SMIE founder and anti-collision pioneer Jean-Louis Olivier passes away

Staff Report,

17 Jan 2022

Tech innovator, first to figure our tower crane zoning and develop anti-collision in 1980s dies after short illness at 69

SMIE founder and anti-collision pioneer Jean-Louis Olivier passes away

Jean-Louis Olivier, a pioneer in the field of crane safety and founder of crane anti-collision solutions major SMIE, passed away on January 8 at the age of 69.

Olivier was an expert in the field of tower cranes and a recognised specialist in the world of lifting. He founded SMIE in 1975 as a precursor to the anti-collision sector, initially starting the company's activity with crane tracks, to which he gradually added mechanical and then electromechanical stops before becoming interested in limiting the orientation of cranes, prefiguring the beginnings of “zoning”.

This led to Olivier looking into solutions to prevent two tower cranes from colliding and he subsequently developed the first anti-collision systems in the 1980s. Initially used in France, they soon spread out in Europe and are now used extensively throughout the world. A keen researcher and enthusiastic technology innovator, Olivier was also among the first to install anemometers on tower cranes.

In November 2019, he left the reins of SMIE to Jean-Charles Delplace, its current CEO, and two years later the company joined Smart Jobsite, a developer of innovative solutions based on BIM to simplify the construction sector by managing all site and crane data.

Always involved in safety issues, Olivier also created another company called AMG (Ascenseur Monte-grutier) in 2016 with Maurice Laversin for the distribution of crane lifts that implemented the Recommendation R495 on working conditions in tower cranes.

SMIE CEO Jean-Charles Delplace said: “Jean-Louis Olivier was a pioneer, the creator of this profession. His whole life was focused on innovation, with a constant desire to make the profession evolve and to prepare for the future development of anti-collision. He was still with us, and with great kindness, in the latest developments of SMIE, bringing his perfect knowledge and his very rich experience of the world of collision avoidance and tower cranes. We will all miss him very much.”

Jean-Louis Olivier died on the night of 8 January 2022 at 69 after a short and unexpected illness. WOCME extends our condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.

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