The In Memoriam section of the ENBIS website is devoted to ENBIS members who are no longer with us.
I first met Tony at a meeting in Amsterdam, just after the ENBIS launch meeting. My plane was delayed and I entered the meeting room late trying not to interrupt, there were around twelve people (I knew about half of them). Tony’s white hair and friendly smile caught immediately my attention. Just a bit later, what attracted me was his willingness to help and his wisdom. At that point I could not imagine that we would collaborate developing a DOE simulator (the aluminum wheels simulator) during the Pro-ENBIS project, and that this would lead to have him at UPC delivering regularly a very successful course about statistical technical writing in our Statistics Master Program. Students loved the course and loved Tony.
This annual visits gave place to conversations and discussions (for me, lessons) and to a friendship that I really value. I cannot say why, but Tony’s scientific vision of the world along with his enthusiasm and positivism always made me think of the great British scientists of the late XIX and early XX centuries. I felt almost like having two or three annual dinners with Darwin or Lord Kelvin.
Tony was an important node in our network, we have been very lucky to have him and we will miss him very much.
I cannot finish any other way than being faithful to Tony’s essence: Cheers!
Statistical profession lost one of its giants.
ENBIS lost one of its founding fathers.
I lost a mentor and a friend.
We will honor the memory of Søren Bisgaard
at the ENBIS 10th Anniversary Conference in Antwerp.
President of ENBIS
Søren Bisgaard died on December 14, 2009, at the age of 58 years. We will remember him as a warm and giving person, a great and inspiring teacher, a good scientist, and a best friend.
Søren was an individual who had an established record of contributions, not only to the quality profession and industrial statistics, but to society as well. His publication list is exceptional with many articles in the most important scientific journals like Technometrics, Science, Quality and Reliability Engineering International, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Journal of Quality Technology, and Quality Engineering. His major contributions are in the area of Design of Experiments but also in Operations Management, Healthcare Engineering, Time Series and Lean Six Sigma.
He was recognized for these contributions by several awards such as Shewell Award (1981 and 1987), Brumbaugh Award (1988, 1996 and 2008), Ellis R. Ott Award (1990), Wilcoxon Prize (1998) and Shewhart Medal (2002), William G. Hunter Award (2002), George Box Award (2004), W. J. Youden Memorial Address (2005), and Cecil C. Craig Award (2006).
Søren Bisgaard became an elected Fellow of the American Statistical Association in 1997, a Fellow of the American Society for Quality in 2002, and an Academician of the International Academy for Quality in 2007. This can only be achieved by someone with extraordinary contributions in our field of expertise.
Since 1997 Søren Bisgaard had been a Professor. From 1997 through 1998 in the Department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. From 1999 through 2000 in the Department for Quality Management and Technology at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. In 2000 Søren decided to return to the United States to become the Eugene M. Isenberg Professor in Integrative Studies as well as Professor of Technology Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. We were happy that he also accepted a part-time professorship in the area of Industrial Statistics at the University of Amsterdam in 2001.
In Europe Søren was the founding father of the European Network for Business and Industrial Statistics (ENBIS), a society with now more than 1000 members from business and academia. In the United States he was involved in many professional services, e.g. associate editorships (Journal of Quality Technology, Technometrics, and Quality Engineering), memberships of committees of the American Society for Quality and American Statistical Association, and reviews of several organizations.
Søren Bisgaard was also a very good teacher and a great public speaker. Most of us attended his talks during the ENBIS conferences and were impressed by the way he was able to translate theory to practice.
Søren’s professional and personal contributions provided a solid basis for ENBIS to grow and expand.
Our hearts are with his wife Sue Ellen and all their good friends. We lost a giant in our profession. We will honor him at the tenth (anniversary) annual conference of ENBIS in Belgium.
It was a real privilege to work with him.
Ronald Does and Jeroen de Mast
At Søren‘s request, contributions in his honor may be made to The International Mesothelioma Program at http://www.impmeso.org or to the European Network for Business and Industrial Statistics.
Poul Thyregod (1939 – 2008) was a Professor of Industrial Statistics at the Technical University of Denmark, President of ENBIS in 2003-2004, a keynote speaker at ENBIS-3 in Rimini (Italy), a Conference Chair of ENBIS-4 in Copenhagen (Denmark) and a recipient of the Box Medal at ENBIS-7 in Dortmund (Germany).
Poul was a student of Anders Hald, a Professor Emeritus of the Institute for Mathematical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen. Hald authored a landmark book on Statistical Theory of Sampling Inspection by Attributes (Academic Press, 1981) that includes Poul’s earlier work on Bayesian Sampling (Thyregod, P.: Bayesian single sampling acceptance plans for finite lot sizes. Journal. Roy. Statist. Soc., B 36, 1974 pp. 305-319).
Following the work of Poul is a fascinating journey into the application of statistics. At ENBIS-3 in Rimini (Italy), he presented the now famous ice cream example showing how understanding the context enables children to provide critical insights into data analysis. The data consists of daily ice cream sales in Denmark. The question is what days are Sundays. Danish kids know that on Sundays they go out with their parents to buy ice creams. When in possession of this information, associating peak sales with Sundays is trivial (see Kenett, R. and Thyregod, P.: “Aspects of statistical consulting not taught by academia”, Statistica Neerlandica, 60, 3, pp. 396-412, August 2006).
Poul contributed to our profession in many ways. The list of his publications is very long and includes articles in journals such as International Statistical Review, Journal of Applied Statistics, Journal de Physique, Journal of Chemometrics, Journal of Quality Technology, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society (Series B), Journal of Statistical Computation and Simulation, Quality and Reliability Engineering International, Scandinavian Journal of Statistics, and Technometrics.
The ability to work with engineers and scientists, to be part of the discovery process, and to be able to communicate so clearly what statistics is all about, is clearly a gift. Poul had that gift. His career is a prime example demonstrating how statistics develops by integrating theory and applications. We are all very proud to have had him as our 2007 Box Medalist and to have had him as our president.
Ron S. Kenett