New Year Honours recognition for Professor Kanti Mardia

A University of Leeds academic at the forefront of medical imaging research was recognised in the New Year Honours list.

Professor Kanti Mardia, who has received a lifetime achievement award from the International Indian Statistical Association. February 2020

Professor Kanti Mardia, from the School of Mathematics, has been awarded an OBE for services to statistical science.

Currently a Senior Research Professor, he was previously Chair of Applied Statistics – a position he had held since joining the University in 1973.

Professor Mardia is also a Visiting Professor at the University of Oxford and holds an Emeritus Fellowship of the Leverhulme Trust.

He said: “I have been very fortunate to work at two great universities – Leeds for 50 years as a full Professor and for the last 10 years with Oxford.

“I am grateful to my PhD students, Research Fellows, colleagues and collaborators who work together to make such a large and successful statistical community here in Leeds, and more widely across the UK and internationally.”

Professor Mardia’s research includes life-saving shape analysis to assess the extent of brain damage in people exposed to alcohol before birth – known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

Another of his projects is related to craniofacial surgery for deformities such as cleft lip, and the ability of patients to make natural facial expressions following surgery, such as smiling.

The founding Vice-President of the International Indian Statistical Association (IISA), Professor Mardia has received many prestigious honours during his career, including the Guy Medal in Silver of the Royal Statistical Society in 2003, and the Wilks Memorial Medal by the American Statistical Society in 2013.

He is also founder and organiser of the Leeds Annual Statistics Research workshops, which have grown since 1973 into international conferences, while the Royal Statistical Society has since 2016 run the annual Mardia Prize for supporting interdisciplinary workshops.

Professor Mardia is also involved with “Jainism and Science”, a topic he used for his Chair of Applied Statistics inaugural address at Leeds in 1975.

Professor Simone Buitendijk, Vice-Chancellor, said: "I am extremely proud that members of our University community have been recognised in the New Year Honours. 

"It is an acknowledgement of the important role they have played in education and research, not only in helping to shape the global citizens of the future but in finding solutions for some of the big challenges facing the world.

“The recipients embody the values of the University - collaboration, compassion, inclusivity and integrity. They are an inspiration for us all." 

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