Four professors from the University of Waterloo have been peer-elected as fellows of the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) for being top in their field: Philippe Van Cappellen from the department of earth and environmental sciences in the faculty of science; David Cory<strong>,</strong> from the department of chemistry, physics and astronomy in the faculty of science; Eric Helleiner from the department of political science in the faculty of arts; and Xuemin Shen from the department of electrical and computer engineering from the faculty of engineering. The four are among the 80 fellows nominated by the RSC this year. </p>
The RSC was established in 1882 with the primary objective to encourage learning and research in the field of humanities, social and natural sciences, and the arts. It also aims to promote studies in literature and engineering sciences. As the senior Canadian institution, it aims to recognize and venerate scholars, artists, and scientists who have made valuable contributions in their fields of study and research ,and promotes and endorses studies and research in these fields. The RSC also aims to identify Canadian research and scholarly accomplishment in both of Canada’s official languages and to mentor young scholars and artists. Its role includes advising governments, non-governmental organizations, and the Canadian society in general on matters of public interest.
The selection process is very particular; this year RSC received over 470 nominees. “It’s the highest academic honor that they can receive because they are elected by their peers. To be a part of this society, they have to be nominated by a current fellow and then they have to be voted in,” said Marie-Lyne Renaud, the manager of fellowship and awards at RSC. “We only have one criteria and that’s merit.”
Philippe Van Cappellen
A Canada Excellence research chair, Dr. Van Cappellen’s research focuses on the biogeochemistry of soils, sediments, and aquatic ecosystems. His field of study includes the cycles of water, carbon, nutrients, and metals. At the University of Waterloo, he leads the research program in ecohydrology. His other areas of interest are geobiology, mineral-water interactions, reactive transport modeling, and biogeochemical complexity. Van Cappellen has also been a keynote speaker for numerous conferences, most recently in Saskatoon at the Global Institute for Water Security. He also serves as the associate editor of Geomicrobiology Journal.
Dr. Cory’s work has a transdisciplinary span in chemistry, engineering, and physics. He is a prominent global innovator in experimental quantum physics and quantum engineering. He is also a Canada Excellence research chair at the University of Waterloo. Before this, he was a professor of nuclear engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His work and research have made significant breakthroughs in quantum information processing and have had practical applications in a diverse range of fields, from medicine to the oil industry. Cory is also a visiting scholar at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.
Dr. Helleiner is an award-winning, distinguished scholar in the field of international political economy. His research focuses on the politics of global money and finance. He is the author of six books on political economy and over 100 journal articles, book chapters, and numerous research publications. His other research interests include globalization and global governance as well as governance of the global economy. At the University of Waterloo, Helleiner mainly teaches political economy courses, including one of his most popular courses, PSCI 150: Global Politics of Who Gets What.
Professor Shen is a professional engineer and a fellow of the engineering Institute of Canada. He has gained global recognition for his work in resource management and information security for wireless communication networks. His research interests include radio resource and mobility management, medium access control, wireless network security privacy preservations, and network performance. His research contributions have been highly significant and have set the path for further research and development.
The president and vice-chancellor of UW, Feridun Hamdullahpur, has congratulated these professors for this important recognition. “It is groundbreaking research like theirs that will help Waterloo achieve its goal of becoming one of the top innovation universities internationally and the selection of these four individuals as fellows of the Royal Society of Canada is further evidence of their excellent work in particular,” he said.