From a humble background he became a titled University Professor. As a student he was constantly short of money and with many interruptions took him 8 years to finish his diploma. His working day began at 4 am and he managed with only 3 or 4 hours sleep. He started this habit when a school pupil, but then kept to it for the rest of his life.
Without Carl von Bach the Diesel engine might never have been invented and over a hundred years ago he had the idea – bought about by his seasickness – of building a tunnel link between England and France. He even costed the project and worked out a return interest rate for the invested capital.
In 1878 he was appointed Professor at Stuttgart Polytechnic and for almost half a century placed his mark on the engineering sciences. He was offered Professorships at colleges in Zurich, Berlin and Vienna, declining them all he remained at Stuttgart where in 1922 he received Emeritus status and became an honorary citizen of the city.