Visionary, humorous, successful and caring
That´s the way he was and even much more than that. We are mourning the loss of our founder Prof. Dott.-Ing. h.c. Manfred Fuchs who played an outstanding role in the European space industry over the last decades. He died April 26th at his holiday house in Altenburg/Kaltern, South Tirol, at the age of 75 years.
Manfred Fuchs was born in Latsch, Italy, in 1938. At the age of 17, he became the youngest pilot in Italy. He came to Germany at the age of 18. After studying aviation engineering in Munich and Hamburg, he embarked in 1961 on his career with space technology company ERNO, playing a key role in projects such as ARIANE-1, SPACELAB and COLUMBUS.
In 1981 his wife Christa took over a small company called Otto Hydraulik Bremen (OHB). Manfred Fuchs entered the company in 1985, fulfilling his dream of running his own business and laying the foundations for one of the most important European space technology companies, OHB AG.
With his applied German engineering art combined with a keen sense of politics, OHB belongs today to one of three large system integrators in Europe. Complementing one another, Christa and Manfred Fuchs became Europe´s best known and most effective space flight couple. She was responsible for the budget, he was the strategist and made his dreams come true. Their inspiring family spirit became an intrinsic value of OHB´s corporate culture.
Manfred Fuchs was named honorary professor by the University of Bremen in 1995 and received an honorary doctorate from the Technical University of Milan in 2005. In 2008, he was named honorary citizen of his home town Latsch. Together with his wife Christa, he was nominated honorary citizen and patron of the University of Bremen in August 2009. In addition, he had been honorary consul of Kazakhstan in Bremen since 2008. In 2013, he was endowed with the “Great Order of Merit of the State of South Tirol”.
Most recently, Manfred Fuchs was member of the management board at OHB AG and chairman of the Supervisory Board of OHB System AG. He held numerous honorary positions and received several awards in recognition of his services, including the highest German distinction in technical sciences, the “Werner-von-Siemens Ring”. In spite of all the tributes to his achievements he always kept modest and well grounded.
We sadly miss our brilliant mentor – his imagination, his keen sense of humor, his confidence and his humanity. Our thoughts are with his family.