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Keith Hipel Receives International and National Recognition

For more than twenty years, Keith W. Hipel, who is an IEEE Fellow, has been highly active within our IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Society. Over the years, Keith has served our society in a range of ways and, currently, he is an Associate Editor of our Transactions (Part A), member of the Fellow Selection Committee, elected member of Board of Governors, and Co-Chair of the Technical Committee on Conflict Resolution. At the University of Waterloo in Canada, Keith is University Professor of Systems Design Engineering and Coordinator of the Conflict Analysis Group. He is also Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, an independent think tank, and Chair of the Board of Governors of Renison University College. Recently, Keith received prestigious awards from Japan, United States, Hungary and Canada.

Specifically, Keith is a recipient of the 2012 Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Eminent Scientist Award which is bestowed upon “foreign researchers such as Nobel laureates, who possess a record of excellent research achievements and who are mentors and leaders in their respective fields”, to visit “Japan for the purpose of associating directly with younger Japanese researchers so as to mentor, stimulate and inspire them to greater attainments. The awardees may also be asked to contribute their advice and expertise on ways to enhance the planning, conducting and evaluating of scientific research at Japanese universities and research institutions.” Approximately four scientists are granted this award each fiscal year. Three out of four of the 2011 recipients of the award and all three in 2010 are Nobel Prize winners. In a letter dated April 18th, 2012, the Honourable Jonathan A. Fried, who is the Canadian Ambassador to Japan, stated “As this is the first time this award has been bestowed on any Canadian, the significance of this award is historic. ... The awarding of this JSPS Award to you is thus a symbol of the real and tangible science and technology ties that Canada and Japan share.” Keith will be delivering invited lectures and working on joint research projects in Japan for one month in 2013 and two months in 2014 as part of this award.

At the international level in 2012, Keith was also honoured to be awarded the World Automation Congress (WAC) 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award at WAC 2012, an international conference which was held in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, from June 24th to 28th, 2012. Moreover, he received the designation of Honorary Professor of Óbuda University, Budapest, Hungary, at an official ceremony held at the Palace of Art in Budapest on September 3, 2012, which was chaired by President Imre J. Rudas. At this ceremony in Budapest, Professors James M. Tien, Mo Jamshidi and Sam Kwong also became Honorary Professors while Professor Philip Chen received the title of Honorary Citizen. Professor Bill Gruver, who was in attendance at the ceremony, had become an Honorary Professor at an earlier date. 

Within his own country, Keith was awarded the 2011 Sir John William Dawson Medal by the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) for his interdisciplinary research in Systems Engineering at the RSC Induction and Awards Ceremony which was held on November 26, 2011 at the Ottawa Convention Center, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The citation for Keith’s award is “Keith W. Hipel is globally renowned for his unique interdisciplinary research in systems engineering on the development of conflict resolution, multiple criteria decision analysis, time series analysis and other decision-making methodologies for addressing challenging system of systems problems lying at the confluence of society, science, technology and the environment.” The photograph given below shows Keith receiving his medal from President Yolande Grisé of the RSC at the Ottawa ceremony. In 1998, Keith was inducted as Fellow of the RSC, which was established under an Act of the Canadian Parliament in 1882.

Keith was also elected to the highest scientific position in his country. In particular, an announcement was made on August 14, 2012, that he is President-Elect of the Academy of Science, Royal Society of Canada, commencing on November 17, 2012. This appointment consists of serving one year as President-Elect followed by two years as President and a final fourth year as Past-President. Within his Vision Statement that was used in the election process, Keith clearly stated that he would like the Academy of Science to take a systems thinking approach to addressing pressing problems based on stakeholders’ value systems and ethical principles in order to design systems, both societal and physical, that are sustainable, robust and fair. Hence, systems engineering ideas developed within our IEEE SMC Society will receive national prominence in Canada in the future.
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Keith Hipel receiving the Sir John William Dawson Medal
from President Yolande Grisé of the Royal Society of
Canada on November 26, 2011 in Ottawa.