ACEMS Deputy Director is First Woman to Receive Prestigious Statistics Award

The Statistical Society of Australia presented ACEMS Deputy Director Kerrie Mengersen with its highest honour, the Pitman Medal.

Professor Mengersen is only the 22nd person to receive the prestigious award since it was first presented in 1978, and first woman to receive it.

“When I look at the group of people who’ve received the honour before, I think of them as the heroes of the profession,” said Kerrie Mengersen, a Professor of Statistics at Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

“Many of them have been very strong supporters of women, but it’s great to have a woman’s name on there now. I’m delighted that it’s me.”

The Society awards the Pitman Medal in recognition of “outstanding achievement in, and contribution to, the discipline of statistics.” For Professor Mengersen, it’s for her work with Bayesian statistics.

“Being in Bayesian statistics over the years, it’s great to have seen it come from something that was a small component of stats to now being a fundamental component of modern statistics,” said Prof Mengersen.

The award was presented to Prof Mengersen at the Australian Statistical Conference being held in Canberra this week. The Statistical Society of Australia puts on the conference.

“Especially in these days when you can get so much information from the web or other remote access to people, the society brings us together through collective activities and through conferences like this one,” said Prof Mengersen. “The calibre of the speakers, the range of topics, and the way modern issues are being addressed from fundamental theory to very complex applied problems has been fantastic.”

Professor Mengersen is a part of QUT's Institute for Future Environments. She is an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow, and served as President of the Statistical Society of Australia from 2011-2012. She is also a Chief Investigator with ACEMS.

Media Contact: Tim Macuga, ACEMS Media & Communications Officer, 07 3138 6741,