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Brian Bradley

BRIAN CLARE BRADLEY

B.Sc.(Engineering Science Physics) P.Eng.

 

Passed away unexpectedly on October 7, 2020.

Brian is survived by his beloved wife of 28 years, Nesta, his children  David (Debbie); Jodie; Rhea and Joel.  Brian also leaves five grandchildren:   Laz; Kassie; Stephanie; Alex and Nova as well as his brother, Allan and niece Agnes, nephews Christopher, Nicholas in Edinburgh.  We will all miss him more than words can express.

Brian was predeceased by his parents; Agnes Marie and Harry Hague Bradley; brother Lorne and sister-in-law, Dr. Patsy Hannon.

Born on December 31, 1944 in Bienfait, Saskatchewan, Brian grew up and loved the open vast landscape of southeast Saskatchewan...an area idyllic for boyhood adventures in a small town including nearby pits for swimming.  He felt a spiritual affinity for nearby Roche Percee (a huge pierced rock sandstone formation) on an ancient explorer trail.  He attended Weldon School, where he admits he did not seriously apply himself until Grade 11 or 12.

He also discovered libraries which fueled his love of reading, which continued throughout his life! An avid reader he really did not want to collect books, just read them!

Brian attended the University of Saskatchewan.  Married young, he juggled both home and academic life.  After graduating in 1966 from Engineering Physics at the University of Saskatchewan, Brian worked briefly for the Saskatchewan Research Council and the University of Saskatchewan as he began to follow his calling as a licensed Professional Engineer, later moving to Pinawa, Manitoba, as a Reactor Physicist for Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. and blossoming as a computer modeller. 

In 1973, he ended up in Winnipeg at UNIES Ltd., Consulting Engineers, where he fit right in as a modeller of water resources systems and building energy analysis.  His second language (actually almost his first, many would say) was FORTRAN.  Over the next decade Brian wrote the software behind many environmentally important projects and studies in the western prairie provinces and Territories.  The breadth of his systems analysis and simulation work was diverse: the effect of land and water resource policies on water quality and quantity in Alberta;  interactive graphics programs for airstrip design, estimation of earthwork quantities in Manitoba;  and simulation for analysis of electrical energy interchange among the four Western Provinces.

Brian’s favourite water resources modelling projects included:   hydrologic and climatologic data studies in the Yukon and Northwest Territories;  effects of floods in the Whitemud River basin;  effects of Lake Winnipeg regulation on levels, outflows and generatable energy;  effects of alternative regulation schemes on power generation and wild rice production in the Winnipeg River watershed;  assessment of physical criteria for preliminary design of pipeline stream crossings in the Yukon;  impact of the Qu'Appelle River conveyance system on water resources of the River;  physical impacts of existing and proposed irrigation development in Alberta;  evaluation of a flood forecast and warning system project in Colombia.
A long time pet peeve of his was why municipalities and other jurisdictions allowed residential buildings in flood prone areas!

However, by the early 1980s and throughout the rest of his professional career, it was in building energy analysis where Brian became the keystone for countless other practitioners across the country and beyond.  He maintained the BLAST Program on a Canadian mainframe, adding WIFECAN, his program to process and input Canadian weather data and estimate solar radiation.  He developed interactive and batch FORTRAN versions of HOTCAN for the mainframe and HOT2000 for microcomputers including an integrated house database system.  That just got him started, however.  Over the next three decades or so, Brian developed and integrated numerous useful features, such as programs for:  the analysis of utility meter data for comparison with HOT2000 estimates of residential energy consumption; modelling of solar radiation and the performance of heat recovery ventilators (HRVs), heat pumps and air conditioners;  the organizing of long-term energy-use and related performance monitoring data in large samples;  and much more.  All the while, Brian maintained the HOT2000 core (his baby!) for Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)."

After having been a partner at UNIES since the early 1990s, Brian was scooped up full-time by NRCan in Ottawa by the mid-2000s to continue to support their energy-efficiency programs, but was able to do it in Winnipeg without missing a beat.  For him, it was always 365 days a year.  He did ease away from full-time professional life over the last few years but never could put that keyboard away, except, of course, when he needed both hands to play the electric guitar.
Throughout his career, among the constants with Brian, there was one thing that colleagues would not fail to notice: he stuck to his professional principles, which were always prominently displayed.  They knew where Brian would stand.

HOT2000, Brian’s life work, has underpinned so many energy efficiency efforts in Canada. It has shown builders, architects, academics, and homeowners a better way to build and it has influenced government policy across the nation. He left the gift of his genius in that application but furthermore delighted us as he was a real gentle man who always made himself available with a witty comment and a warm laugh.

Though he had no formal training, Brian self taught himself to play the guitar.  From playing Puff the Magic Dragon with his four year old daughter to more raucous music he loved to fire up the "electric twanger" on Thursday nights, or any other evening he could set up a jam session in the basement with friends and family. Fueled by his beloved "Standard Lager", he would play long into the night.


A great lover of rock music and the guitar; he loved his Saturday music nights with musical friends!  Brian always had songs in his head! 

A voracious reader he read police novels, biographies, scientific journals, geographic and history books. His favourite was Wolf Willow about southeastern Saskatchewan (it was always in Brian’s heart).  You could take the boy out of Bienfait, but you could not take Bienfait out of the boy!

Brian also simply loved astronomy and took great pleasure in watching the night skies and the planets every night. Astronomy calendars vied for prairie vistas in our house!  I think the planets won!  Along with the stars Brian simply loved winter to distraction! Shovelling, snow fort building were child’s play to him. He used to walk in the snow when others huddled inside! Snowshoes came in handy for some years.

Brian’s language was often quirky. We puzzled what he meant by certain pronunciations like Deluckies and peeny bubber and thingamajig!

At family gatherings his (from scratch) turkey dinners were a labour of love for him!  Holiday dinners at his home were a family tradition for decades. Each new member of the family, from spouses to grandchildren, would become acquainted with the fabulous meals he would prepare and look forward to his mouth-watering turkey, famous gravy and fixings, each Thanksgiving and Christmas and Easter.

Every Halloween for many years, he would move speakers under our front porch and play tapes of rattling chains and spooky music loudly! He was satisfied when he went down the long block one street over and proclaim, “You can hear it from Aubrey!”  High jinx with two friends blossom into regular Thursday gatherings “Oktoberfests”, (beer, computers and music) which continued on for many years, eventually turning into solitary guitar nights as he aged.

Brian prided himself on being independent, and doing what needed to be done himself right up until his passing.  Whether it was shopping, running errands, or doing minor chores around the house or yard, he was always self reliant.

 You could always count on Brian to have a dry wit along with his opinion.   We all had to work hard to keep up with his intelligence and quirkiness! Brian’s natural reticence made him quiet, perhaps even a bit shy!  He was a loving, gentle man who felt deeply and loved unconditionally!  He was an extremely spiritual soul.

Without him we all feel a big loss, a big hole but have good memories and he left a valuable legacy in both his work and family life.

Circumstances permitting a memorial gathering of Brian’s life will occur  at a later date.

Thank you to everyone who sent cards, thoughtful words and shared memories.

Friends, relatives and colleagues are encouraged to share in stories and condolences for the family by commenting in the comment section

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