New VP Research Named

October 03, 2008 - News Release

The University of Guelph has appointed Kevin Hall, head of the Department of Civil Engineering at Queen's University, as its new vice-president (research) effective Jan. 1. The announcement was made today by president Alastair Summerlee, who chaired the search committee.

"Prof. Hall is both an internationally recognized researcher and an innovative, visionary teacher,” said Summerlee. “He also has broad experience in industry and government, which will greatly assist us as we strive to expand our research potential. We’re at an important crossroads in the history of the University, and Kevin possesses an ideal combination of experience in research and teaching to move us forward.”

Hall also directs Queen’s Centre for Water and the Environment and chairs the advisory board of its Institute for Population and Public Health.

Summerlee said Hall's research focus is aligned with Guelph's strategic priorities around internationalism, humanitarianism and environmental sustainability. He also shares U of G's multidisciplinary approach to research and learning, said the president.

"Kevin has infectious enthusiasm, a strong work ethic and a commitment to collegiality and collaboration. He will make an outstanding addition to the University, and we are delighted that he is joining our team. I have no doubt that, with Kevin’s leadership, we are now in a position to advance research and innovation even further.”

In making the announcement, Summerlee thanked members of the search committee, which included deans, faculty, students and staff members, for their hard work and commitment, and the University community for its very active participation.

"We had a very strong slate of international, highly skilled and very different candidates, and it generated a great deal of interest on campus," he said. "I’d like to thank members of the internal and external communities who provided strong feedback on the two final candidates. It helped us enormously in our decision-making."

A graduate of Queen's and the University of New South Wales, Hall joined the faculty of Queen’s in 1987 and has headed its civil engineering program since 2005. Recently he developed an undergraduate and graduate program in humanitarian engineering. His research has been incorporated into engineering design manuals both nationally and internationally.

A lifelong innovator, he is an international consultant in coastal and river engineering, environmental hydraulics and water resources. He helped found companies that provide water-borne bacteria detection technologies and large-scale geothermal energy solutions for new and existing developments.

Hall said he is “honoured’ to have the opportunity to work with the dedicated and innovative faculty and staff at U of G. He has collaborated with Guelph researchers in the past and said he was always amazed at the support received from the University.

“The University of Guelph has the potential to be research-intensive in areas that can make a huge impact on the social fabric of this world. The University’s dedication to pursuing and facilitating research that can improve the quality of life for all sectors of the world’s population, particularly marginalized communities, was a major factor in my decision to join U of G.”

Hall said he’s also “thrilled at the opportunity to facilitate research that will cross the traditional boundaries between science and the humanities.” This will offer many experiential learning opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate students, he said.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338/, or Deirdre Healey, Ext. 56982/

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