Thursday, April 25, 2019

Professor Keith Hipel receives Killam Prize

An engineering professor at the University of Waterloo with a lifelong interest in environmental protection has won a prestigious national award for scholars.

Professor Keith Hipel.Keith Hipel, a professor of systems design engineering who earned his own three degrees as a student at Waterloo, was named today as one of five winners of 2019 Killam Prizes through the Canada Council for the Arts.

Given annually to eminent, active scholars in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, health sciences and engineering, the awards come with $100,000 prizes.

“Professor Keith Hipel continues to add to an outstanding career with this honour of the Killam Prize,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor. “Professor Hipel is a world-class researcher and educator, and has been an impactful member of our community. The entire University celebrates with him today as he is recognized for his many accomplishments.”

Hipel has been a professor for more than four decades, with a research focus on the development of modelling tools to break down, analyze and help solve complex problems, primarily those involving water resources and the environment.

“A model is really a simplification of reality so you can understand it better,” he said. “If you can understand it better, you can discuss it with others and hopefully make more informed decisions.”

The author of five books and almost 600 academic papers and conference articles, Hipel was described by the council as “globally renowned” for his unique research on conflict resolution, multiple criteria decision analysis, time series modelling and other decision-making methodologies.

“It is wonderful that Professor Hipel is being recognized with such a prestigious prize,” said Pearl Sullivan, dean of Waterloo Engineering. “He has been a tireless champion of using a systems approach to address complex problems related to the environment, and the industrial and services sectors.”

Among the dozens of academic and professional honours he has received, Hipel is an officer of the Order of Canada, former president of the Academy of Science within the Royal Society of Canada, and the winner of several teaching awards.

He is the fifth professor at Waterloo to win a Killam Prize since the program started in 1981. Paul Thagard, a professor of philosophy, was the last Waterloo researcher honoured in 2013.

Previous nation-wide winners of Killam Prizes, which are selected by a peer committee, include Nobel Prize laureates Arthur McDonald and John Polanyi.

“It feels good,” said Hipel, co-ordinator of the Conflict Analysis Group at Waterloo. “To me, this is the top prize in engineering in Canada, and I share it with all of my students and colleagues.”

Global Impact: Diversity is good for business

the front cover of Bessma Momani's "Diversity Dividend" document.

This is the third in a seven-week series looking at the stories in Waterloo's Global Impact Report.

At a time when global migration is at a record high, Bessma Momani, a professor in the Faculty of Arts, is examining the impact of immigration on the bottom lines of Canadian businesses. Her research shows that across all sectors in Canada, a one percent increase in workforce diversity corresponds to an average increase of 2.4 per cent increase in revenue and a 0.5 per cent increase in productivity. Momani explores how Canada is uniquely positioned to harness the benefits of immigration, a benefit that she has named Canada’s diversity dividend.

Read more about our diversity dividend.

Social Impact start-ups secure $30K in funding

 Greg Maxin, Karissa Manning

(left to right): backrow: Aaiman Aamir, Laura Bingeman, Nathan Knight, Chris Tran, Fardeen Chowdhury, Lynne Murdoch, Monica Iyer; (front row): Greg Maxin, Karissa Manning

On April 9, GreenHouse celebrated its 17th cohort of social innovators and entrepreneurs at the Social Impact Showcase. As part of this celebration, GreenHouse awarded grants from its Social Impact Fund.  

The Fund is open to current GreenHouse innovators who demonstrate early-stage customer validation or idea testing (i.e. prototype, pilot, market research) and a plan for how they will implement their idea over the coming year. The Fund is made possible through a generous donor base of St. Paul’s alumni and community members that have contributed to the Shape the World Campaign.

The winners of this term’s Social Impact Fund are:

  • Prospr, awarded $1,000 from the Social Impact Fund. A venture dedicated to helping charities mobilize the funding by better sourcing and engaging community fundraisers and brand ambassadors from their existing donors.
  • Recipient of $2,000 from the Social Impact Fund, #Stories of Us, a venture that highlights diverse female role models in STEM across Canada. 
  • Rocket Care was awarded $4,000 from the Ministry of Seniors and Accessibility, a venture focused on improving scheduling methods for different forms of client appointments in healthcare.
  • VOYHS, a venture giving trans people the resources to train their voice, boosting their confidence and quality of life. VOYHS was awarded $2,000 from the Social Impact Fund and $4,000 from the Ministry of Seniors and Accessibility.
  • A venture aimed at improving speed and quality of speech for people with verbal challenges. Reka, was awarded $10,000 for the Norman Esch Entrepreneurship Award for Engineering Capstone Design; $5,000 from the Ministry of Seniors and Accessibility; and $1,000 for the GreenHouse People’s Choice award.

Congratulations to the recipients and their inspiring ventures.

Senior women academic administrators meet on campus

The Senior Women Academic Administrators of Canada logo.

The University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, and Conestoga College have partnered to host the 2019 annual conference of the Senior Women Academic Administrators of Canada on the University of Waterloo campus this week.

The theme for this year's conference is "Making brave spaces: The importance of allyship in the institution."

The keynote speaker is Elizabeth Nyamayaro, Senior Advisor to Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women and the Head of the HeForShe Initiative. In addition, author, activist and media training specialist Shari Graydon will be delivering an applied keynote address, and the event will also feature panel discussions and concurrent sessions featuring women in a wide variety of academic leadership roles.

