It is indeed fitting that Ed Kuiper, engineer, teacher, intellectual, author, husband, father and grandfather, and concerned citizen, receive the degree of Doctor of Science (honoris causa) from the University of Manitoba, the university he joined and served, and the university he helped save from flooding in the spring of last year.
And, what better way to introduce Professor Ed Kuiper than by quoting some of his many friends, students and colleagues who have been touched by this impressive man.
It is a great pleasure for me to support the nomination of Professor Ed Kuiper for an honourary degree. I have known Ed Kuiper for almost 40 years, as a professor, Master's thesis supervisor, a fellow professional engineer, and an icon in the field of hydraulics and water resources world wide.
Gary Filmon, Premier of Manitoba
Ed Kuipermotivatedme to pursue water resources studies, the area which I still teach. His teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels was superb. He had a particular skill in drawing students into class participation, often in such intensity that class schedules were in havoc.
Robert Newbury, Professor of Resource and Environmental Management, Simon Fraser University
As a consultant and advisor to federal and pro vincial government agencies and organizations such as the Canadian International Development Agency, the World Bank, the U.S.-Canada Joint Commission and Acres International, Professor Kuiper contributed more than almost any other Canadian engineer to the responsible development of water resources in Canada and on five continents.
Glenn Morris, Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Engineering, University of Manitoba
Edward Kuiper was born in Petten, Holland in 1919 - seventy nine years ago. He received a Civil Engineering degree from the Technical University at Deift in 1942, and worked in the world renowned Delft Hydraulic Laboratories for two years, then with the Dutch Department of Public Works, on harbours, dams, sea locks, canals and dikes until 1950. Between 1946 and 1947, Professor Kuiper attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on a fellowship, and gained a Master of Science degree. Boston also was the place where Ed and his wife, Minka, celebrated the birth of their first child, John. Four other children were to follow, Lidi and Bobby in Holland, Marian and Katie in Canada.
The Kuipers moved permanently to North America in 1950. The family arrived in Winnipeg - where Ed was to be Senior Hydraulics Engineer for Agriculture Canada - just after the devastating 1950 flood. For three of the next six years, Ed Kuiper was in charge of studies of the 170,000 square kilometer Assiniboine River basin, with an eye to the flood protection of Winnipeg. Then in 1956 he was seconded to the Manitoba Water Resources Investigation as Chief Engineer, this time with an eye to flood control, water conservation and the hydro-electric power potential of the Nelson, Saskatchewan, and Winnipeg Rivers.
Edward Kuiper joined the University of Manitoba on September 1, 1958 - exactly 40 years ago. Over the next 33 years, until his retirement in 1991, Professor Kuiper taught thousands of civil engineering students at both the undergraduate and graduate level the essentials of water resources engineering. The four years leading up to the start of construction of the Winnipeg Floodway and the Portage Diversion in 1962 saw Edward Kuiper participate in public hearings and advocacy, and design and model testing. That Manitoba chose to construct a foolproof large "Duff's Ditch," instead of failure-prone dikes, as Winnipeg's primary defence system, was a result of Professor Kuiper's involvement. This involvement was recognized this year when Ed Kuiper was awarded the Order of the Buffalo Hunt as a measure of this province's gratitude for his engineering skill.
In the quotation cited above, Professor Glenn Morris salutes the stature of Professor Edward Kuiper around the world. Three pages of single spaced text are required simply to list his activities in training, memberships on commissions, and engineering consultations outside Canada.
We honour Professor Kuiper today for his flood mitigation works in Manitoba. We include in our esteem, his leadership and tireless campaigning for homeowners to pay proper attention to engineering principles as they worked raising dikes during the 1997 flood of the century - dikes which held. These homeowners as they struggled to meet his exacting standards, would agree with the opinion put forward in a review of Professor Kuiper's book on water resources development - "He be floody minded."