Challenges and highlights in statistical consulting careers
Prof Andy Grieve
From Salford to San Diego, from Barrister to Bayes, the Life of a Statistical Consultant in the Pharmaceutical Industry.
In October 1975 I started work for CIBA-GEIGY at its Heald Green site under the flight-path of Manchester airport. I had recently completed the MSc course in applied statistics at Southampton University, but not yet written-up my project that I would submit in December of that year. Over four years later I am working as an internal consultant for UCB , a Belgian Pharmaceutical company. In this talk I dredge my personal archive to shed light on some common themes from those 40 years.
Reflections on a Rewarding Consulting Career – The Ups and Downs
I left the safety of the academic world 30 years ago as I believed that helping scientists to absorb and use statistical techniques to solve commercial problems would be more rewarding than the lecture theatre. My consulting career has been much broader than I could have dreamt when setting out, I have learnt a lot about varied manufacturing processes from snack production to microprocessors, tasted wine in Adelaide and Quorn on Tees-side. I’ve worked through the night to understand an unfamiliar technique before meeting a client, suffered IT melt-down without an It department to help but have never doubted that I made the right decision all those years ago.
Lost in Space: Statistical Consulting in a Hogarth Universe
A "wicked" or "Hogarth" universe is one generating data to support our initial misconceptions. Every day, scientists work in such a universe. As professional statisticians we are often called upon to enter their world and act as guides in this uncertain universe. In this paper I illustrate some of the challenges we face using case studies from the last thirty years.
Dennis Lendrem worked as a statistician in the pharmaceutical industry before moving into a more general R&D management role. He left to work as a statistical consultant - principally in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and semiconductors. More recently he joined the NHS working firstly in Clinical Data Management, before joining the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at Newcastle University as a Translational Research Manager. In this role he gets to do lots of interesting things with lots of lovely data.
Dr Shirley Coleman
A Life in Other People’s Data
Everyone has interesting data and I find working as a consultant in an academic environment, having to bring in enough money to be self-supporting, to be fun and absorbing. Switching from car parts and shipping sensors in the morning to social housing and gait characteristics of older people in the afternoon keeps me on my toes. All my work revolves around data and the fascination of applying statistical thinking in research, business and industry; and using the findings in teaching and writing. I will give some examples of interactions with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and some observations on methods of engagement.
Dr Shirley Coleman is Technical Director and Principal Statistician, Industrial Statistics Research Unit in the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics at Newcastle University. She holds a PhD in Statistics and Computer Graphics, an MSc in Statistics and a BSc in Mathematics. She is a Chartered Statistician of the Royal Statistical Society, a Chartered Scientist and an elected member of the International Statistics Institute.
Shirley has published many academic papers, supervised Master’s and PhD students and written books on data analytics in business and industry. She has extensive international recognition being an invited speaker at many conferences and events in the European Network of Business and Industrial Statistics, national Statistical Societies and the Statistics Teaching community. She has been involved in many diverse European projects and is currently focussing on Innovate UK funded Knowledge Transfer Partnerships developing data science capabilities within utilities and small to medium enterprises.
Using statistical science to improve engineering design
Tim Davis is a consulting engineer in statistical engineering. Formerly Quality Director at the Ford Motor Company, he is honorary professor in the dept of statistics at the University of Warwick.
From tablets to taste-buds
After spending the earlier part of my career working for multi-national pharmaceutical companies, since moving to the sensory and consumer world, I have noticed some marked differences and yet many similarities. After all statistics is still statistics whatever the data, however often knowledge is either not shared between industries, or rebranded and re-worked as something new.
More details will follow.
Organiser Name McGowan, Ricky
Organising Group(s) Professional development