Distinguished Professor Kerrie Mengersen

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Centre Director and Australian Laureate Fellow

PhD (University of New England), BA(Hons) (University of New England)

Background

Kerrie Mengersen graduated in 1985 with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours Class 1), majoring in Mathematics (Statistics) and Computing, and received her PhD in Mathematical Statistics in 1989 from the University of New England, New South Wales. Her PhD thesis was on the topic of ranking and selection under the supervision of Professor Eve Bofinger, one of the pioneer female university researchers in regional Australia.

Following graduation, she was recruited to a commercial statistical consulting company, which provided her with strong experience in a wide range of statistical methods in the context of diverse applied problems. Her career since then has been characterised by a dual focus of engaging with and developing new statistical methodology motivated by, and motivating, challenging statistical applications.

In 2016, QUT awarded the title of Distinguished Professor to Professor Kerrie Mengersen in recognition of her outstanding achievements, both nationally and internationally, in mathematics and statistical research. Distinguished Professor Mengersen is acknowledged to be one of the leading researchers in her discipline.

In 2016 Professor Mengersen also received two more prestigious awards: the Statistical Society of
Australia’s Pitman Medal, the highest award presented by the Society and the first time it has been presented to a woman, and the Research Excellence award by the Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Analysis (CRCSI).

In 2018 Professor Mengersen was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (AAS);  a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA); and an Invited Fellow of the Queensland Academy of Arts and Sciences (QAAS)

Research

Distinguished Professor Mengersen focuses on using and developing new statistical and computational methods that can help to solve complex problems in the real world. These problems are in the fields of environment, genetics, health and medicine, and industry. She enjoys working with a diverse range of people doing outstanding things in many different areas, and contributing expertise in an important component of their work. Her research interests include:

  • complex systems modelling
  • Bayesian statistical modelling, computational methods and applications
  • Bayesian networks
  • applied statistics.

Grants

  • ARC Laureate Fellow
  • Discovery Projects: 6
  • ARC Linkage Projects: 19
  • ARC Linkage International Projects: 1
  • ARC Centre of Excellence: 1
  • NHMRC Program Grant: 1
  • NHMRC Projects: 3
  • CRC substantive projects: 8

Academic recognition

Distinguished Professor Mengersen’s national and international reputation in statistics research and its application is supported by:

  • over 350 refereed journal publications
  • over 50 invited international conference presentations
  • attraction of over 30 large research grants
  • the successful supervision of over 30 postgraduate students in the past 5 years.

Some of her recent accolades include:

2020

  • Asia-Pacific Spatial Excellence Award (APSEA) for People & Community: Virtual Reef Diver team
  • Asia-Pacific Spatial Excellence Award (APSEA) for Spatial Enablement: The Australian Cancer Atlas team
  • Asia-Pacific Spatial Excellence Awards (APSEA) , the JK Barrie Award for Industry Excellence: The Australian Cancer Atlas team

2019

  • Eureka Prize finalist: Virtual Reef Diver team
  • regional (Queensland) Asia-Pacific Spatial Excellence Award for Spatial Enablement: The Australian Cancer Atlas team

2018

  • Invited Fellow of the Queensland Academy of Arts and Sciences (QAAS)
  • Awarded the Lindley prize for best paper at the World Meeting of ISBA, Edinburgh: PhD Student Matthew Sutton, Benoit Liquet, Kerrie Mengersen and Tony Pettitt
  • Elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA)
  • Elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (AAS)
  • 2018-2023 International Guest Chair, Energy Environment Solutions (E2S), University of Pau and the Pays de l’Adour (UPPA)

2017

  • International Jean-Morlet Chair, Aux-Marseille, France, taken up in 2018

2016

  • Awarded the title of Distinguished Professor by Queensland University of Technology
  • Awarded the Pitman Medal, the highest honour to be presented by the Statistical Society of Australia and the first women to receive it
  • Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information Research Excellence Award
  • Recipient of the JS Hunter Award, awarded in tandem with the annual J Stuart Hunter Lecture at The International Environmetrics Society 2016 meeting.

2015

  • Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship
  • Biennial Medal by the Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand (MSSANZ)
  • Fellow of the Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand (MSSANZ).

2014

  • Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence (team)
  • Elected Fellow of the International Society for Bayesian Analysis.

