Tue, December 15, 2020


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Obituary: Professor John Bowers (1957-2020)

The OR Society is sad to report that John Bowers, Professor of Management Science at the University of Stirling died on December 10th, at the age of 63, after a very short illness. John was a member of the Society for over 35 years.

He joined what was then the Management Science Department at Stirling in 1991, where he pursued his interests in modelling complex systems. His teaching speciality was project management, but he also taught a wide range of other subjects. Before Stirling, John worked in industry for 11 years, employing OR in a range of applications. His first seven years were with the OR Executive of the National Coal Board and British Coal, where he met his wife, Gill. There John used statistical and modelling techniques to investigate issues such as underground transport, equipment selection and project management for the development of opencast sites. He then moved to YARD, later BAeSema, as a consultant specialising in managing risk in projects, such as the development of major software systems and new aircraft.

In recent years, he has focussed on the design of healthcare systems. Typically, his research involved the construction of simulations of healthcare systems to understand the flows of patients. These models were used to assess specific proposals for NHS Boards/Trusts or analyse general policies for the provision of healthcare.  Not surprisingly, he was contributing to the analytical support to deal with coronavirus. In August he presented some current work on workforce requirements to N-CORN, the national COVID-19 operational research network.