Schenectady County

Distinguished scientists from GE topic of talk

Carl Rosner and Charles Steinmetz didn’t leave Europe and come to America under the exact same circu

Carl Rosner and Charles Steinmetz didn’t leave Europe and come to America under the exact same circumstances, but their stories certainly are similar.

Rosner, a former GE scientist and now founder and president of CardioMag Imaging, will talk about his life in Nazi Germany as part of the Edison Tech Center’s celebration of Steinmetz’s 146th birthday Saturday at 4 p.m. at its facility at 136 North Broadway.

Along with his own story, Rosner will share some stories about Steinmetz, a top GE scientist who came to this country from Germany in 1889 and became a worldwide celebrity as one of the leading individuals to harness electricity and foster its practical use near the turn of the 20th century.

“Steinmetz was a very interesting individual, and while he did an awful lot for the electrical engineering profession, he also did a lot for the city of Schenectady,” said Rosner. “He was a very unique person.”

While Steinmetz faced many obstacles in his emigration from Germany to the U.S., his troubles were relatively small in comparison with Rosner. In 1945 he was in a German concentration camp in Buchenwald a few days away, perhaps hours, from being killed when he and his fellow inmates were saved by the Allied forces.

“Carl is an honest-to-God Holocaust survivor and overcame some very serious obstacles in the first half of his life,” said Edison Tech Center spokesperson Bill Kornrumpf. “He came to this country and showed that even without any money, if you persevere and get a good education you can do well.”

Like Steinmetz, Kornrumpf made serious contributions in the field of technology that helped improve the life of average citizens.

“He was part of the GE team working on advances in superconductivity that beat the team from Bell Labs down in New Jersey,” said Kornrumpf. “At first people thought it was interesting but of no use to anyone, but it was Carl who changed that.”

According to Kornrumpf, when GE didn’t realize the importance of Rosner’s work, he left the company in 1971 and started his own business, Intermagnetics General Corporation.

Rosner eventually sold that company and started up CardioMag Imaging in 1999.

“Without superconducting, the MRI never would have become the product it is today,” said Kornrumpf. “Carl was a very big part of the technology that made it practical for each hospital to get its own MRI machine.”

When he left the German concentration camp in 1945, Rosner went to Sweden where he graduated from the Stockholm Institute of Technology with a degree in electrical engineering. He also has graduate degrees in electrical engineering and business management from Newark College of Engineering and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

He holds seven patents and is the author of many published papers on superconductive and electronic devices.

Rosner’s most recent work has been in the development of a non-invasive cardiac medical diagnostic device to provide relevant information about heart function.

‘Steinmetz and Carl Rosner: Passages from Europe to Success in Schenectady’

WHAT: A talk by Carl Rosner

WHERE: Edison Tech Center, 136 North Broadway, Schenectady

WHEN: 4 p.m. Saturday (the center will be open to the public at 1 p.m.)


MORE INFO: 372-8425 or visit

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