3.3.1921 Strasbourg/F - 30.5.2005 Paris/F
Claude Gemaehling graduated in 1943 from Ecole Polytechnique and left as a civil engineer Ecole des Ponts et Chaussées in 1945. He started his career with the general studies service of the Corps des Ponts et Chaussées in Algiers until 1953, was then appointed in 1954 deputy director and promoted in 1964 to director of Compagnie Nationale du Rhône CNR. From 1972 to 1986, Gemaehling was a general director and during the last three years up to retirement in 1989 president of the technical committee. He was also an honorary president of Association française pour l'Etude de l'Irrigation et du Drainage and from 1986 to 1991 president of the French Committee of Large Dams. Gemaehling served as vice-president of Institut National des Sciences Appliquées INSA in Lyon and was a Member of Comité Economique et Social Rhône-Alpes from 1982 to 1989. He was awarded the Officer title from Légion d'Honneur and was a Commander in the National Order of Merit.
The management of Rhone River from the Swiss border to the Mediterranean was initiated by an act dating from 1921. Its threefold purpose was hydroelectric power production, river navigation and agricultural use. Starting in 1934, several large dams along with sluices were designed downstream of Lyon. The last of the 12 dam schemes was taken into service in 1980. The river is by now open to large barges over 310 km. From 1980, CNR's main activities centered on the fluvial connection of rivers Rhine and Rhone by the Saône River system, in addition to maintenance of existing works. Gemaehling's additions to this large river system were both in civil engineering and in the management of the company. The largest dam is Donzère-Mondragon located south of Tournon, where the Isère River joins River Rhone. Its turbines produce with 2,000 GWh the largest amount of hydropower energy in France, followed by the Génissiat Dam located close to Bellegarde upstream of Lyon. Along the Rhone River a total of 20 dams produce as much as 16,600 GWh per year over a total head of 275 m.
Anonymous (1955). Claude Gemaehling, CNR. 5 ICOLD Congress Paris 1: 80. P Gemaehling, C. (1961). La chute de Baix-le Logis-Neuf sur le Rhône. Travaux 45(5): 421-450. Gemaehling, C. (1967). La chute de Pierre-Bénite sur le Rhône. Travaux 50(10): 433-454.
Gemaehling, C., Lebreton, J.C. (1969). Problèmes de charriage dans les cours d'eau navigables français. 22 Congrès International de Navigation Paris SI(5): 25-49.
Gemaehling, C., Savey, P. (1970). L'usine-écluse de l'aménagement de Vallabrègues sur le Rhône. Travaux 52(6): 63-77; 52(10): 3-23.

Hydraulicians in Europe 1800-2000 . 2013.

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  • List of Individuals — see also about The following is a list of all individuals considered, with name, first name(s), years of birth and death, * portrait available and location of main professional activity. Names of persons contained in volume 1 are in italic and… …   Hydraulicians in Europe 1800-2000

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