Berwyn Hugh Patrick Rivett

  • Graham K. Rand
Part of the International Series in Operations Research & Management Science book series (ISOR, volume 147)


Although there were formal operations research (OR) groups in the U.K. conducting pioneering work on military problems during World War II (WWII), there were other researchers who, individually or collectively, contributed to the war effort in other areas that would now be considered OR. A case in point is Berwyn Hugh Patrick (Pat) Rivett. From his military and subsequent government employment, Pat unknowingly segued into one of the U.K.’s earliest and most important civilian OR establishments. The move into the new job turned out to be a stroke of good luck—Pat became the head of the largest U.K. OR department, the National Coal Board’s Field Investigation Group (FIG). FIG pioneered the application of new OR techniques within the U.K. and expanded the scope of OR by investigating new problem areas. He was appointed to the U.K.’s first university chair in OR (Lancaster University). Pat was recognized as an early and leading expositor of OR. He brought his extensive practical experience into the classroom with his texts, while, in more general books and articles, he proselytized executives and managers by expounding on the nature of OR and how the application of OR methods could be of service to their organizations.


Operation Research Operational Research Society Research Assessment Exercise Case Institute Operation Research Society 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



It was my privilege to interview Pat Rivett on June 8, 1994, in Lancaster for the Operational Research Society’s archives (Rivett 1994b). Much of the material mentioned earlier is based on that interview. Those who knew Pat well may detect his distinctive style—one aspect of his considerable talent for communication. Of necessity, there has been editing; it was a very long interview, and much of the material is not relevant to this profile. Furthermore, where possible, facts have been checked as Pat was recalling events from many years previously. I acknowledge the help I have received in this regard by Pat’s friend and former colleague, Alan Mercer, who contributed Pat’s obituary to the Journal of the Operational Research Society (Mercer 2005).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Graham K. Rand
    • 1
  1. 1.Lancaster UniversityLancasterUK

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