WipWare Founder Dr. John Franklin Honoured

Dr. John Franklin Dedication

WipWare was on hand at a dedication ceremony at the University of Waterloo this weekend to honour Dr. John Franklin, friend, colleague and former business partner.

Franklin (1940-2012), a professor in Waterloo’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, was a developer and founding partner of WipWare Inc. WipWare selected and donated a large block of black granite from a local quarry to serve as a memorial to Franklin in the University of Waterloo’s Peter Russell Rock Garden

“John Franklin was an outstanding man. He was an engineer, an educator, a leader, a colleague, a business partner and a friend,” said WipWare President Tom Palangio. “He encouraged, in fact stronger than that, he ‘pushed’ people to be their best. And although he is no longer with us he will live on in our memories and the history of this institution and so it is fitting to be here today to dedicate this to him,” he added.

Described as a primal force in the world of rock mechanics and engineering, Franklin was instrumental in the conceptualization and development of the image-based fragmentation analysis technology that is at the root of WipWare software and automated hardware systems.

While at the University of Waterloo Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, he developed the Waterloo Image Enhancement Process (WEIP), later shortened to Waterloo Image Process (WIP). WipFrag software was the commercial product that emerged from Franklin’s research, forming WipWare’s core offering.

Franklin was an important figure in the International Society for Rock Mechanics, serving as its president from 1987 to 1991. His professional accomplishments include serving as premier consulting engineer on enviable projects such as the Toronto CN Tower foundations (for many years the highest tower in the world), the Sudbury Science North Centre (straddling a major geologic fault), the 2100m-deep SNOLAB neutrino observatory in Sudbury, a rock breakwater at the end of the world in Tierra del Fuego, and many other rock engineering projects.

More on Franklin’s life and accomplishments can be found herehere and here.