Keith Hipel is a senior fellow, joining CIGI in 2007. 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 decision-making techniques 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.
In the department of systems design engineering at the University of Waterloo, Keith is a teacher, mentor and researcher who leads the Conflict Analysis Group. His academic contributions have earned him numerous awards and designations, including Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Engineering, Killam Research Fellowship from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Norbert Wiener Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ (IEEE) Systems, Man and Cybernetics Society — the top international prize in systems engineering. Recognized by both the international academic community and the engineering profession, Keith holds two Docteur Honoris Causa degrees, and he is the recipient of the Engineering Medal for Research and Development from Professional Engineers Ontario, as the Outstanding Engineering Educator Award from IEEE Canada, as well as the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science's Eminent Scientist Award -- Japan's foremost global science prize. He is currently serving a two-year term as President of the Royal Society of Canada's Academy of Science (November 2013-November 2015).
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.