1999 William G. Hunter Award Recipient: Roger Hoerl

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The 1999 William G. Hunter Award was presented to Roger W. Hoerl at the Fall Technical Conference (FTC) in Houston, Texas. The Statistics Division of the American Society for Quality (ASQ) established the Hunter Award in 1987 in memory of the Division's founding chair to promote, encourage and acknowledge outstanding accomplishments during a career in the broad field of applied statistics. The attributes that characterize Bill Hunter's career - consultant, educator for practitioners, communicator, and integrator of statistical thinking into other disciplines - also characterize Roger's career.

Roger currently works at General Electric Company as Quality Leader for Corporate Audit Staff with primary responsibility for implementation of a Six Sigma approach to design of new non-manufacturing processes.

At the award presentation Roger was described as follows: Roger Hoerl is one of the most influential industrial statisticians in the world today. Most members of the professional quality community know of Roger because of his broad leadership role, his innovative contributions to statistical thinking, his thought-provoking publications, and his numerous and outstanding presentations at society meetings. However, that is only half the story, Roger has also been a strong influence in driving Six Sigma quality in the GE Company. In this role he is well known and highly respected by both key company leaders and by literally thousands of practitioners throughout GE. His specific contributions have included demonstrating how Six Sigma quality concepts can be applied to commercial transactions and design, as well as manufacturing, applications - both by the development and presentation of innovative course materials, and by mentoring numerous key Company projects. He made similar contributions during his time at Scott Paper Company.

Roger made the following remarks when he accepted the award:

I would like to thank the Hunter Award Committee, and the Statistics Division, for considering me for this award. I was a big fan of Bill Hunter, and had the privilege of meeting him personally. Bill was certainly from a different mold. From the time he spent teaching in Africa, to working with the motor pool for the City of Madison, to his insistence on using real projects for DOE classes long before it became fashionable, Bill genuinely cared. He cared not only about the statistics profession, but more importantly, about people themselves. There have been many famous and noteworthy statisticians over the years, but none that could be described as "just like Bill Hunter".

While I am deeply appreciative of receiving the Hunter Award, I certainly do not feel worthy to be compared to him. If we look at the type of person Bill Hunter was, beyond his many professional accomplishments, I'm not sure who would worthy of such a comparison. I can take pride, however, in my involvement with an award that keeps alive the memory of Bill, and what he stood for. He remains a role model for all of us. Thank you again.

Articles by Roger Hoerl - via the Curious Cat Management Improvement Library.