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Bill Gruver and Keith Hipel Honoured by IEEE Canada

The 24th IEEE Canadian Conference on Electrical and Electrical and Computer Engineering was held from May 8th to 11th, 2011 at the Niagara Falls Marriot Gateway on the Falls Hotel in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. At this highly successful and w ell-planned conference, Bill Gruver and Keith Hipel, two long-time IEEE Fellows within the Systems, Man and Cybernetics (SMC) Society, received special recognition from IEEE Canada for their academic achieve ments. The awards were formally presented at the IEEE Canada Awards Banquet held in the Oakes Ballroom of t he conference hotel, which has a spectacular location overlooking Niagara Falls, during the evening of Monday May 9, 2011.

William A. Gruver, or Bill as he is popularly called, received the 2011 IEEE Canada Computer Medal for international contributions to the theory and practice of intelligent automation. Bill is President of Intelligent Robotics Corpo ration and Professor Emeritus of Engineering Science at Simon Fraser University where he direct s research programs in the Intelligent/Distributed Enterprise Automation (iDEA) Laboratory. His in dustrial experience includes management and technical leadership positions with General Electric in th e United States and Germany (Bill is fluent in German), IRT Corporation, and LTI Robotic Systems (a Cali fornia-based company that he co-founded). Moreover, Bill has held engineering positions at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and DLR German Space Research Center, as well as faculty positions at Technical Uni versity Darmstadt, US Naval Academy, University of Kentucky, and North Carolina State University. Bi ll has contributed significantly to the development of our IEEE SMC Society as its past President and in many other capacities such as Co-Chair of the SMC Society’s Technical Committee on Distributed Int elligent Systems and Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on SMC, Part A: Humans and Systems. He is General Chair of the 2014 International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics. Additionally, h e has served as IEEE Division Director, Member of the IEEE Board of Directors, and member of man y IEEE and TAB (Technical Activities Board) level committees. For his academic and professional c ontributions, Bill has received numerous awards and citations including Fellow of IEEE, Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada, the GE Management Award, and the U.S. Senior Scientist Awar d of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Outside of his engineering activities, Bill enjoys mu sic and hiking. He plays four instruments (piano, organ, tuba, and string bass) and is a chorister in the Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver which is recognized as one of the finest of its kind in Canada, having placed first in the church choir category of the CBC’s biennial Amateur Choral Competition 3 consecutive times in 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2006. Each year since 1992 he has travelled to England to sing for one week with a British choir at major English cathedrals, held this year at Chester Cathedral. In 2010, Bill travelled to Tibet and reached the Mt. Everest Base Camp at 5200 meters! This year he completed a one week trek in the Dolomites of the Northern Italian Alps, at a mere 3000 meters.

Keith W. Hipel was the recipient of the 2011 IEEE Canada Outstanding Engineering Educator Medal for contributions to the internationalization of engineering education via exchange programs and systems. Keith is University Professor of Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo, where he is Coordinator of the Conflict Analysis Group. Keith is Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, Chair of the Board of Governors of Renison University College, and recently served a two-year term as Vice President of the Canadian Academy of Sciences. Keith thoroughly enjoys mentoring students and is a recipient of the Distinguished Teacher Award and the Award of Excellence in Graduate Supervision. He is the Canadian Founder and Director of exchange programs with Tottori University, Kyoto University, and the Tokyo Institute of Technology in Japan, in which 200 students from Waterloo and Japan have now participated. His major research interests are the development and application of conflict resolution, multiple objective decision making, and time series analysis techniques from a systems engineering perspective for addressing complex system of systems problems lying at the confluence of Society, Technology and the Environment. For over two decades, Keith has been highly active within our SMC Society. Currently, for instance, he is Co-Chair of the Technical Committee on Conflict Resolution for which he jointly received the Most Active SMC Technical Committee Award (2007), Co-Organizer of a track of sessions for the 2011 IEEE SMC Annual Conference, Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on SMC, Part A: Humans and Systems, elected Member of the Board of Governors, Distinguished Lecturer, and Member of the Conferences and Meetings Committees. Because of his many contributions to academia and the engineering profession, Keith is the recipient of 34 major awards including being Fellow of six organizations such as IEEE, the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) and the Canadian Academy of Engineering. Other awards include the IEEE SMC Norbert Wiener Award, Docteur Honoris Causa from École Centrale de Lille, 2010 Ontario Professional Engineers Engineering Medal for Research and Development, 2011 Honorary Member of the American Water Resources Association, ASCE 2011 Journal of Management in Engineering Best Peer-Reviewed Paper, and the 2011 Sir John William Dawson Medal from the RSC. As many of you are probably aware, Keith really enjoys travelling and taking lots of photographs!

In the first of the four photographs shown below, the two award winners are shown at the Awards Banquet with their nominators, Professors Ferial and Mo El-Hawary. As can be seen, the view from the conference hotel is superb, providing a breathtaking panorama of both the American and Canadian Falls, shown on the left and right of the third photograph, respectively. The microclimate of the ecological system situated on the flat plane between the Niagara Escarpment and Lake Ontario permits a longer growing season in which vineyards can flourish, even in the cold Canadian climate. The famous ice wine produced in the Niagara Peninsula is popular around the globe, especially in Japan. The American and Canadian flags blowing in the wind beside one another symbolize the true solidarity existing between the citizens of these two nations. For history buffs, next year is the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 to 1814 in which many decisive battles were fought along the Niagara frontier. Since that time, Canada and the United States have forged a deep friendship and alliance that continues strong to this day.
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