Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie

Born in Pare-Pare, June 25, 1936. The third president of Indonesia, replacing President Suharto after retiring from his post on May 20, 1998, after previously been vice president for some time. Previously was a Minister of State for Research and Technology, concurrently as chairman of the Agency for Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT), and President Director of PT Nurtanio, an aircraft manufacturer in Indonesia.

His nickname was Rudy, the third of four children. His father came from Gorontalo and mother from Java. Habibie was raised in a religious family, and since young had been fluent reading the Al-Quran. As a child, he knew of President Soeharto as a leader of the Mataram Brigade to crush Andi Aziz's uprising in Makassar, that was headquartered across from his home. At age 13, when his father died, Suharto and his brigade doctor was at his side.

After the death of his father, Habibie's family moved to Bandung. He later studied at Institut Teknologi Bandung, (The Technological Institute Bandung) and proceeded to study at the University of Aachen West Germany, studying aircraft engineering obtaining an Ing. Dpl and Doctoral degree (Engineering Diploma and Doctorate). Due to his achievements, he was asked to become a professor at his alma mater, but he refused because he did not want to be bound. After graduation, Habibie worked at an aircraft manufacturer, Hamburger Flugzeugbau (HF) in West Germany which later merged with MBB (Messerschmidt Boelkow Blohm). His latest post was as vice president of MBB, a company with approximately 40,000 employees.

In early 1974, Habibie returned to Indonesia and was appointed as technology adviser to the president, in addition to leading the Technology Division of Pertamina. In mid 1976, he was appointed as Director of PT Nurtaino in Bandung. He also became chairman of the Batam Island Development Authority, director of PT PAL and PT Pindad, and other various strategic posts. Later was responsible for eight major industries as a whole. With this appointment, he resigned from his MBB post, and only served as an expert adviser to MBB. On March 31, 1978, Habibie was sworn as Minister of State for Research and Technology in the Development Cabinet III. In the Fourth Development Cabinet, he still held office, also serving as chairman of the BPPT.

Under his leadership, Industri Pesawat Terbang Nusantara (Nusantara Aircraft Industry) (IPTN) grew rapidly. Subsequently the company was able to produce several types of airplanes and helicopters. IPTN worked with airline companies Boeing, Bell, Aerospatiale, MBB and CASA. Habibie also spurred the building of a science and technology laboratory in Serpong.

A similar laboratory was planned to be built in Cibinong. In addition, Habibie initiated the establishment for a National Research Council and plans for forming an Academy of Sciences of Indonesia. Several friends of Habibie have said that he was as rational as the Germans, frugal like the Jews and Chinese, and humble like the Javanese. Also known to have a major influence on the formation of the Association of Indonesian Muslim Intellectuals (ICMI), where he serves as chairperson. This association gathers Indonesian Muslim intellectuals from various fields, which then sparked a controversy about the resurgence of sectarianism.