft 29(17): 198-200; 29(18): 211-214.
Krapf, P. (1919). Die Schwemmstofführung des Rheins und anderer Gewässer. Österreichische Wochenschrift für den Öffentlichen Baudienst 25(48): 565-571; 25(49): 577-580.
Strele, G. (1969). Landbaurat Paul Ilmer. Beiträge zur Technikgeschichte des Tirols 1: 54-57. P

Hydraulicians in Europe 1800-2000 . 2013.

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