G. C. "Chris" Heyde in Memorium



G. C. "Chris" Heyde
IN MEMORIAM
1914 - 2000


In 1951 as a young graduate chemist working in Unilever Australia's Melbourne Plant I was called to the front office and introduced to a strange looking guy, 30 something, dark glasses and totally bald head. He asked me if I would be interested in "methods engineering" and explained what was involved. In accepting (to escape the Laboratory dead end) I did not realize how this strange guy would influence my career for the next 50 years.

Chris always claimed to be 25% Jewish - to explain a high IQ. His forbears arrived in South Australia in the 1870's, as refugees from Germany, by name von der Heide. Wine growing in the Barossa Valley near Adelaide was their salvation until the "German hatred" period in the First World War forced a name change to "HEYDE" (sounding French and allied). Around then a family branch developed in Sydney and I know Chris's dad was a Director of the British-Australian Tobacco Company where Chris found a job in the 30's depression in Australia. He graduated in Science from Sydney Technical College and subsequently was appointed by Unilever to start up and head the Australian component of a new world wide Productivity improvement program which started about 1950 using American techniques and the Bedeaux system of bonus payments for staff.

Chris's career with Unilever Australia ran for 20 years and included sensational improvements in productivity from the work of his IE team in three cities. He was always involved in change and helped the company convert from functional complex to direct profit centers in the 60's.

He left Unilever in 1970 (after the birth of MODAPTS) and set about researching towards "THE SENSIBLE TASKMASTER" and pursuing the progress of MODAPTS around the world.

I had moved on from Unilever (to start KPMG 's Industrial Engineering consulting service in Australia) after working for three years as 2 IC to Chris in Unilever's Head Office Consulting Team. He had arranged things at Board level for our group to consult and train people from non-competitive organizations and in this way he introduced IE to Australian government organizations (at no cost to the taxpayers!) and many other Australian companies.

Through KPMG taking up the Australian franchise for MODAPTS, the New York office, together with Price Waterhouse soon took up the USA franchise from the Australian Association for Predetermined Time Standards & Research (Chairman - G. C. Heyde - who else!)

AAPTSAR brought together the 20 or so engineers involved in the development and testing of MODAPTS in 1966 - this group continued to support his subsequent research activities in Sydney.

By the late 70's, 10 of 16 major banks in NYC as well as many smaller banks across USA were using OFFICE MODAPTS and a North American MODAPTS Association had been formed.

Working through the 70's with Paul Carey and many others Chris produced "WORKABILITY" for functional testing of rehabilitates, TRANSIT MODAPTS, THE SENSIBLE TASKMASTER, and in 1979 picked up one of the first PC's (an Exidy Sorcerer - 16 K RAM!) and started writing computer programs in Microsoft Basic.

I had been in building sub-contracting through the 70's but returned to the fold when I started up Brian Sullivan Consulting in 1978 to promote/teach/apply MODAPTS and as it happened to market the HEYDE DYNAMICS products - soon to become "MODAPTS PLUS" in DOS then later "MOD++" for Windows written by Dr. Michael Hui.

Through the 70's Chris took his "crusade" to the USSR, Japan, South Africa as well as continuing the links with USA through firstly Don Gerber in California and then by assigning USA copyrights to the IMA.

Many thousands of engineers in many countries of the world have learned to use the MODAPTS system - the system was given free to many countries through educational bodies (Russia, Japan) and there are many translations and derivatives of MODAPTS.

Although seriously handicapped by a severe stroke some six years ago, he continued to make significant contributions in his field - it is understood he has written yet another text of some 300 pages which is yet to be published. His son Victor continued to run Heyde Dynamics on Chris's behalf.

This "strange guy" who I met nearly 50 years ago has helped dramatically to make this world a better place as thousands of industrial engineers and others will surely testify.


Brian Sullivan
Melbourne, Australia
25 October 2000

 

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