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Richard Vote Obituary

It is with great sadness that the Safety and Reliability Society announces the death of Dick Vote on the 31st December 2016.

Dick was an early Fellow of the Society with membership number 15/F. Dick’s background was marine engineering. After graduating from the University of St Andrews he served in the Royal Navy for over 17 years including as Marine Engineer Officer of a frigate. In 1987 he became a consultant. Splitting his time between Aberdeen and London he worked primarily (but not exclusively) in the offshore oil and gas sector. He was an active supporter and contributor to the Society, including serving on the governing council. He was also a Chartered Engineer through the Institution of Mechanical Engineering, Chartered Marine Engineer and Member of the Chartered Management Institute. He was also a keen player of the trombone.

He vociferously championed the importance of cooperation between the different institutions and across different industrial sectors, sitting on various committees to actively encourage and enable this to happen, such as the Joint Institution Group on Safety Risk. He had a steadfast belief that we should all learn from one another, not only within the safety and reliability community but also from other disciplines. This was to such an extent that he obtained a degree in history and philosophy from the Open University, which he said were two of the most useful subjects he studied as an engineer. He always made an enthusiastic contribution, whether in person or via email, including to the drafting of various pieces of published guidance.

He strived for opportunities to enable economists and politicians to appreciate the benefits of the rigorous methods used by safety and reliability professionals. He often wrote up his ideas on a wide range of topics and sent them to anyone, including MPs, who he thought may benefit from reading them because he believed that (in his own words) “actual risk is generally directly proportional to the degree of unwillingness to consider it honestly”.