Paul Ludwik was born in Schlan, the son of the well-known technician Kamill Ludwik, as his father was a director at the Tedesco & Co machine factory located in that town. Unlike his father, he decided to pursue a scientific career. After graduation, he worked as a design engineer at the Prague-based Maschinenbau-AG.
In 1903 he switched to scientific work and worked for Friedrich Kick, professor of technological mechanics at the Vienna Technical University. In 1905 Ludwik advanced to the position of private lecturer in technological mechanics. Later he was appointed Associate Professor at the Vienna University of Technology, and in 1918 Full Professor of Mechanical Technology and Materials Testing.
Ludwik is considered the founder of technological mechanics. His research on the plastic deformation of metals during bending, rolling and drawing was groundbreaking. Ludwik used the yield curve to show important relationships between stress and deformation when metals are subjected to tension, compression and torsion.