|Expression of thanks|
For more than three decades Dipl. Eng. Hanns Joachim Fischer worked on standard specifications. Quite often he expressed the desire for a worldwide collection of all standard specifications. The heartfelt groan "If I only had …!" brought to him the idea of putting all his professional experiences together into a compilation of all standard specifications of non-ferrous metal products … and so the Copper-Key was born.
You could say that metal had been in his blood from the very beginning. Hanns was born on the 15th of March 1925, as the third and last son of Dr. Eng. Franz-P. Fischer, who had himself played an important role in producing standard specifications for ferrous products, working as the Head of the Inspection and Development section of the Krupp Company.
After passing his School Certificate (Abitur) in March 1943 Hanns had first to carry out Community Service, and then joined the German Navy. In April 1946 he returned from American and French captivity to his place of birth, the city of Essen. A period of nine months practical training at the Krupp Company in 1946/47 and one year of studies in mechanical engineering obviously did not satisfy him, and he left to study philosophy and theology. In the summer of 1952, he returned to studying metallurgy at Aachen university (as an "Eisenhüttenmann") and received his Diploma in 1956.
His first professional experience was gained with the Bochumer Verein Company. In March 1959 he began working at the DIN - Deutsches Institut für Normung e. V. Since then Hanns continued to be involved with standard specifications at both national and international levels, especially European standards, for more than three decades until his retirement. Since the middle of the sixties he had been secretary or convenor of a large number of committees for standard specifications. During this time he gained wide knowledge and extensive experience e. g. as convenor of the committee for standard specifications of non-ferrous metals (FNNE) and as secretary of the ISO-committee 26 copper & copper alloys; he fulfilled these responsibilities from 1964 until 1990. He was convenor of the Committee for Powder Metallurgy, established in 1967, and, since 1974, convenor of the Foundry Committee. He was involved in setting up and organising of a large number of other committees which played an important role in standard specifications, setting high standards for European (CEN) as well as International Standards (ISO).
His high professional and personal reputation found expression in the honour of being awarded the "Award of Appreciation" of the ASTM in Philadelphia in 1985, followed by the "Prain Medal" of the Institute of Metals, London in 1990.
Hanns married his wife Paula in 1957. She was a constant support to him in his life and work. After his retirement in March 1990 Hanns started working on the Copper-Key-project. The idea of the bound book, he originally visualised, changed into the idea of producing a computerised database. This necessarily meant gaining new knowledge and technology. He profited from the fact that he had four children and four grandchildren, who were sufficiently interested and patient to pilot him through the new medium. Over a period of almost 15 years, he was able to complete the first edition of his Copper-Key, and to finish the framework of the second edition.
Sadly, only two days after the sudden death of Paula in October 2004, he himself became seriously ill, and died in June 2005.