Waterloo prof wins prestigious Killam Prize

Keith Hipel.
Keith Hipel. University of Waterloo

University of Waterloo professor Keith Hipel is one of five professors from across Canada to be honoured with a Killam Prize.

The prizes, which come with $100,000, are awarded to active scholars in five categories: humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, health sciences, and engineering.

Hipel, who has been a professor at the school for four decades, was honoured in the category of engineering.

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“It feels good,” Hipel said in a statement from the school. “To me, this is the top prize in engineering in Canada, and I share it with all of my students and colleagues.”

Other winners this year include Yoshua Bengio (natural sciences) and André Blais (social sciences) who both teach at the University of Montreal as well as Stephen Scherer (health sciences) and Lynne Viola (humanities) who are professors at the University of Toronto.

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The school says that Hipel’s focus “is 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.”