In the year of the founding of the Vienna Polytechnical Institute 1815 the founder and former director Johann Joseph Ritter von Prechtl mentioned the use of natural resources in his opening speech as a primary educational goal at this institute.
The vital element water has a very special significance in this context.Therefore a chair for the art of hydraulic construction was founded in 1818.
The first hydraulic laboratory was installed in 1926 by Prof. Schaffernak at the Vienna University of Technology. Since 1995 there is a new laboratory hall at the Aspanggrounds.
In 2004 the Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and the Institute of water resources management were unified.