The diaphragm wall construction method developed by Christian Veder in 1948 revolutionized foundation engineering. Concrete piles are poured into the ground to transfer forces to deeper, more load-bearing layers. Bentonite, a mixture of water and clay, is used as the supporting fluid.
Veder studied civil engineering at the Vienna University of Technology, earning his doctorate in 1932. From 1933, he researched the properties of clay slurries – bentonite suspension – and their ability to exert temporary support functions. At Graz University of Technology, Veder became a professor in 1964 and the first director of the newly founded Institute of Soil Mechanics, Rock Mechanics and Foundation Engineering. In 1978 he retired, but continued to work as a consulting engineer, among other things for subway construction sites worldwide.
For his achievements in civil engineering, the University of Padua awarded him an honorary doctorate. At Graz University of Technology, Christian Veder Colloquia are held regularly in his memory and have become annual fixtures for geotechnical engineers in the German-speaking world.