The event takes place from Thursday, April 25 to Saturday, April 27 at Federation Hall.

SWAAC was founded in 1987 to provide a forum and a collective voice for women in senior administrative ranks in Canadian universities, colleges, and technical institutes.

Link of the day

30 years ago: the Game Boy

When and where

Examination period, Wednesday, April 10 to Saturday, April 27.

MFA Thesis One exhibition, Thursday, April 11 to Saturday, April 27, UW Art Gallery.

Tenure & Promotion Workshop Series, Wednesday, April 24 and Thursday, April 25, various times and locations.

Staff appreciation menu at the University Club, Wednesday, April 24 to Friday, April 26, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University Club.

Senior Women Academic Administrators of Canada Conference 2019, Thursday, April 25 to Saturday, April 27, Fed Hall.

FAUW workshop, Applying for Tenure, Thursday, April 25, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., QNC 1506.

“Tattoos and Memorials: Death, Memorialization and the afterlife in the digital age,” Thursday, April 25, 10:00 a.m., The Tannery’s Jelly Bean Room, 151 Charles Street West, Kitchener.

Transnational Talks featuring Professor Shamus Khan, “The Sexual Health Initiative to Foster Transformation”, Thursday, April 25, 11:00 a.m. to 12:20 p.m., HH 1108.

FAUW workshop, Applying for Promotion to Full Professor, Thursday, April 25, 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., QNC 1506.

Retirement celebration for Gerd Kursikowski, Thursday, April 25, 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., University Club. RSVP to

David Sprott Distinguished Lecture featuring Damir Filipović, "A Machine Learning Approach to Portfolio Risk Management," Thursday, April 25, 4:00 p.m., STC 0020.

Book launch: Distinguished Professor emeritus Kenneth McLaughlin, "Race, Religion and Politics: The 1896 Election in Canada," Thursday, April 25, 7:00 p.m., St. Jerome’s Academic Centre. Reception to follow. For more details, or to register, please contact

Convergences: French Studies Grad Student Conference / Colloque jeunes chercheurs, Friday, April 26, 9:00 a. m. to 5:00 p.m., EV3 4408. Conference program.

“ Ink: Mastectomy Tattooing and Self-Care as Digital Feminist Body Politics,” featuring Professor Reisa Klein, Visiting Scholar from the University of Alberta, Friday, April 26, 10:00 a.m., HH 373.

LGBTQ+ Making Spaces Train-The-Trainer, Friday, April 26, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., COM 116E.

NEW - The Annual Ziva Kunda Memorial Lecture featuring Professor David Bunning, University of Michgan, "We are all flawed intellects: so can we really judge expertise in self and others?" Friday, April 26, 2:30 p.m., PAS 2083.

QPR Mental Health Training, Monday, April 29, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., NH second floor.

W Store, W Store Essentials and W Print locations closed for inventory, Tuesday, April 30.

See the unseeable: A black hole discovery conversation with physicist Avery Broderick, Tuesday, April 30, 6:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

2019 Teaching and Learning Conference, Thursday, May 2, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Science Teaching Complex and Federation Hall.

NEW - Spring 2019 Ensemble Auditions: Open for registration, Monday, May 6 to Wednesday, May 22.

Distinguished Lecture Series, Systems research — construed broadly, Margo Seltzer, Canada 150 Research Chair in Computer Systems, University of British Columbia, Tuesday, May 7, 3:30 p.m., DC 1302.

NEW - Entangled: The Series - QUANTUM + Pop Culture, Tuesday, May 7, 7:00 p.m., Apollo Cinema, Kitchener.

Webinar: Authors' Rights, Wednesday, May 8, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

NEW - Project and Portfolio Management Community of Practice Chat, Sponsorship and Change Management topics, May 8, 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., DC 1568. 

Coping Skills Seminar - Challenging Thinking, Wednesday, May 8, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302.

“New Fractur” Exhibit Launch, Thursday, May 9, 7:30 p.m., Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement, Conrad Grebel University College.

NEW - DaCapo Chamber Choir, “There Will Be Rest,” Saturday, May 11, 8:00 p.m. at St. Matthew’s Lutheran and Sunday, May 12, 3:00 p.m. at Trillium Lutheran.

NEW - Coping Skills Seminar - Thriving With Emotions, Monday, May 13, 3:00 p.m., HS 2302.

NEW - More Feet on the Ground - Mental Health Training for Faculty and Staff, Tuesday, May 14, 1:30 p.m., NH 2447.

NEW - Eating Disorder Support Group, Tuesday, May 14, 4:00 p.m., NH 3308.

NEW - Alleviating Anxiety Seminar, Wednesday, May 15, 1:00 p.m., HS 2302.

NEW - Coping Skills Seminar - Cultivating Resiliency, Wednesday, May 15, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302.

NEW - UWaterloo Intellectual Property Workshop Series, What’s next? Panel Discussion, Thursday May 16, 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., DC 1304. Events are open to all UW faculty, staff, and students. Registration is required for each event to ensure there is enough Pizza and Pop for all!

NEW - safeTALK Mental Health Training for Faculty and Staff, Thursday, May 16, 1:00 p.m., NH 2447.