We have received the sad news that Heinz Helmut Kempkes, owner of German crane and access equipment manufacturer Kuli Hebezeuge, has died. He passed away on August 13th at the age of 72.
Born in October 1947, he began studying mechanical engineering at the Technical University of Darmstadt in 1968, staying on for further research work as chairman of material handling technology at the university. In 1975, he joined the company that his father had founded in Duisburg in 1947, becoming managing partner in 1982. He continued to manage the business on a day to day basis alongside his son Oliver Kempkes. The company now operates in more than 120 countries on all continents, manufacturing overhead and gantry cranes, lifting equipment and industrial aerial work platforms.
In addition to his role with the company he has was incredibly active with key engineering associations and institutions with a particular passion for standards and standardisation. He represented the mechanical engineering sector of DIN and in 2005 was appointed first deputy to the president of DIN and became a member of DIN's Finance Committee. He has also been a member of the advisory board of the Mechanical Engineering Standards Committee (NAM) since 2005 and was actively involved in various committees in the Cranes section of NAM. He was a member of the main board and executive board of the Cranes and Hoists Division of VDMA. At the European level, he served on the standards committee for CEN/TC 147 Crane - Safety and similarly for ISO/TC 96 - Cranes.
He was also a member of the Presidium of the German Federation of Industrial Research Associations (AiF) and president of the European Materials Handling Federation (FEM). click here to see another Kemkes honoured