Robert J. Huber clearly loved two things: molding young minds as a University of Utah electrical engineering professor and breathing in the crisp, clean Utah air on his many outdoor adventures.


They were the passions he pursued through most of his adult life as an educator, researcher, family man and outdoor enthusiast. On Sunday, Jan. 4, Huber passed away in Bountiful. He was 79.

“He was a really good man and was always trying to help others. And he was a very good teacher,” said his oldest son, Bill Huber. “Mother said he was really good at explaining concepts and at making them clear when it was sometimes difficult.”

Huber was with the University of Utah for more than 40 years, first hired as a research associate professor in 1972. Six years later, he became a full professor in the Electrical Engineering Department, teaching courses such as engineering electronics and semiconductor device physics while also advising graduate students and mentoring undergraduates in senior projects. After he retired from the U in 1998, he continued to teach courses as a professor emeritus in the ECE Department until recently.

“Professor Huber was a dedicated and gifted teacher and a wonderful advisor,” said Richard Brown, dean of the U’s College of Engineering. “I feel privileged to have been a student in his semiconductor physics classes and to have done my Ph.D. research under his guidance. My own advising of graduate students was modeled after the relationship I had with him. He started me on a research path that has continued to be the biggest part of my academic and entrepreneurial life.”

Huber earned his undergraduate and doctorate degrees in physics at the U. His first job after college was as a nuclear physicist at the former Argonne National Laboratory-West in Idaho. He also worked for Salt Lake County semiconductor companies before becoming a full-time university professor.

An assistant scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts, Huber loved outdoor recreation, his son said, and took his family on many trips to Lake Powell and on river-running adventures through the Grand Canyon and along the Colorado River in Cataract Canyon.

“We loved the trips to Lake Powell,” Bill Huber said. “They were fun. We would rent a house boat and park up along the side canyon and do some hiking and just relax.”

Huber is survived by his wife, Virginia, and three sons, Bill Huber, John Huber and Scott Huber. Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 9, at Russon Brothers Mortuary, 295 N. Main St. in Bountiful. Friends may call at the Mortuary from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 8, and from noon to 1 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 9.