Emil Frind, recipient of the Distinguished Teacher Award, 1998

Earth Sciences

Emil Frind came to Waterloo's earth sciences department in the early 1970's as a core member of the newly-established groundwater group. Within 15 years, this group became one of the most highly respected groundwater programs in the world. Specializing in computer modeling, Emil was among the first in the world to develop courses on groundwater resources and computer modeling of earth systems. One long-time colleague comments: “I am not exaggerating when I say that almost every individual now in industry, government and University positions throughout Canada, and also many in the US, who make use of groundwater modeling tools were trained by professor Frind.” Emil strives to keep abreast of the latest developments in groundwater research, and he is constantly revising and updating his curriculum so that he can bring this new information into the classroom. Consequently, many students are inspired by Emil “During the presentation of his courses it was obvious that he made an effort to deliver complex material in an easy to understand format his great interest in groundwater research was evident in the classroom and I believe this “rubbed off” on many of the graduate students who took courses from him.” Another former student remarked on the importance that Emil placed on student comprehension of the course material: “I found his method of teaching remarkable; he was patient and was willing to repeat concepts several times without making the student feel embarrassed. He was also able to write equations and numerical codes on the black board without referring to his notes …” Over his distinguished career at the University of Waterloo, it is clear that Emil's constant encouragement and his affinity for innovation positively influenced undergraduate and graduate students alike, many of whom are now working in the environmental industry. One colleague has concluded: “Professor Frind is one of the most highly respected groundwater modelers in the world.”