Department of Statistics’ William Woodall honored with emeritus status
December 9, 2019
The emeritus title may be conferred on retired professors, associate professors, and administrative officers who are specially recommended to the board by Virginia Tech President Tim Sands in recognition of exemplary service to the university. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board receive a copy of the resolution and a certificate of appreciation.
A two-time alumnus of Virginia Tech and a member of the faculty since 2000, Woodall made significant contributions to the field of industrial statistics through his leadership; his skills as a communicator, consultant, educator, and innovator; his ability to integrate statistics with other disciplines; and his ability to impact applications in engineering and science.
His research, supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Alcoa Foundation, and the National Science Foundation, among others, focused on all aspects of the statistical process monitoring methods widely used in industry and health care. He also has published award-winning critiques of fuzzy logic — an approach to computing based on “degrees of truth” as opposed to the approach of straightforward "true or false” — from a statistical point of view.
In 2002, Woodall received the Shewhart Medal from the American Society for Quality (ASQ) for outstanding leadership in the field of modern quality control. In 2012, the European Network for Business and Industrial Statistics awarded Woodall its Box Medal for contributions to the development and application of statistical methods in Europe. Among other awards, he twice received the ASQ’s Brumbaugh Award for the paper that has made the largest single contribution to the development of industrial application of quality control.
He is a Fellow of the ASQ and the American Statistical Association and has served as the editor of the Journal of Quality Technology.
Woodall received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1972, and his master’s and doctoral degrees in statistics from Virginia Tech in, respectively, 1974 and 1980.