Announcing the 2021 GIWS Research Excellence Award Recipients

The last year has been unprecedented, with an unparallel amount of change to how we conduct research. Despite the new challenges, there has been a lot accomplished in advancing water security research. Please join us in celebrating our 2021 Research Excellence Award recipients.


This annual award is conferred on a member of the GIWS in recognition of her/his outstanding excellence in water security research as acknowledged by their peers.

2021 Recipient: Dr. Helen Baulch

Helen BaulchDr. Baulch’s enduring commitment to excellence in water security research is evident in her significant scientific advancements, success in raising the profile of the institute and harnessing resources to run it, engagement with partners on pressing water issues, and training of highly qualified personnel.

Among numerous others, Dr. Baulch’s most significant applied science achievement as her work understanding early warning signs of algal blooms in Buffalo Pound Reservoir and how sensors can be used to predict and mitigate threats to the drinking water supply. This work has featured regularly in popular media and represents a key partnership with the Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant, evidence of her commitment to science that benefits society. It highlights a tangible example for why GIWS was created, to use science and technology to improve water security here in Saskatchewan.


This annual award is conferred on a Research Staff (PDF/Research Associate/ Research Scientist) in recognition of her/his outstanding excellence in water security research as acknowledged by GIWS Members.

2021 Recipient: Prof. Lee D. Wilson

Lee D. WilsonProfessor Wilson’s research on water security encompasses fundamental science, material design & characterization, technology development, and community health- with a key goal of advancing clean water technology.

Wilson’s laboratory has developed a range of materials for adsorption-based water treatment technologies, two of which are currently undergoing application for a provisional US patent and other technology transfer activities. The nominee’s research group has designed an adsorbent system that shows one of the highest removal efficiencies for fluorinated contaminants.

In addition, Professor Wilson’s group is actively involved in community outreach and exchange programs to educate the youth on their stewardship responsibilities to the environment.


This award is conferred on doctoral student members of the GIWS in recognition of their excellence in water security research and innovation.

2021 Recipient: Razi Sheikholeslami

Razi SheikholeslamiRazi started his PhD program with GIWS in September 2015 and completed his degree in fall 2019. Razi’s research was heavily quantitative and mathematical. He developed innovative ways for handling some of the outstanding issues in the problem of sensitivity and uncertainty analysis of hydrologic and other types of models.

The methods that Razi developed were built into the VARS-TOOL software package. VARS-TOOL has 600+ users from 50+ countries. His methods are general purpose and can be applied to models from other science and engineering fields. The impact of his methods will be seen more gradually over time as it enables people to develop more credible and robust models.