Rudolf Christian Karl Diesel' (March 18, 1858 – September 30, 1913) was a German engineer and inventor. His best known invention is Diesel engine. He was born in Paris and died on the English Channel.
He had the idea to develop an engine which relied on a high compression of the fuel to ignite it. With this he could do without a spark. The technique with a spark was developed by Niklaus Otto. The engine based on this is called internal combustion engine.
He got a lot of money from licensing his invention.