Leverkusen, Germany -- Dr. Günter Oertel, considered one of the pioneers of polyurethane chemistry has passed away at his home in Leverkusen aged 81.
Oertel began his professional career at Bayer in 1958 under Dr. Otto Bayer. In 1971 he was given responsibility at the company for research and in 1972 for technical marketing. Just one year later he was appointed Director of Polyurethane Applications Technology.
Oertel gained international acclaim as well: "I have known Günter Oertel for many years and worked closely with him during his time as President of the European Isocyanate Producers Association (ISOPA) from 1989 to 1994. He was a man who will always have my greatest respect and his contributions to our industry and society are huge," said Patrick Thomas, CEO of Bayer MaterialScience.
For his service to the polyurethanes industry the UK Plastic and Rubber Institute honoured him with the ´Medal of Merit'. In 2003, Oertel, who was already retired at the time, was inducted into the Polyurethane Hall of Fame in the United States in recognition of his achievements and successes.
Dr. Oertel summed up his professional career in one chapter of the book The Inventor Company, which the Bayer Group published this year in celebration of its 150th anniversary, with the words, "There is probably something made of the material our team developed in every home and every car in the world: mattresses, refrigerators, bumpers, steering wheels, dashboards and shoes. It is a pleasant feeling to be able to look back on it all at the end of my life."