Last week, University College Dublin’s (UCD) College of Business announced the passing of Professor Brian Fynes following a short illness. The professor of Supply Chain Management, whose connection to UCD stretched back to his days as an undergraduate, had been a cherished faculty member of the College since 1990.

Professor Mark Pagell, a colleague of Professor Fynes, has spoken to The College Tribune about what made him such a remarkable member of the UCD community. “Brian’s academic achievements were manifold; one of the top supply chain management researchers in the world, responsible for building highly successful academic programs […] But he will be missed as much for how he went about his work as what he did.”

He said: “[Brian] was not an entitled prima donna, he did not lock himself in his office to do research while ignoring teaching and service, and he did not promote himself at the expense of others. Instead he was happy to do the heavy lifting in the background and always had time to help students or junior colleges, give advice or just share a laugh.”

“That combination of working to the highest standards”, he continued, “without losing his humanity and humility is what made him irreplaceable.”

In a statement released by UCD College of Business, Professor Tony Brabazon, Dean of the College, said that the loss of Professor Fynes “is felt deeply by our extended community.”

He went on to highlight some of Professor Fynes’ many achievements – “Brian placed Ireland and UCD firmly at the global forefront of research in the field of operations and supply chain management […] In addition to his contribution to the academy, Brian worked tirelessly to bring his research insights to management practice. He also played a key role in the formation and development of UCD’s highly ranked MSc in Supply Chain Management, empowering a generation of future business leaders.”

In June 2020, Professor Fynes was awarded the prestigious EurOMA Fellowship Award in recognition of his significant contribution and impact in the field of operations management over an accomplished career. EurOMA Board President said Professor Fynes was selected “[…] for his distinctive contribution and impact of his research in the field supply chain management over decades.”

The statement released by UCD College of Business concluded by highlighting Professor Fynes’ life as a husband, dad and friend. His proudest accomplishment, it said, was his family – his wife Noreen and sons Eóghan and Conall. Professor Fynes will undoubtedly be missed by many in UCD and beyond. 

Gemma Farrell – Assistant News Editor