The career of Thomas Henke is a prime example of how an open mind and endless curiosity can take you to lead a successful BIM team in complex international projects – and everything that comes with them. The engineer, who has turned his versatile background into an advantage, values each experience and his quest for new inputs is nothing short of inspiring. Now, the BIM professional and principal civil engineer of thyssenkrupp has the freedom to invent and power to enforce positive change when working with EPC (Engineering, Procurement, Contracting) projects and development in a company of 156,000 employees in 80 countries, 200 years of history and claiming engineering part of its identity.
A multidisciplinary career path to BIM world
Henke started his academic path as a mechanical engineering student. With two years of study behind him, he moved to study civil and structural steel engineering. A couple of years later, still thirsty for knowledge and looking to expand his expertise, he completed a diploma in economical engineering.
His career started in a small civil engineering consultancy where he carried out detailed design for thyssenkrupp, but he swiftly realized there was more to construction and engineering. He moved to work under his previous client and then took a role as lead engineer for several large industrial projects. Recognizing the potential in adopting BIM in complex projects, he decided to bring Tekla software into thyssenkrupp’s projects, and this has taken his path to driving BIM in the business unit called Industrial Solutions.
The power of an open mind
It is, in fact, the diverse background and Henke’s never-ending curiosity that have led him to his current post and to work around the world. His exposure to different engineering trades and experience of interdisciplinary work has helped him to identify the improvements that BIM can bring to an EPC project. It comes as no surprise that his advice for future talents is to travel, be open-minded and collect as many experiences as possible. Now Henke himself enjoys the horizons that open with traveling, working with different nationalities and new projects.