Issue 54 | July 2009

Vale Peter Hornby

Peter Hornby

Recently, Exploration and Mining staff were saddened to learn of the death of their colleague and friend, Peter Hornby, following a long battle with ill-health. Peter was a highly respected member of the Computational Geoscience and Modelling Group.

Although he preferred to work behind the scenes, those who knew Peter held him in extremely high esteem and freely described him as one of CSIRO's great minds.

Peter joined CSIRO as Principal Research Scientist in 1994. Recently he had been studying Darcy flow and mechanical/chemical modelling, potential field modelling and ensemble computational systems to further the understanding of complex problems related to mineral exploration. He also studied the application of optimal control theory to flow modelling in transport networks, and multi-agent systems with an emphasis on emergent behaviours in evolutionary economic systems.

Peter was a brilliant applied mathematician and was the driving force behind a series of developments that have revolutionised the mineral exploration world. Just one of his legacies includes the creation of a standard scheme for encoding and transmitting geological data.

Following a PhD in Applied Mathematics from the University of New South Wales in 1984, Peter was Mathematical Analyst and Head of Software Development at Australian Coal Industry Research Limited. From 1987 to 1994 Peter was the General Manager and co-founder of Heuristic Systems Pty Ltd. Prior to the formation of the Computational Geoscience Group, he was Group Leader for 3D Visualisation and Geological Modelling at CSIRO.

Peter has made a lasting impact, both within and outside of CSIRO and will be deeply missed. He is survived by his wife Brenda, and daughters, Tasia and Nikola.