William Q. Meeker Receives the 2012 Jerome Sacks Award for Cross-Disciplinary Research

The National Institute of Statistical Sciences (NISS) has presented the 2012 Jerome Sacks Award for Cross-Disciplinary Research to Dr. William Q. Meeker, Iowa State University. Susan Ellenberg, chair of the Board of Trustees, announced the award at the 2012 Joint Statistical Meetings in San Diego, California. The annual award, named in honor of Jerome (Jerry) Sacks, the founding director of NISS, was established in 2000 to recognize “sustained, high-quality cross-disciplinary research involving the statistical sciences."  

Meeker received the award for outstanding sustained research that develops, implements, documents, communicates, and teaches statistics for the solution of relevant engineering and cross-disciplinary problems, especially in reliability, accelerated testing, reliability software, degradation data analysis, and statistical methods for nondestructive evaluation. 

Meeker is Professor of Statistics and Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State, where he has taught since 1975. He is also a faculty affiliate at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He serves as an associate editor of Technometrics and is a member of the editorial board for Lifetime Data Analysis.  He is a fellow of the American Statistical Association, an elected member of the International Statistical Institute, a fellow of the American Society for Quality, and has received numerous accolades including being named Statistician of the Year by the Chicago Chapter of ASA.

Accepting the award, Meeker said that, “I am honored to have won the 2012 Jerome Sacks Award for Cross-Disciplinary Research. One of the biggest changes that I have seen in the Statistics discipline since I began my career is that now there is a widely-held understanding about the critically important role that statistics can and should play in cross-disciplinary research. Jerry Sacks was getting deeply involved in cross-disciplinary research before it became fashionable to do so. Jerry also played an important part in helping to change the attitude of the statistics discipline toward appreciating the importance of collaborative interdisciplinary research. We can see evidence of Jerry’s impact in the successes at NISS both during and after his term as Director.”

Meeker's research focuses on industrial and economic statistics, reliability and life testing, survival analysis, applied time series, nondestructive evaluation, and statistical computing.

As Sacks award recipient, Meeker receives $1,000, and his name is added to a plaque at NISS that lists all recipients of the award, who also include:

Elizabeth Thompson of the University of Washington – 2001

Max Morris of Iowa State University – 2002

Raymond Carroll of Texas A & M University – 2003

Douglas Nychka of the National Center for Atmospheric Research  – 2004

Jeff Wu of the Georgia Institute of Technology – 2005

Adrian Raftery of the University of Washington – 2006

Cliff Spiegelman of Texas A&M University – 2007

John Rice of the University of California, Berkeley – 2008

Ramanathan Gnanadesikan, retired from Telcordia Technologies – 2009

Sallie Keller of IDA Science and Technology Policy Institute – 2010

Emory Brown of MIT and Harvard 2011

Friday, August 10, 2012 by Katherine Kantner