In Memoriam: Dr Hugh Barr

We are sorry to report that Dr Hugh Barr died on 8 December 2021, aged 80 years. Hugh was a leading figure in the ORSNZ serving on Council for many years, as President between 1976-1980, and regularly wrote papers and presented at conferences. He studied at Auckland University and the University of Toronto.

He was OR section leader at the Applied Maths Division of the DSIR from 1968 to 1992 and then at Industrial Research Limited. The OR Section at AMD was one of the major OR groups in NZ during that time, attracting many top graduates from Canterbury and Auckland universities and further afield, who later became OR managers, consultants and academics.

Hugh led or contributed to many OR projects in diverse industries including energy, transport, meat, superannuation, and healthcare.  He had a high public profile, writing on many topics such as Comalco prices and NZED capacity in the early days, and after leaving IRL, continued as a private consultant dealing with many issues central to New Zealand’s prosperity and wellbeing. 

Outside work, Hugh’s real love was always tramping and skiing, which seemed to fill his every weekend. He was a life member of the Tararua Tramping Club and a leading conservation advocate within New Zealand.  He was President of the Federated Mountain Clubs from 1993 to 1995 and a member of the FMC Executive from 1976 to 1978, and again in 1991-1992, and often served as a spokesperson on outdoor adventure and conservation issues.  He also was politically active, as scientific advisor, lobbyist and as a local government and parliamentary candidate.

There is a memorial lunch being held for Hugh on September 6 in Wellington. Please email Prof Vicky Mabin at vicky DOT mabin AT vuw DOT ac DOT nz

Noho ora mai, ORSNZ (posted on behalf of ORSNZ by Mike O’Sullivan with remembrance from Prof Vicky Mabin and Bruce Benseman)