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Professor Brian William Hogg, PhD, DSc, IEEE Fellow, FIEE, FIAE, FIEI (died 14 January 2018, aged 82)


Obituary kindly provided by George W Irwin, Emeritus Professor, Queen’s University Belfast

Professor Brian Hogg has died peacefully in hospital, at the age of 82, after a long illness. Following a Service of Thanksgiving in St Mark’s Parish Church Newtownards, he was cremated in Belfast.

Brian was born in Cobh, Co Cork and attended Newtown College, Waterford where he captained the school cricket team and was offered a trial for Munster. He left school in 1952 to work in Wales.

Returning to Ireland, he studied Electrical Engineering at University College Cork, graduating with 1st class honours in 1963.

He then accepted an invitation from Professor John Meek to undertake research in the department of Electrical Engineering and Electronics at the University of Liverpool. Having successfully completed his PhD in 1966, Brian joined the staff, first as a Lecturer then Senior Lecturer.

While there, Brian enjoyed considerable sporting success, rising to Captain Liverpool Sefton hockey team and becoming Vice President of Liverpool Cricket Club. He also met his future wife Margaret, a teacher, and they were married in 1976.

In 1979, Brian was appointed Professor of Electrical Engineering at Queen’s University Belfast. Such was his reputation that he quickly built up a strong research team, attracting PhD students and postdoctoral researchers both local and international, notably from India, Egypt and China.

His research was concerned with advanced control of turboalternators that generate most of the world’s electricity. Later, the research embraced the whole steam-cycle, especially coal-fired generation. The work, supported by UK generating companies and the Research Council, led to many improvements in generating plant efficiency, stability and reliability. It established Queen’s as a major research centre in the field.

Professor Hogg’s research achievements were widely recognised by the award of a Doctor of Science degree from the National University of Ireland in 1987. He also received a number of awards and prizes for his publications, including the 1995 IEE Hartree Premium.

Brian was not only a first-rate academic, he was also an outstanding academic manager. He was Head of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Queen’s from 1989 until 1991, becoming Director of a combined School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science for a further two years.

He also served as Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and was subsequently appointed Provost of Engineering. During these 7 years, Brian strengthened the Faculty in a variety of ways, and it emerged from the 1996 Research Assessment Exercise as the strongest in the University, a truly praiseworthy achievement. Very importantly, he also managed the introduction of the new four-year Master of Engineering Degree programmes to meet the demands of Accreditation by the UK Professional Engineering Institutions.

During his final 4 years at the University, until his retirement in 2001, Professor Hogg was Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Development and served on the Board of QUBIS. Again Brian displayed the same qualities of organisation, vision and leadership; he oversaw the strategic planning of research throughout the University and the monitoring of the performance targets related to a very significant investment to enhance the Queen’s research profile.

Brian’s contributions to Engineering in Ireland were recognised by Fellowships from the Institution of Engineers of Ireland (IEI) (1999) and the Irish Academy of Engineering (IAE) (2000). He served on the Research and Higher Education Committee of the IAE for a number of years and was an active participant on the Northern Regional Committee.

Professor Hogg also held Fellowships from of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE), London and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), USA. He was a Chartered Engineer and Chairman of the Northern Ireland centre of the IEE.

Brian is survived by his wife Margaret and his daughter Katherine and son Iain and grandchildren Sophie, Emily, Finn, Oscar and Zachary. He was a friend and a mentor to many and will be greatly missed.

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