What is Statistical Engineering (SE)?

How did the idea of Statistical Engineering come about?

Is SE an idea and a practice, or is it a profession, or both? 

How does SE compare to the role/profession of “statistician” and/or “data scientist”?

In today’s episode, Sam Gardner together with Roger, Ron, and Geoff, will dive deep into Statistical Engineering. 

Will discuss about the following points:
  • finition of Statistical Engineering (SE)
  • How did the idea of Statistical Engineering come about
  • Examples of what SE
  • Examples of where it has been applied and if it’s gaining traction
  • Is SE an idea and a practice, or is it a profession, or both?
  • How does SE compare to the role/profession of “statistician” and/or “data scientist”
  • Does SE apply to statisticians working in pharmaceuticals, other Industries, or Government?
  • What is the International Statistical Engineering Association (ISEA)?
  • What are the goals of ISEA and what initiatives are sponsored or supported by the association?
  • Who should join the ISEA (and how to join)?

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Roger Hoerl

Donald C. Brate ‘45-Stanley G. Peschel ‘52 Associate Professor of Statistics at Union College

Much of his early research was in the area of regression analysis, especially shrinkage estimators. In the private sector he developed a greater appreciation for, and interest in, experimental design methods. He has recently investigated Big Data analytics, particularly how and why things can go wrong when analyzing massive data sets. This ties to the discipline of statistical engineering, which emphasizes effective integration of multiple statistical and non-statistical methods in an overall approach to scientific inquiry. He is currently conducting research into how statistical engineering can provide effective strategies for attacking Big Data problems.

Publication: https://www.union.edu/sites/default/files/mathematics/202107/publications.pdf

More information: https://www.union.edu/mathematics/faculty-staff/roger-hoerl

Dr. Ronald Snee

Founder and President of Snee Assosciates LLC

He has an outstanding record of leadership in process and organizational improvement in a variety of industries including: pharmaceutical, biotech, clinical diagnostics, chemical, plastics, telecommunications, financial services, newspapers and insurance.  Among Ron’s other achievements, Dr. Snee is credited with leading the design of the first company-wide continuous improvement curriculum for the global giant E.I. DuPont de Nemours. 

He has more than 25 years experience in his field.  Ron holds a host of awards and honors, has co-authored 4 books and published more than 200 articles on process improvement, quality, management and statistics.  He is a recipient of the American Society for Quality’s (ASQ) Shewhart Medal, its highest award, and has also received ASQ’s Grant Medal for his continuous contributions to quality education and research, the American Statistical Association’s Deming Lecture Award and was elected to the International Academy for Quality.

Ron Snee, co-author of three Lean Six Sigma books:

  • Six Sigma Beyond the Factory Floor
  • Leading Six Sigma
  • Statistical Thinking: Improving Business Processes

More information: https://sneeassociates.com/

Geoffrey Vinning

PhD in Statistics, Professor at Virginia Tech

He is a member of American Statistical Association and American Society for Quality and a professor at Virginia Tech. His interests are in the Use of Experimental Designs for Quality Improvement, Response Surface Methodology, Statistical Quality Control, Regression Analysis.


  • Vining, G.G. (1998). Statistical Methods for Engineers. Belmont, Ca.: Duxbury Press.
  • Vining, G.G. and Kowalski, S.M. (2006). Statistical Methods for Engineers, 2nd ed., Belmont, Ca.: Brooks/Cole. (2011) 3rd ed., Boston, Ma: Brooks/Cole.
  • Park, S.H. and Vining, G.G., Editors. (1999). Statistical Monitoring and Optimization for Process Control. New York: Marcel Dekker.
  • Montgomery, D.C., Peck, E.A., and Vining, G.G. (2001). Introduction to Linear Regression Analysis, 3rd ed. New York: John Wiley. (2006) 4th ed. (2012) 5th ed. (in press).
  • Myers, R.H., Montgomery, D.C., and Vining, G.G. (2002). Generalized Linear Models with Applications in Engineering and Science, New York: John Wiley.
  • Myers, R.H., Montgomery, D.C., Vining, G.G., and Robinson, T.J. (2011). Generalized Linear Models with Applications in Engineering and Science 2nd ed., New York: John Wiley. 4
  • Does, R.J.M.M., Hoerl, R.W., Kulahci, M., and Vining, G.G. (editors). (2017). Soren Bisgaard’s Contributions to Quality Engineering, Milwaukee, WI: ASQ Quality Press.

More information: https://www.stat.vt.edu/people/stat-faculty/vining-geoff.html

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