Dr David Hoeppner passed away on Friday, 18 February 2022, aged 86. Aircraft structural integrity lost a pioneer. I lost a mentor and friend.
I first met Dr Hoeppner in 1987 when he taught me the FAA’s short course on ‘Aircraft Fatigue’ at the University of Utah. It started a professional and personal friendship that lasted 35 years. I will fondly remember Dr Hoeppner as:
- Leader, genuinely, as evidenced by his many followers
- Mentor, who imparted guiding principles for my career
- Ethical, he knew ‘you can’t get structural integrity without human integrity’, a quote he loved from Lockheed’s Willis Hawkins
- Family man, who valued work but kept it in perspective
- Encourager, who brought out the best in people
- Caring, especially when he hosted me at short notice after my accommodation plans fell through
- Empathetic, when he understood my disappointment and frustration after regulatory politics caused an authority to reject me
- Story teller who brought lessons from history to life
- Courageous, especially on matters of principle and justice
- Diligent, seizing every opportunity (‘carpe diem’ was his motto)
- Humble, rare for an international expert
- Personal, interested in you as a person and not just as an engineer
- Influencer, his holistic concepts (HOLSIP) are increasingly promoted and practiced internationally
- Humorous, he told a good joke and could also laugh at himself
- Generous with his knowledge, time and money.
We shared a love for the Lord. I will miss Dr Hoeppner until we meet again.
My deepest condolences to the Hoeppner family.