The Groundwater Project

Honouring Dr. Emil O. Frind (1932-2022), A Pioneer in The Field of Quantitative Groundwater Science

Dr. Emil Frind passed away on Sunday, December 25, 2022, at the age of 90. The groundwater community mourns the passing of an exceptional scientist who was a pioneer in the field of quantitative groundwater science.

Dr. Frind immigrated to Canada in 1955 from Germany and completed his education at the University of Toronto. Receiving a BSc in Civil Engineering (1966), an MSc in Hydrology (1967), and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering (1971). In 1971, he was hired by Dr. Robert Farvolden, to join the newly founded groundwater group at the University of Waterloo which included Dr. John Cherry. Just over a decade later, this group would be known as one of the most highly respected in the world.

Throughout his career, Dr. Frind taught and inspired thousands of undergraduate and graduate students, developing some of the first courses on groundwater resources and computer modelling of earth systems. His favourite course to teach “Fundamentals of Groundwater Modelling” was the first of its kind for undergraduate students in Canada and has become part of his legacy. Authoring hundreds of professional reports and journal articles, Dr. Frind is one of the most cited researchers in the field. He was recognized as a Highly Cited Researcher in the fields of Ecology/Environment and Engineering.

After retirement, Dr. Frind continued to mentor and publish many graduate students and dedicated much of his time to focusing on source water protection and water sustainability. He was awarded many honours throughout his career including: the University of Waterloo Distinguished Teacher Award (1998), the Grand River Conservation Authority Watershed Award (2014), the Robert N. Farvolden Award (2007), the University of Toronto Hall of Distinction Award (2015) and a Life Member Award from the US National Ground Water Association (2007).

Dr. Emil Frind was truly a pioneer in the field of groundwater science whose work and legacy will continue to impact countless future generations of hydrogeologists.