Howard Kirby Obituary, Death – We are writing to inform you of the passing of the original ITS Director of Research, who was known as “the glue which pulled ITS together.” He passed away recently, and we are saddened to share this news with you. We are making this announcement with the utmost sadness in our hearts. It is with a heavy heart that I have to break the news to you that Howard Kirby has passed away; I am sorry for your loss. I say this with the utmost sadness in my heart. When Howard first started working for ITS in 1978, he remained employed with the company until 1997, when he made the decision to relocate to Napier. During that time, he worked his way up through the ranks of the organization. It was in the year 2008 when he last worked for Napier before formally retiring. In the early days of our company, when there were no other research organizations, Howard took on the role of our company’s first actual director of research.
He was a pioneer in the application of neural networks, most notably in the subject of transportation, and he encouraged others to investigate new approaches to study. Specifically, he was known for his work in the field of transportation. In particular, he was a trailblazer in the realm of transportation during his time. He played a large role in getting ITS interested in conducting research in Europe, and at the time, ITS was far ahead of any other department at the University in this regard. He also played a role in getting ITS interested in conducting research in Asia. Because of all the work he put into it, this heritage has been passed down down the years. He took an interest in the research that was being done by everyone, and he served as the unifying factor that ensured ITS continued to function well. Because of Howard’s application to the AA Road Safety Foundation, Oliver Carsten and Miles Tight were able to secure jobs there, proving that his efforts were beneficial.
These two individuals were instrumental in the establishment of our Human Factors group, which went on to achieve a great lot of success when it was initially established. In addition to that, he appointed Susan Grant-Muller and Mark Dougherty, and with their help, he was able to initiate research into neural networks and intelligent transportation systems. Susan Grant-Muller and Mark Dougherty were also appointed by him. He worked on Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and speech recognition, and he was always studying how technology and new algorithms could be implemented in the transportation industry. ANPR stands for Automatic Number Plate Recognition. Automatic Number Plate Recognition is the abbreviation for ANPR. The remembrances of Howard’s coworkers, which I read over the course of the weekend as they came in, all indicate how nice he was, how helpful he was, how imaginative he was, and how he was always there to help people. I was saddened to hear of Howard’s passing last week. I was shocked and upset to learn that he had passed away the previous week. A gentleman in every sense!