In Memoriam: Alumnus Erich Heine
On 1 June 2009, Erich Heine lost his life in an air crash. He was the only South African among the 228 passengers on board the Air France flight that crashed over the Atlantic Ocean when it was on its way from Rio de Janeiro to Paris. He was a brilliant and successful alumnus of the University of Pretoria.
Erich studied engineering and business administration. He began his professional career in 1991 at Iscor. In 1999, he spent a year with BHP Billiton as marketing manager before being appointed general manager of Iscor’s Newcastle plant. After Iscor had become Mittal Steel South Africa, he was appointed general manager of the Vanderbijlpark plant. In February 2006, Erich joined the Executive Board of ThyssenKrupp Steel AG with responsibility for the steelmaking business unit. From 2007 he was also responsible for the construction of two steel plants – one in Rio de Janeiro and one in Alabama, a task ThyssenKrupp states he handled with great success.
He was known as a detail-orientated manager who showed an interest in each of his employees. Bob Soulliere, president and chief executive of ThyssenKrupp Steel USA, summarised the way he worked as follows: "Erich Heine provided us with valuable direction and personal leadership. He was deeply engaged in our project and became a warm familiar face to every member of our team."
Erich was married to Alet, and was father to three children: twins Anje and Melissa (4) and Kristen (6). TuksAlumni would like to extend its sympathy to Alet and their three children.