Additional information

Academic appointments

Since completing her PhD in Statistics in 1989, Distinguished Professor Mengersen has been appointed to several esteemed academic positions throughout her career. Her most recent include:

  • Distinguished Professor, Queensland University of Technology, 2016-present
  • Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow, 2015-2020
  • Inaugural Director, QUT Centre for Data Science 2019-present
  • Deputy Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers in Big Data, Big Models and New Insights, 2014-present
  • Research Professor in Statistics, School of Mathematical Sciences, Queensland University of Technology, 2004-present.
  • Inaugural Director of the Collaborative Centre for Data Analysis, Modelling and Computation, Queensland University of Technology, 2011-2012.

Key professional positions

Distinguished Professor Mengersen has actively contributed to professional societies, serving as National President for the Statistical Society of Australia and Managing Editor of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Statistics.

She has also taken various executive roles in the International Society for Bayesian Analysis and the International  Biometrics Society.

A selection of her current and most recent professional positions include:

  • Invited Member, National Committee for Mathematical Sciences, Australian Academy of Science (AAS) 2020-2023
  • Scientific Council Committee, Centre International De Rencontres Mathematiques (CIRM), Marseille, France 2019 – present
  • Visiting Professor and International Guest Chair, Energy Environment Solutions (E2S), University of Pau and the Pays de l’Adour (UPPA), University of Pau, France 2019 – Present
  • Appointed member of Executive Committee for the Australian Academy of Science (AAS) 2018
  • Invited Member of the Expert Working Group for the Learned Academies Special Project (LASP): Big data in Australian research: issues, challenges and opportunities for the Australian Academy of Science (AAS) 2018-2019
  • Appointed member of Executive Committee for the American Statistical Association (ASA) 2018
  • Appointed member of Executive Committee for the International Statistical Institute (ISI) 2018-2023
  • Steering Committee, The World of Statistics  (https://www.worldofstatistics.org/) 2018
  • President, International Society for Bayesian Analysis, 2017
  • Associate Member, Department of Statistics, University of Oxford, 2015
  • Member of the Task Team on Satellite Imagery, Remote Sensing and Geo-Spatial Data, under the UN, 2015
  • Statistics Division Global Working Group (GWG) on Big Data for Official Statistics, 2015
  • Executive member, International Society for Bayesian Analysis, 2015
  • Invited member of Australian Research Council Centres of Excellence selection panel, 2014
  • Invited Co-Editor of an issue of Statistical Science on ‘Big Bayes Stories’ 2014–present
  • Chair of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Statistics Management Committee, 2014.
Title
Securing Antarctica's Environmental Future
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
SR200100005
Start year
2020
Keywords
Title
Revolutionising Water-Quality Monitoring in the Information Age
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
LP180101151
Start year
2019
Keywords
Title
Bayesian Learning for Decision Making in the Big Data Era
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
FL150100150
Start year
2015
Keywords
Title
Improving Productivity and Efficiency of Australian Airports - A Real Time Analytics and Statistical Approach
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
LP140100282
Start year
2015
Keywords
Bayesian Networks; Video Analytics; Operations Management
Title
ARC Centre of Excellence for Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers of Big Data, Big Models, New Insights (ACEMS)
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
CE140100049
Start year
2014
Keywords
Title
New Directions in Bayesian Statistics: formulation, computation and application to exemplar challenges
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
DP140103564
Start year
2014
Keywords
Bayesian statistics; latent variable models
Title
From Science to Policy: Quantifying and Managing the Risk of Mosquito Borne Disease in the Context of Climate Change
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
DP110100651
Start year
2011
Keywords
Climate Change; Environmental Health; Risk Management; Public Health Policy
Title
Bayesian Statistical Models for Understanding Outcomes and Improving Decision-making for Women Screened for Breast Cancer
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
LP100100570
Start year
2010
Keywords
Bayesian modelling; Spatio-temporal modelling; cancer mapping; cancer epidemiology
Title
Airports of the Future
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
LP0990135
Start year
2009
Keywords
Complex Systems Engineering; Airport Operations Management; Business Process Modelling; Surveillance and Identity Management; Human Systems Interaction; Risk and Emergency Management;
Title
International Networks in Applied Bayesian Statistics: Improving Australia's Knowledge Through Intelligent Data Analysis and Modelling
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
LX0882876
Start year
2008
Keywords
Bayesian Statistics; Environmental Statistics; Healthy Waterways; Bayesian Networks; Environmental Sustainability