Engineering and Information Sciences


Robert Clark

Esteem Factors

Key Note Address/Invited Presentation
01/07/2008 - 01/07/2008
Invited Presentation at the Australian Statistical Conference, 2008, Melbourne Australia, on Sampling Subpopulations in Multi-Stage Surveys. Presentation was given on 1 July 2008 - see pages 8 and 56 of .

Professional/Industry Board Chair/Member
Member of the Methodology Advisory Committee of the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This is a committee of experts in statistics, surveys and related fields, which reviews and advises on methodological papers presented at two meetings each year. Membership is by invitation.

Editor/Editorial Board Member
Editor of the Ask the Expert Column of Survey Statistician

1/1/2010 - 31/12/2013
Associate Editor, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A (Statistics in Society)

1/1/2003 - 31/12/2008
Associate Editor, Journal of Official Statistics

1/1/2003 - 31/12/2009
Member of Applications Editorial Committee, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Statistics

Elected Member/Representative
15/3/2015 - 14/3/2017
President, Canberra Branch of the Statistical Society of Australia

Current Positions:

Associate Professor, School of Mathematics and Applied Statistics
Deputy Director, Centre for Statistical and Survey Methodology


Ph.D in Statistics (University of Wollongong 2002) (Sample Design and
Estimation for Household Surveys)

Master in Statistics (research and course work) (Australian National
University 1995)

B.Sc with First Class Honours in Mathematics (University of Queensland 1990)

Robert Clark started his career in Statistics with an Honours Degree in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Queensland in 1990. This was supported by an Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) cadetship. Robert was then employed by the ABS Methodology Division in Canberra, where he worked for the next 14 years as an applied statistician, manager, trainer, and statistical consultant. One highlight was managing a redesign of the ABS household sample design framework in 1996 including personally conducting research into the optimization of cluster sizes. Robert was awarded the Ken Foreman Award in 1996 for outstanding achievement and potential of a young methodologist. This award included travel to other government statistical offices in North America, giving an appreciation of the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches and ideas in official statistics. A recent exciting role was the management of a section of 15 staff providing methodological leadership to ABS business surveys.

While working at the ABS, Robert completed a Master in Statistics degree part-time at the Australian National University (awarded 1995). More recently, he completed a Ph.D. in Statistics at the University of Wollongong, including a one-year exchange at the University of Southampton. Robert's thesis on Sample Design and Estimation for Household Surveys was supervised by Professor David Steel and also benefited from advice from Professors Ray Chambers and Chris Skinner.

Robert took up a position at the University of Wollongong in 2004. He is currently an Associate Professor in the School of Mathematics and Applied Statistics, and Deputy Director of the newly formed Centre for Statistical and Survey Methodology. He manages a major contract with the New Zealand (NZ) Ministry of Health, advising on the design and analysis of the continuous NZ Health Survey and other statistical problems. He is currently primary supervisor of two PhD students, and his first two PhD students graduated in 2011 and 2012. He was lead chief investigator on an ARC linkage grant on Handling Missing Data in Complex Household Surveys with industry partner the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2007-2011

Research Interests:

Survey Sampling
Sample Design
Sampling Rare Populations
Analysis of Complex Survey Data
Ecological Statistics
Spatial Statistics

Professional Activities:

Associate Editor, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, 2012 - 2015
Ask the Expert column editor, International Association of Survey Statisticians Newsletter 2010-
Associate Editor, Journal of Official Statistics 2002 - 2009
Associate Editor (Applications), Australian and New Zealand Journal of Statistics 2003 - 2009


Accredited Statistician (Statistical Society of Australia Inc) since 2004

Herriot Student Travel Award 2002 (awarded by the American Statistical Association, included travel funding to present at a special session of the 2002 ASA Conference)

Delegate, Australian Bureau of Statistics Leadership Program 1997

Ken Foreman Award for outstanding achievement and potential of a young methodologist at the ABS (inaugural recipient, 1996; the award included travel to a conference and national statistical agencies in North America)

Future Research Topics:

Statistical Design including Sample Design using Imprecise Information, Designing Health Surveys for both national and rare population statistics, designing spatial sampling schemes for ecology and forestry;

Modelling and Estimation for Complex Surveys, including: Variable selection for finite population estimation; Combining tax and business survey data; Model choice in complex survey analysis; Longitudinal survey analysis.

Design and Analysis of Household Surveys including multilevel modelling for the household level

Research Students

  • Victoria Leaver : Theoretical and Practical Extensions of Methods for Maximum Likelihood Estimation in Survey Sampling