The Chair of Engineering Mechanics has its roots at the technical college (TH) Leuna-Merseburg. In the 50s of the last century, numerous technical colleges were established in the former GDR in order to pacify the demand for university-trained engineers. In addition to Magdeburg this included, Ilmenau, Karl-Marx-Stadt and Merseburg. In this start-up phase, Wolfgang Pfefferkorn (obituary [german]), which by this time was staff at the college for heavy engineering in Magdeburg, took the responsibility for engineering mechanics until his retirement in 1993. With the introduction of the Higher Education Renewal Act, the TH Leuna-Merseburg was disbanded. The areas of materials science and process engineering have been incorporated as departments in the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, so that even the Chair of Engineering Mechanics was transferred.
Following the resignation of Wolfgang Pfefferkorn in 1993 the chair was initially unoccupied. From 01.07.1995 he was first headed through Holm Altenbach in self-advocacy. The appointment as a professor followed for 07.03.1996. With the structural decisions of the state of Saxony-Anhalt to the universities and colleges in 2004, the question of the future of the chair remained open, since the engineering education in Halle has been given up. At the request of the Ministry of Culture, the chair was transferred to the Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg with all employees at 01.04.2011.