Bilfinger Tebodin B.V.

Mr. Frederik van Iterson

Frederik Karel Theodoor van Iterson (1877 – 1957)

Tebodin’s founding father was described by his fellow engineers as a man of great vision, audacity, and originality. He led a productive life, searching for commercial advantages through improvements in industrial processes.

Frederik van Iterson was educated as a mechanical engineer. As a young scientist, he drew attention to himself with publications in magazines. From 1913 to 1941 he was director of the Dutch State Mines and he was the driving force behind the rapid development of Europe’s most modern coal mining operation. In the 1920s he travelled throughout Europe to visit industrial installations and became advocate of product diversification at DSM.

Van Iterson retired in 1942 and soon was involved in new plans: notably a transition from the many local gas plants to centralized gas production and nationwide distribution. Even before The Hague was liberated at the end of Second World War, he made the first move toward establishing the engineering company Tebodin. On March 8, 1945, at a notarial law firm a partnership agreement was concluded for the new company.

One of his major achievements was a redesign of cooling towers.

According to Van Iterson, the design of the early chimney cooling towers went against the very principle of physics. His idea was ingenious: a hyperbolic tower which increased strength and rigidity while being lighter and cheaper to build. The first ‘Van Iterson’ tower was erected at the Emma mine in the south of the Netherlands.