School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics

Staff Profile

Dr Shirley Coleman

Technical Director & Principal Research Associate



Areas of expertise

Applied Statistics specialising in business, industry and data analytics in SMEs

Impact case study

Roles and Responsibilities

Technical Director of NU Solve, previously Industrial Statistics Research Unit
Visiting Professor, University of Ljubljana, 2009-2020


Council member of European Network of Business and Industrial Statistics, Fellow of IMA, Elected member of ISI,     Chartered Statistician, Chair of Royal Statistical Society Quality Improvement Section. Honorary Officer on RSS Council for Discussion Meetings.

QIS Video


PhD "Statistics, computer graphics and morphometry in 3-dimensional reconstruction of serial sections of glomeruli" , Newcastle 1986

MSc Statistics, Newcastle 1981
BSc Mathematical Sciences (1st class), Newcastle 1975

Previous Positions

Associate Professor Wroclaw University of Technology, Poland, 2003
Statistics Lecturer Hong Kong University
Senior Quantitative Analyst, Baring Securities Hong Kong
Senior Engineer, British Gas


French, Cantonese


Research Interests

Statistical modelling, problem solving, data presentation, business statistics, communicating statistics

Other Expertise

Research methods, quantitative methods, data mining, machine learning

Current Work

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) with Engie and Royston Marine. Previously with Orchard Software Systems, Rain Data, ADL Smartcare and Enzen Global.

Applications of statistics in business and industry, data mining methods in utilities, investigating patterns in multivariate data, Lean Six Sigma, Statistical Process Control, analysis of Parkinson Disease research.

Future Research

Data science applications in business and industry, data analytics, modelling and prediction

Postgraduate Supervision

Supervisor for MPhil "Statistical and machine learning methods for decision support in social housing" October 2019

Supervisor for MPhil "Mining and monetisation of health and social care interventions" October 2017

Supervisor for PhD "Developing data analytic algorithms to measure vessel performance and control emissions" from December 2014

External examiner for PhD at Lulea, Sweden, "Adapting continuous processes under feedback control", Sept 2019

External examiner for PhD at ENSAM, Paris, "Definition and representation of user experience intentions in the early phase of the industrial design process: a focus on the kansei process", 2014

External examiner for PhD at Leeds University, "Calibrating scales for affective responses to design elements using Rasch Measurement Theory", 2013

Hosting visiting Professor from Hedmark University College, Norway studying "SEM and PLS in survey data", 2016 

External examiner for PhD "Statistical methods in Kansei Engineering studies" at University Politecnica de Catalunya, 2011

Hosting Visiting Fellow from University of Milano Bicocca studying "Sequence analysis", 2011

Hosting Visiting Fellow from University Politecnica de Catalunya studying "Modelling of Utilities data" , 2011

External examiner for PhD "Methods for uncertainty evaluation in measurement" presented by G. Genta, Turin, 2010

Hosting Visiting Fellow from University of Palermo studying Kansei Engineering, 2008

Supervising PhD "On the relationship between governance and economic growth" completed 2005

Esteem Indicators

Visiting professor, Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana;
RSS Business and Industry Section, CStat and CSci accreditation; discussion meeting committee; co-chair RSS conference, Newcastle, 2013
ENBIS Council, Chair of UK-ENBIS, Co-chair of Statistics in Practice special interest group, webinar co-ordinator, chair ENBIS conference, Ljubljana, 2012

Reviewer for Wiley, Springer, TQM, IJLSS, J.Wine Research, IJQRM, QTQM and others


Innovate UK £132K from April 2017 -

2 year KTP project with Orchard Software Systems Limited to develop a data analytical capability to enable the development of software solutions to better predict arrears, repairs, empty properties (voids) and other issues in relation to social housing. 

Innovate UK £132K from August 2017 -

2 year KTP project with Rain Data Limited to embed a data analytical expertise within Rain Data to improve their service offering to their customers.  This will lead to an enhanced parts recommendation in the automotive after-market leading to an improved service to customers.

Innovate UK £132K from August 2014 -

2 year KTP project with Enzen Global Limited to develop analytical skills applicable to gas flow data to improve the efficiency of gas distribution at minimum cost to the system. 

Innovate UK £132K from October 2014 -

2 year KTP project with ADL Smartcare Limited to exploit existing big data arising from decision making, by appropriate mining, monetisation and marketing and to extend company offering from public to new markets including the private sector.

Innovate UK £132K from December 2014 -
2 year KTP project with Royston Limited to use statistical and data mining techniques to facilitate the further development and enhancement of the 'Enginei' monitoring system.

Predicting Cognitive Profiles in Parkinson’s Disease: A Multimodal Approach. Michael J Fox Foundation: 1st Nov 2011-31st Oct 2013 (£80,707) (Lead Applicant: Burn DJ, with Rochester L, Baker M, Coleman S). Predicting Dementia in Parkinson’s disease: A genotypic and phenotypic study (ICICLE-PD). Parkinson’s Disease Society REF J0802, UK: June 2009 – May 2014, (£1,184,209) (Burn DJ, Barker RA, Brooks DJ, O’Brien JT, McKeith IG, Chinnery PF, Owen AM, Brayne CEG, Robbins T, Sawcer S, Coleman S).

£30,000 statistical support for utilities planning, 2011

£85,000 data mining support for National Grid 2009
£99,044 KTP September 2006


External examiner - University of Plymouth

MSc Data Science and Business Analytics

Postgraduate Teaching

NBS8268 Quantitative Methods for Business Research for MSc in Advanced International Business Management

NBS8269 Research Methods (Dual Award) for MSc in Advanced International Business Management and Marketing