Tribute to Søren Bisgaard  


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 or to the European Network for Business and Industrial Statistics.

If you would like to honor Søren's achievements with a donation to ENBIS click  here Please do not forget to indicate the purpose of the bank transfer ("in memoriam Søren Bisgaard").