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The University of Southampton

Tributes paid to ‘universally admired’ former Dean Professor Joe Hammond

Published: 4 August 2020
Prof Joe Hammond

Academics from Southampton and around the globe have paid tribute to former Dean and Institute of Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR) Director Professor Joe Hammond, who passed away last month.

Professor Hammond played a major role in the advancement of Engineering, Science and Mathematics across three decades at the University of Southampton, where he twice led as a Dean of Faculty during a dynamic research career in signal processing.

He joined the ISVR in 1978, where he became the Head of the Data Analysis Centre (DAC) and later the first Chair of the Signal Processing and Control Group, now the Signal Processing, Audio and Hearing Group. Professor Hammond helped build the reputation of the ISVR across nine years as its head from 1992, the second longest serving director in the Institute’s 57-year history, before being appointed as Dean of Engineering.

In 2003, the University transitioned from over a dozen faculties to just three and Professor Hammond was selected as Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Science and Mathematics. He retired in 2007 and continued to serve the University as an Emeritus Professor and Public Orator at graduation ceremonies.

Professor Philip Nelson, Dean of Engineering and Physical Sciences and Professor Hammond’s successor as Director of the ISVR, said: “Joe served our University with immense dedication, enthusiasm, wisdom and humanity. He was universally admired, had a wonderful sense of humour, and I am fortunate to have learned much from him during his inspirational service. We will miss him greatly and our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time.”

Professor Hammond’s research interest of signal processing was applied specifically to nonlinear and non-stationary systems. He supervised many PhD students and was enthusiastic about new and unusual concepts such as chaos and fractional calculus.

A great explainer, Professor Hammond was always at the heart of the ISVR’s social life and was known for his concern for staff and student wellbeing. His lectures were full of humour and insight, and colleagues have shared memories of his stories from recent travel at research group meetings.

Dr Matthew Wright, Senior Lecturer and former PhD student of Professor Hammond, said: “A talk with Joe always brought new ideas, new ways of thinking about old ideas and new optimism about academic life.”

Tributes around the world have included Professor J. Stuart Bolton, from the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University in the USA, who posted: “Joe made so many things possible for me and many others.”

Joe Hammond’s memorial arrangements

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