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Alumni Profile: Christian Heine


   

Christian Heine

Feb. 15, 2014 – Alumnus Christian Heine has come a long way — literally and figuratively — from his start as a woodworker’s apprentice in his home country of Germany to his current position as president of Bosch Power Tools North America.

Heine started out designing and manufacturing high-quality wooden stairs and furniture in Stuttgart, Germany. He earned a bachelor’s in wood technology from Rosenheim University of Applied Sciences in Germany in 1996 and went on to earn three graduate degrees at Virginia Tech — a master’s in wood science and forest products in 1997, an MBA in 2000, and a doctorate in wood science and forest products with a focus on structural and timber engineering in 2001.

“Partly attributed to the complexity of wood as a material, the department’s curriculum, and my research, my work and study in wood science touched many different areas — mechanical engineering, statistics, organic chemistry, structural engineering, civil engineering, computer science, and more,” he said. “This, and the interaction with the Virginia Tech community, prepared me well for the entry into a global technology company such as Bosch.”

The Bosch Group, a leading global supplier of technology and services, is comprised of more than 350 subsidiaries and regional companies in over 50 countries. Products manufactured and marketed in North America include automotive equipment, industrial drives and control technology, power tools, security and communication systems, packaging technology, thermotechnology, household appliances, solar energy, health-care telemedicine, and software solutions.

Upon graduation, Heine began a career with Bosch that took him across Europe and back to the U.S. After first joining the company in Germany, he went to Madrid, Spain, as a regional brand manager for two years.

He returned to Germany as the director of product marketing and rose to vice president of the company’s branch in Leinfelden-Echterdingen, where he controlled worldwide product decisions for many items from concept to discontinuation. He was named president of Bosch Power Tools North America in 2011.

“My time at Virginia Tech was an invaluable experience, both professionally and for my personal life,” Heine said. “I really enjoyed the internationality of graduate school. Being able to meet, study, and work with students and professors from all over the world provides for an intensive mix of cultural learning and change of perspective.”

Heine now lives in Chicago with his wife and two boys, who have grown up speaking three languages — a testament to their well-traveled parents.


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