Howard was an inspirational figure who had a profound impact on the development of Control Engineering as a discipline, making contributions to both the theory and practice of automatic control. He is probably best known for his pioneering work on the development of frequency domain design methods for multivariable systems, but this was just one of many contributions that he made to engineering and mathematics. He also, for example, developed a numerical integration technique for the solution of stiff differential equations, and in later years devoted his intellectual abilities to the area of quantum mechanics.
Perhaps less well know to the Control Engineering community is his work on the development of human-centred technology. Howard believed that is was possible and desirable to develop technology such that it does not deskill and dehumanise work. Although the importance of Howard's vision with regard to the development of a more human-centred technology has yet to be fully recognised, for in many respects it is an idea well ahead of its time, I believe that, given the way the world is heading, it may well prove to be a paradigm changing concept in the future. I strongly believe that this dimension to his work may in the end turn out to be even more important than the many other significant contributions that he made to engineering and mathematics.
Howard primarily saw himself as an engineer. His engineering career spanned many decades, and over that long period he not only demonstrated himself as a leading practitioner of the art of engineering, but he also had a profound influence on those who had the privilege to work with him. To many young and aspiring engineering researchers he provided a role model of professionalism and rigour.
Howard was a true pioneer, but he was also a visionary, and it was an honour to have known and worked with him. He will be greatly missed.