Paul Parker

Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Environment, Board Member; Former Director, Economic Development Program

Contact Information 
Phone: 519-888-4567, X.42791
Location: EVO 1003

Professor Emeritus | Faculty of Environment

Former Director | Economic Development Program

Paul is a sustainability researcher with a passion for low carbon aviation and a love of teaching. He brings social science expertise to a diverse set of energy and development research projects, often with engineer colleagues. He has 175 publications and over 230 presentations on a broad range of projects: zero-carbon buildings, energy retrofits, smart grid technologies, renewables in remote communities, sustainable economic development and community energy planning. Electric and low carbon aviation is the next challenge. 

Parker earned his private pilot license (PPL) when he was 18, but changed to flying gliders where he has used solar energy to soar without an engine for hundreds of kilometers and up to eight hours in a day. He has been an instructor in Australia and the U.K. and currently instructs at SOSA, the largest gliding club in Canada. He is a cross-country instructor, won the 2018 Canadian Gliding Championship (Club Class) and was a member of the 2019 Canadian team at the Pan-American Gliding Championships. 

Parker was awarded his doctorate in Economic Geography from the London School of Economics in 1990. Recent career awards include: 2020 University of Waterloo: President’s Community Impact Award; 2019 Green Communities Canada: Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award; 2019 EDCO (Economic Development Council of Ontario): President’s Award for leadership in economic development through research and training; 2013 University of Waterloo: Award of Excellence in Graduate Supervision.  

Selected Publications:

  • Edwards, C.A.*, Parker. P. 2022. Flight school perceptions of electric planes for training. International Journal of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. 16 (1);

  • Edwards, C-A.*, Parker, P. 2021 Student pilot perceptions of electric planes for training. International Conference on Sustainable Aviation and Green Aircraft, World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, Montreal, June 14-15, pp.8. (Certificate for Best Presentation ICSAGA 2021) 

  • McDiarmid, H.*, Parker P. 2021 Deep energy efficiency retrofits versus direct electrification for urgent emissions reduction: A case study using 33,780 residential energy profiles in Waterloo, Canada. International Green Energy Conference 2021, Tianjin, China, July. 15-18. pp.10.