Keith Hipel is an officer of the Order of Canada, a CIGI senior fellow and a BSIA fellow. His academic passion is the development of systems thinking methods for determining how humans can live in harmony with one another and their environment through sustainable and fair governance.
Keith and his research team have designed flexible decision-making technologies for use within a system of systems engineering framework when addressing complex interconnected problems using integrative and adaptive governance in a participatory and interdisciplinary fashion. His systems research has been applied to challenging problems in water resources management, international trade, environmental engineering, aquaculture, brownfield redevelopment, water exports, energy and climate change. Keith’s engineering expertise allows him to appreciate the physical and technological systems components of complex governance problems facing society. He handles societal issues using systems methods such as conflict resolution and multiple objective decision analysis.
As a professor of systems design engineering at the University of Waterloo, Keith is a gifted teacher, mentor and researcher who leads the Conflict Analysis Group. His academic contributions have earned him widespread recognition, including as a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) and past president of the Academy of Science within the RSC. Keith is a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and has received top international acknowledgement of distinguished contributions to engineering via election as foreign member of the National Academy of Engineering of the United States of America. He is recipient of the highest international distinction in systems engineering research (Norbert Wiener Award from the IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Society) and an important Japanese science prize for which the previous 6 out of 7 recipients are Nobel Prize Laureates (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Eminent Scientist Award).
For his environmental work, Keith has won top prizes in water resources research, including Honorary Diplomate, Water Resources Engineers from the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers within the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE); the W.R. Boggess Award from the American Water Resources Association (AWRA); a key international hydrology award (Ven Te Chow Award from the Environmental and Water Resources Institute, ASCE); and Canada’s highest environmental recognition (Miroslaw Romanowksi Medal, RSC). Moreover, he has received interdisciplinary research awards including the Sir John William Dawson Medal from the RSC, and the Icko Iben Award from the AWRA. Other important honours includes the receipt of three honorary doctorates (in France, Hungary and Canada), three teaching awards and four outstanding career awards.
Keith believes that effective policies are needed to encourage the commercialization of Canada’s innovative engineering inventions and ensure that all resource extraction industries have strong value-added components to promote high employment and prosperity.