In Memoriam: Bob Ayres

January 2012, Vol. 67 No. 1

Bob Ayres, a long-time leader and key participant in the Plastic Pipe Institute for more than 50 years, passed away at the age of 78 on Nov. 24.

“We have all benefited from Bob's contribution to our industry. He was a teacher, mentor and friend,” said Tony Radoszewski, executive director of PPI, “and we share with his family a deep feeling of loss due to his passing. His work with developing and testing some of the first polyethylene materials for use in pipe is notable as his efforts were truly instrumental during the early development stages of our industry. Bob was a pillar of plastic pipe innovation since the 1950's. He was named a life-time member of the PPI, an honor bestowed on only seven people during the 60 years of PPI's existence.”

Ayres worked for Phillips Petroleum Company in its Plastics Technical Center where he concentrated mainly on plastic pipe projects.

“Bob was instrumental in significant developments for gas pipe resins in the 1970's and also developed many other resins over the years used throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia,” noted Radoszewski. “Without Bob it would be hard to imagine what the pipe world would be like as his influence was profound.”

“Bob was committed to the success of our industry as demonstrated by his work with PPI's Hydrostatic Stress Board (HSB), and serving for many years on our board of directors and on various committees and task groups. Even after he retired from Phillips in 1988, Bob continued as an active member of the HSB.”