31 March 2020

c_600_0_16777215_00_images_2020_Otheguy2.jpgHe was a person of integrity, a doer, a leader. Intelligent, but endowed with a sound common sense, he always knew how to find a possible way out to a wide variety of problems. INVAP was a great part of his life and he was a great part of INVAP. Under his leadership, INVAP grew, developed new capacities, became an international company, and achieved wide recognition in the country as a synonym of national sovereignty. 

Lic. Héctor Otheguy (“Cacho”, as he was known) always fairly considered INVAP as tool at the service of the country, as an opportunity to show what Argentina can do, and become, if we, Argentinians, work with passion, continuity and organization.

It was not easy; there were moments when it was too difficult, almost impossible, to see the way. Cacho knew how to lead INVAP through its growth crises always posing new challenges, opening new opportunities, with great faith in the future, with courage and humility, keeping the team’s morale and never leaving a task incomplete, a door without knocking, an idea without trying. 

For those of us who were close to him, the fact that Cacho always had time was a real mystery. He had time to answer all phone calls, to reply to the last email or WhatsApp; time for meetings and to talk to everyone, time for travel and to welcome visitors at INVAP. He had time to teach and to make way, with extraordinary generosity, to the new generations of the company. He had also time to cultivate relationships. Cacho had friends everywhere. He had time to share jokes and to learn new things, to enjoy life, as well. And of course, he had time for his family, for Pimpi, his children and grandchildren. 

Besides, Cacho was a teacher who generously left us his legacy: he taught us, by words and example, to be better. We learned with him and from him. We learned that it is the leader’s responsibility to care for the human side of those who work with him or her. We learned that one must listen twice as much as one speaks ("God gave us one mouth and two ears," he said.) We learned that “perseverance always gives us a flower”, and the importance of “swallowing something bitter and spitting something sweet.” We learned that polite gestures are useful and cost nothing, and that the sense of humor helps a lot. Perhaps most importantly, we learned that the group is always stronger than the individual, that listening to different viewpoints improves the decision-making process, that the teamwork is always more effective and more enjoyable.

We will miss him a lot!

In Memoriam

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HÉCTOR E. OTHEGUY

He was born on April 20, 1947, in Buenos Aires

He studied at Otto Krause technical high school from 1960 to 1965.

He entered the Exact and Natural Sciences School of the University of Buenos Aires in 1966.

In 1967, he joined the Balseiro Institute (IB, in Spanish), wherefrom he got his degree in Physics in 1970, being a member of Class 13 of the IB graduate students.

He wrote his dissertation on metals (entitled “Stress Corrosion”) under the direction of Manfred Ahlers.

Early in 1971, he was given a two-month scholarship to study in Grenoble (France) and by the end of the year he went to the Ohio State University on a Fulbright scholarship. There, he conducted research in low temperatures and received his Master of Science degree in 1972. 

From 1973 to 1975, he was hired by Compañía Metalúrgica Austral to work in the optimization of the zinc manufacturing process, at first under contract with the company, and after March 1973, with the Argentine National Commission of Atomic Energy (CNEA, in Spanish.)

In 1976, he participated in the creation of INVAP S.E. in San Carlos de Bariloche and led this project, as well as that of the Zircaloy development at the Bariloche Atomic Center.

In February, 1978, he was appointed Deputy Technical Manager of INVAP, and in 1982, Technical Manager. That same year, he left CNEA to become an employee of INVAP. During this period the project of enriched uranium was developed, first in Villa Golf and then in Pilcaniyeu, in which Otheguy had an outstanding participation as manager.

From January 1984 to July 1985, he studied at Stanford University Business School in the USA, where he received a Master of Science Management degree.

On August 2, 1991, he was appointed as General Manager of INVAP, succeeding Dr. Conrado Varotto, leader of the company's founding group; and he continued as such until September 22, 2017, when he became President of INVAP's Board of Directors.     

During his term as General Manager, he had to face several economic crises affecting the country and knew how to lead INVAP, overcoming with unique ability and wisdom the serious difficulties he faced. In that period, INVAP set up very important nuclear technology export projects, which made the company, and Argentinian's ability in general win great international recognition. 

The company also expanded successfully to the space field. INVAP was the main contractor of the Argentine National Space Activities Commission (CONAE, in Spanish) and of ARSAT S.A.; as such, it was responsible for the construction of the following satellites: SAC-A, SAC-B, SAC-C, SACD/Aquarius, SAOCOM 1A and B, and ARSAT 1 and 2. 

Likewise, INVAP was then a pioneer in the design and construction of radars for airspace traffic control, defense, and meteorological purposes in the country, and in the provision of Nuclear Medicine Centers to Argentina and other Latin American countries. During Otheguy’s management, the company was awarded the Platinum Konex Prize in two opportunities (2008, 2018) and also the Diamond Konex Prize, the major recognition given by the firm to the most outstanding Argentine personalities and organizations of the last decade.

Otheguy was President of INVAP Foundation since its creation in 2014.