The death of Sir Jack Zunz on 11 December 2018 was deservedly marked by many obituaries in the media, all paying tribute to his long career as a civil engineer with Ove Arup & Partners. Zunz was responsible for many landmark projects, none more high profile than the Sydney Opera House; in the late 1950s and early 60s he led the team that, working with Jorn Utzon, developed the final roof design for the Opera House. Over four years 12 different geometrical configurations for the ‘shells’ were explored in the Arup office in London, stretching the boundaries of engineering expertise, and pioneering new computer applications.
Dr Anne Watson, author of The Poisoned Chalice: Peter Hall and the Sydney Opera House, first met Sir Jack when working on the book Building a Masterpiece: the Sydney Opera House (Powerhouse, 2006). He was always generous with his knowledge and a genial and gracious conversationalist. In 2014, aged 90, he spoke eloquently and at length at the opening of the exhibition on the engineering of the Sydney Opera House at the Arup Gallery, London. Sir Jack’s personal and professional legacy is immeasurable: the world has lost a great engineer.