VOEST-ALPINE can always use new smelting processes, and Erwin Plöckinger, among others, has contributed to the technological lead. The mining engineer began his work in Donawitz in 1939 after completing his studies in technical chemistry in Prague and his training in ore smelting at the Montanuni Leoben and quickly achieved success in the field of deoxidation. In 1947, he collaborated in the preparation of the Austrian Steel Plan.
As a researcher, he was active in the fields of welding consumables, in powder metallurgy, and in steel-related issues concerning the equipment of nuclear power plants. He held leading positions at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the Research Promotion Fund and the Study Society for Atomic Energy.
His awards include the Auer-von Welsbach Medal, the Golden Peter Tunner Medal and the Golden Decoration of Honor for Services to the Republic of Austria.