François Bellavance, Lise Manchester Award 2018

François Bellavance
Lise Manchester Award

The 2018 Lise Manchester Award is conferred upon Professor François Bellavance of HEC Montréal. This award is given every other year by the Statistical Society of Canada (SSC) in commemoration of the late Dr Lise Manchester’s abiding interest in using statistical methods to study matters of relevance to society. The award recognizes excellence in statistical research which considers problems of public interest and which is potentially useful for formation of public policy in Canada.

François Bellavance is a Professor in the Department of Decision Sciences at HEC Montréal. He is a member of the Interuniversity Research Centre on Enterprise Networks, Logistics and Transportation (CIRRELT), the Institute for Data Valorization (IVADO), and the Québec Road Safety Research Network (RRSR), as well as an affiliate member of the Group for Research in Decision Analysis (GERAD).

Born in Montréal, François received all his statistical training at the Université de Montréal, where he completed his PhD in 1994. He became interested in applications early on. During his studies, he worked as a consultant for researchers at the Montréal Clinical Research Institute (1985-89) and was Director of the Statistical Consulting Service at Simon Fraser University from 1990 to 1993. In 1994 he was hired as a biostatistician by the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Community Studies at St. Mary’s Hospital Center in Montréal and was concurrently part-time Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at McGill University. In 1998 he joined HEC Montréal and the Transportation Safety Lab at CIRRELT, where he became involved in many road safety research projects.

Over the past 25 years, François has contributed to various aspects of road safety research, including the use of cell phones while driving, seat belt use, the impact of drinking and driving laws, work-related road accidents, the adaptation of preventive messages for risky drivers, and the use of driving simulators for training new drivers. In addition, he was an active member of the Québec Task Force on Road Safety (2005-15), a group of some 40 members from all sectors of society charged with recommending road safety improvement measures to the Québec Minister of Transportation. From 2008 to 2015, he sat on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Association of Road Safety Professionals and he contributed to the creation in 2010 of the Québec Road Safety Research Network for which he served as President until 2015. His statistical research on road safety issues justified the introduction of several legislative and administrative measures that helped to improve Québec’s road safety record.

Within the SSC, François chaired the Biostatistics Section (2000-01) and the Business and Industrial Statistics Section  (2016-17) in addition to serving as Québec Representative for six years on the Board of Directors (1998-2000, 2005-09). He was a member of NSERC’s Statistical Sciences Grant Selection Committee from 2005 to 2008.

The citation for the award reads: 

“To François Bellavance, for his sustained, outstanding fundamental statistical research on road safety issues, for his determining role in improving road safety regulations and legislation in the province of Québec, and for elevating the social debate and acceptance of road safety measures through the effective communication of statistical evidence.”


Thanks to Christian Genest and Johanna G. Nešlehovà, who were primarily responsible for producing this material.