Friedrich Ignaz von Emperger was the leading reinforced concrete technologist of his time. He studied at the Technical University of Vienna as well as at the German Technical University in Prague. He became acquainted with the new technology of reinforced concrete at the Paris World Exhibition in 1889, immediately grasped its development potential and emigrated to the USA, where he introduced this technology.
He worked as an engineer at Jackson Architect Iron Works in New York and was responsible for the design and construction of the New York and Boston subways and high-rise buildings. He also used his knowledge to build the first American reinforced concrete bridges. In 1896, Emperger returned to Vienna at the request of his wife and tried to spread his experience with reinforced concrete in Austria, which resulted in tough battles in the face of conservative opponents of the technology.
Traces of Emperger’s activities can also be found outside his narrower field of expertise. For example, he was a member of the Austrian Patent Office from 1899, co-founder of the Austrian Ferroconcrete Committee, which he headed as vice president from 1912 and as president between 1926 and 1938.