TTI Senior Research Scientist Clifford Spiegelman recently passed away. While at TTI, Spiegelman received numerous awards including the 2007 Jerome Sacks Award for Outstanding Cross-Disciplinary Research and the 2016 Don Owen Award from the San Antonio Chapter of the American Statistical Association. He served as a distinguished professor with the Texas A&M University Department of Statistics and worked with the Texas Department of Transportation in developing standards for road quality and regulations.
“Cliff was responsible for developing TTI’s statistics group,” notes TTI Executive Associate Director Katie Turnbull. “Shawn Turner and Tim Lomax were instrumental in getting Cliff to provide statistical support on TTI research projects in the late 1990s. In turn, Cliff recruited his former Ph.D. student Eun Sug Park to join TTI as a full-time researcher, and they worked together to establish and staff TTI’s Stat Help Desk. TTI’s outstanding statistical capabilities are one of Cliff’s legacies.”
Spiegelman was an expert in statistical and environmental forensics. One of his career highlights was working on computational bullet fragment analysis, which debunked the lone-gunman theory associated with the John F. Kennedy assassination. Spiegelman was a friend and inspiration to many people across the Institute. Read more about his lasting legacy and his life’s work in The Eagle.
“Cliff was a man of great intuition, insight and action,” says TTI Senior Research Scientist Eun Sug Park. “He was a pioneer in many ways. He created the field of chemometrics, and also brought strong statistical science into a wide breadth of application areas. He led the development of several cross-disciplinary fields including transportation statistics. He wrote a transportation statistics textbook for transportation engineers and students, and promoted proper use of statistics in solving transportation problems nationwide. He was genuinely interested in contributing to society and advancing the common good. He made a lasting impact on the lives of many who interacted with him.”