24 February 2015 10:10

Two Lancaster University statisticians are to receive Royal Statistical Society prizes for their exemplary work.

The inaugural Barnett Award Lecture, recognising excellence in environmental statistics, is awarded to Professor Jonathan Tawn (Mathematics and Statistics).

The Society citation reads: “Professor Tawn has made substantial contributions to environmental statistics through his research work on the theory and statistical methodology of extremes, leading to substantive applications in meteorology, oceanography and hydrology.

“This work has had considerable impact outside academia, in particular in shaping government policy on the construction of sea walls, and in safety standards for shipbuilding following his influential expert witness contribution to the inquest into the sinking of the MV Derbyshire.”

Professor Tawn is the Director of the STOR-i Centre for Doctoral Training. He was a colleague of Professor Vic Barnett, at Sheffield University from 1988-92, in whose memory the award is made, and was a previous winner of the Royal Statistical Society ‘Guy Medal in Bronze’. 

“It is a great honour to join the list of statisticians who have won two Royal Statistical Society prizes,” said Professor Tawn.

“This award is particularly pleasing as the core of my research work has been at the interface of statistical methodology and environmental applications.

“I have been very fortunate to work with a range of inspiring experts from the environmental and physical sciences as well as excellent statistics PhD students. It is great to see one of these, Jenny Wadsworth, has also been recognised for her fantastic research work in this year’s Royal Statistical Society prizes.”

Dr Jenny Wadsworth is to receive this year’s Royal Statistical Society Research Prize for early career researchers.

She receives the award for her ‘exemplary contributions to the statistics of extremes’.

A mathematics graduate of Durham, Dr Wadsworth completed an MSc and PhD in Statistics at Lancaster and worked as a postdoc at EPFL in Switzerland and Cambridge before returning to Lancaster as a lecturer in Statistics this year.

“I have been very lucky in my statistical career so far to work with and alongside some very inspiring figures and I'm really grateful for the opportunities I have had to think about interesting research problems,” said Dr Wadsworth.

Both will receive their awards later this year at the Society’s annual conference in Exeter.