Northern Ireland Local Group


The Northern Ireland Local Group celebrated its 40th anniversary in December 2014. The group organises approximates 6 events a year in Northern Ireland. In 2014 there were five, one-hour, talks and a meeting on career opportunities organised by the Young Statisticians two of whom joined the Local Group Committee in mid 2014. Audiences vary: the talks average 15 members, but there are exceptions. Robert Grant’s (St. George’s, London) September talk on Data Visualisation attracted c90 persons – a record - and Dr. Lisa McCrink’s ‘Statistically Significant Careers’ event attracted c75 people. These are encouraging developments.

The Local Group also circulates RSS mail to Fellows in the Republic of Ireland. It is hoped to have joint meetings with Fellows there in 2015. There is also contact via the Irish Statistical Association which organises the Conference on Applied Statistics in Ireland (CASI). In May 2014 this event was organised by Professor Adele Marshall and her QUB team in Templepatrick, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland. Among the highlights were a talk by Professor, Sir David Cox and a course on Spatial Modelling by Professor Peter Diggle.


Chair: Lisa McCrink (Queen's University Belfast)
Secretary: Hannah Mitchell (Queen's University Belfast)
Treasurer: Helen McAneney (Queen's University Belfast)
Ordinary: Alan Gordon (AFBINI) , Gilbert MacKenzie (formerly of UL and ENSAI), Gareth Cochrane (Ulster Bank) and Ruth Fulton (NISRA)

Committee Members

Lisa McCrink (Queens University Belfast)
Hannah Mitchell (Queen's University Belfast)
Helen McAneney (Queen's University Belfast)
Alan Gordon (AFBINI)
Gilbert MacKenzie (formerly of UL and ENSAI)
Gareth Cochrane (Ulster Bank)
Ruth Fulton (NISRA)

Future meetings

Wednesday 15th March 2017, 1pm-2pm (GMT)
Speaker:  Dr Jainjun Tang (Queen's University Belfast)

Structual Equation Modelling

Abstract: Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) is a statistical modelling technique that measures latent variables, i.e. those constructs that are known to exist but cannot be directly observed, and their relationships with observed variables within an integrated framework. It was first applied in psychological studies but has been extended to a wide range of fields including economics, behavioural sciences and public health. During the seminar the basic principles of SEM will be introduced, followed by two examples illustrating its applications in the area of public health.

Recent meetings

  • Extreme Value Theory: An Impact Case Study for International Shipping Standards - Prof. Jonathan Tawn, Lancaster University 08/02/2017
  • A civil expert witness: life and death - Prof Jane Hutton, The University of Warwick 11/01/2017
  • 40 years as a statistical general practitioner: The Industry Years (1974 – 1995)- Mike Stevenson, formerly Queen's University Belfast 7/12/2016
  • Professor Cathal Walsh, University of Limerick, Ireland, Late January 2015.
  • Dr. Kevin Hayes, University of Limerick, February 2015
  • Mr. Michael Stevenson, QUB, March 2015, Forty years as a General Practitioner in Statistics – Part II.
  • Dr. Robert Grant St. George’s, London Data visualization: trends and tools, and a statistician's journey 17/09/2014
  • Prof. Gilbert MacKenzie (40th Anniversary talk) UL, Ireland Non-PH Parametric Survival Modelling 5/12/2014 Various* Various Statistically Significant Careers 10/12/2014