Colleagues in the School of Engineering have been saddened to hear of the death of Brian Hooper on 2nd November 2018.
Brian joined University of Wales College Cardiff as a mechanical technician in the School of Material Science in 1978, under the Chief Technician Mr Bernard Diggins, and located in the North Building.
One of the people who remember him from those days is Simon Young, one of our Network Engineers in IT who started here in 1980 and who recalls that Brian’s attitude was always “no problem”. He helped Simon by making unique tools for jobs and nothing was too much trouble. Simon and Brian became firm friends especially when Simon married and moved to Pontypridd.
Another person who remembers Brian fondly from those days is Professor Karen Holford. She started her PhD in 1984 and Brian was one of the technicians who helped her the most, solving technical problems, suggesting new solutions and making her smile with his positive attitude and down to earth view on everything. She is quoted as saying “I wouldn’t be where I am today without Brian’s support”. She still has the ashtray that he made for the laboratory from an old piston.
In the early 1990s the School of Mechanical & Civil Engineering and the School of Electrical, Electronic & Systems Engineering merged to become a unified school of engineering under the leadership of Professor Roy Evans. At that time Brian, along with Dave Glinn and Don Morgan were the mechanical technicians who ran the Joint Use Workshop. In 1997 Brian moved into the Civil engineering team, under Chief Technician Mr Vic Ferrissey, becoming Deputy Chief Technician and thereafter Joint Team Leader. Paul Leach, Len Czekaj and Harry Lane in particular worked very closely with Brian and missed him very much when he took early retirement in 2014.
Academic staff with whom he worked closely, in particular Professor Bushan Karihaloo, Professor Roger Falconer and Dr Rhys Pullin, remember Brian as supportive, cheerful and a highly skilled member of the technical team.
There were many others that Brian talked about with his family during his time with the school, too many to mention, but all were colleagues and friends with whom Brian enjoyed close working relationships.
Brian was a highly valued and respected colleague and was extremely well liked not only within the technical team but across the school as well by those that came to know him in the wider university community. He is remembered as having a dry sense of humour, down to earth approach to solving problems and dealing with difficult people, a calming and caring man always ready to help others and for whom nothing was too much trouble. He had a love of cars (particularly BMW and Mercedes) especially what was going on under the bonnet.
Brian’s death is a sad loss to all his work colleagues and friends throughout the School of Engineering.
He is survived by his wife Pat, daughter Nikki, son Ryan and grandchildren who would like to thank all those who attended Brian’s funeral, this meant such a lot to them.
PA to Professor Sam Evans, Head of the School of Engineering