In remembrance: Emeritus Professor Theodor Stewart

07 December 2023

Dear colleagues and students

It is with profound sadness that we inform you of the passing of our colleague, Emeritus Professor Theodor Stewart (80), who was a senior research scholar in the Department of Statistical Sciences in the Faculty of Science. He passed away suddenly on Wednesday, 29 November 2023.

Emeritus Professor Stewart, who joined University of Cape Town (UCT) in 1984, was internationally recognised for his contributions to the field of Operational Research well beyond his retirement in 2008. During this period, he served twice as the head of department in 1989 and again from 1994 to 1999. Along with holding visiting professorships at various universities in Europe, Professor Stewart was inducted as a UCT Fellow, a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa, a Fellow of the Statistical Association of South Africa, a Fellow and Honorary Lifetime Member of the Operations Research Society of South Africa (ORSSA) and a member of the Academy of Sciences of South Africa. He additionally held an NRF A-rating for the period May 2003 to December 2008.

With more than 90 peer-reviewed publications in international journals, Professor Stewart’s research focused primarily on fundamental contributions to the broad area of multi-criteria decision analysis with applications in natural resource management, as well as Bayesian statistics, and linear programming and simulation applications in industrial planning. The quality of his research was recognised through the award of the prestigious Tom Rozwadowski medal by ORSSA on six occasions, the Gold Medal by the International Society on Multiple Criteria Decision Making as well as the Distinguished Service Medal by the European Association of the Operational Research Societies.

Colleagues who worked closely with Professor Stewart will remember him for his commitment to mentorship, with a unique ability to recognise and cultivate the strengths of those he officially and unofficially mentored. He loved an academic discussion and always had the time to impart his wisdom to all. While his passing presents an immeasurable loss to the Department of Statistical Sciences, his legacy lives on through the immensity of the meaning he imparted on the lives of those around him.

Professor Stewart is survived by his wife Sheena; his children, Craig, Penny, Grant and Sylvia; seven grandchildren; as well as his extended family and friends.

The funeral was held on Wednesday, 6  December 2023. The family and the the Department of Statistical Sciences will host a memorial service on Tuesday, 12 December 2023 at 14:00 in the New Lecture Theatre.

The university has reached out to offer support to the Stewart family. We convey our sincere condolences to them and all his loved ones during this time of bereavement.


The UCT Executive

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