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Peter Nikiforuk earned his BSc in engineering physics from Queen's University (1952) and his PhD in electrical engineering from Manchester University (1955). Manchester awarded him a DSc for research on control systems in 1970. Prior to joining the faculty of the University of Saskatchewan in 1960, Nikiforuk worked as a design engineer for AV Roe Ltd (1951-1952); for the Defence Research Board (1956-1957) and as a systems engineer for Canadair Limited (1957-1959). He began his career at the University as an assistant professor of mechanical engineering; by 1965 he was a full professor. Nikiforuk served as chair of the division of control engineering from 1964-1969; head of mechanical engineering from 1966-1973; and head of mining engineering from 1975-1976. He was Dean of the College of Engineering from 1973-1996. He has served on numerous University and other committees and councils and has earned a number of honours and awards, including the Julian C. Smith Medal from the Engineering Institute of Canada (1994), and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (1995).