Frantisek Zalud Czech Republic

Biography of Frantisek Zalud

František Herbert Žalud, or Franz Herbert Zalud as he matriculated, graduated BSc from the University of Glasgow in 1941.

He was born in 1919 in Bohemian Crumlaw, son of Leopold, a Jewish textile merchant. His father, who was imprisoned in 1914 in Poland, died in a prisoner of war camp in Sibir in 1931, and his mother and sister died in Auschwitz in 1944 to where they had been transferred from Theresienstadt Ghetto in 1942.

After his education at the textile technical college in Brno and Brno University of Technology, Frantisek registered with the British Committee for Refugees from Czechoslovakia, later the Czech Refugee Trust Fund, and left for the UK amidst the increasing threat of a takeover by Hitler’s Germany.

Frantisek enrolled at the University in 1938, where he attended classes in Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, Mathematics, Engineering Drawing and Mechanical Engineering. He also attended classes at the Royal Technical College (now the University of Strathclyde). During his studies he was an active member of the International Society where he met Agnes (Nana) Waddell, who graduated in Mathematics and Physics at the University of Glasgow and whom he married in May 1945.

Upon graduation in 1941, Frantisek worked part-time in laboratories at the University (1914-44) while also working for G & J Weir Ltd, a Glasgow company producing pumping equipment for ships. Frantisek was employed in drawing, measuring and manufacturing equipment, such as parts for anti-tank cannons, during the War years at Weir. He later took a position with British Polar Engines, a company producing marine diesel engines in Glasgow.

Frantisek had enlisted in the Czechoslovakian Army in the UK in 1939, and finally joined the army in 1944 as a mechanic. After the end of the Second World War, he moved with his wife back to Czechoslovakia, where he joined the Institute of Mechanical Research (Ustav Strojniho Vyzkumu).

Frantisek became a leading researcher in the automotive industry, authoring a report in 1948 on future possibilities for manufacturing and the reorganisation of the automotive industry in Czechoslovakia, based on a research trip to the USA. He later served as First Deputy Director for Research at the Institute for Research of Motor Vehicle Research Institute, and also completed his PhD at the Czech Technical University in Prague, with a thesis on Axial Vibration of Crankshaft.

From 1966 Frantisek was member of a working group for the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, where he was involved in drawing up the regulations for toxic car emissions.

Zalud published an autobiography in Czech "Prezili jsme: zkusenosti z meho zivota 1919-1993, popsane pro ma vnoucata a jejich generaci" ("We lived through: my life experiences 1919-1993, written for my grandchildren and their generation").


Other Online Resources

Printed Materials

  • Prezili jsme: zkusenosti z meho zivota 1919-1993, popsane pro ma vnoucata a jejich generaci

Archival Materials

  • Matriculation Slips 1938-39 R8/5/59/11
  • Matriculation Slips 1939-40 R8/5/60/11
  • Matriculation Slips 1940-41 R8/5/61/11
  • University of Glasgow Roll of Graduates 1938-1946 R3/2/4


Frantisek Zalud
Born 8 August 1919.
Died 14 October 1993.
GU Degree: BSc, 1941; Science and Engineering,
University Link: Alumnus, Graduate
Occupation categories: engineers
English snippet: Engineering graduate of the University of Glasgow, Czech refugee and prominent engineer
Record last updated: 21st May 2013

Country Associations

Czech Republic Czech Republic, Cesky Krumlov
Place of Birth

University Connections

University Roles

  • Alumnus
  • Graduate