Contact InformationNeil Thomson

Phone: 519-888-4567 x32111
Location: E2 3312

Biography Summary

Neil R. Thomson is a Professor, as well as Chair of the Civil and Environmental Engineering department. He is also a member of the Environmental and Water Resources Engineering Research Group.

His research interests focus on subsurface contaminant fate, risk and uncertainty analyses, and the remediation of soil and ground water systems through the use of field investigations, laboratory experiments, and numerical models. He is also interested in non-point source pollution, specifically in the areas of agricultural and storm water runoff impacts on subsurface environments.

As a result of his research and teaching contributions, Professor Thomson has received multiple awards. In 1999 he was awarded the Sir Sanford Fleming Teaching Excellence Award for recognition of an exemplary record of outstanding teaching and a commitment to the enrichment of engineering education at UWaterloo. In addition, he received the 2005 Outstanding Performance Award and the Faculty of Engineering Distinguished Performance Award in 2008.

Professor Thomson has provided technical assistance to numerous consulting firms on topics that include: conceptual groundwater model development; groundwater flow and fate analysis; model selection, development, calibration and sensitivity; and remedial alternative selection and system design. Additionally, he is a featured lecturer in short courses across North America and the UK, as well as a member of the Canadian Water Network.

Research Interests

  • Groundwater and soil contamination
  • Nonaqueous phase liquids
  • Remediation
  • Brownfields
  • Abiotic processes
  • Contaminant transport
  • Agricultural impacts
  • Site characterization
  • Environmental & Water Resources
  • Hydrogeology and remediation


  • 1986, Doctorate, PhD, University of Waterloo
  • 1982, Master's, MASc, University of Toronto
  • 1981, Bachelor's, BASc, University of Waterloo


  • ENVE 275 - Environmental Chemistry
    • Taught in 2014
  • ENVE 499 - Seminar
    • Taught in 2014, 2015, 2016
  • CIVE 400 - Civil Engineering Project 1
    • Taught in 2015
  • CIVE 499 - Seminar
    • Taught in 2014, 2015, 2016
  • GEOE 499 - Seminar
    • Taught in 2016
  • CIVE 770 - Topics in Environmental Engineering
    • Taught in 2017
  • ENVE 400 - Environmental Engineering Project 1
    • Taught in 2017
  • GEOE 400 - Geological Engineering Design Project 1
    • Taught in 2017
  • CIVE 776 - Soil & Groundwater Remediation
    • Taught in 2015, 2018
  • ENVE 573 - Contaminant Transport
    • Taught in 2018
* Only courses taught in the past 5 years are displayed.

Selected/Recent Publications

  • Gale, Tyler and Thomson, Neil R and Barker, Jim F, An investigation of the pressure pulsing reagent delivery approach, Groundwater Monitoring & Remediation, 35(2), 2015, 39 - 51
  • Esmaeili, Sara and Thomson, Neil R and Tolson, Bryan A and Zebarth, Bernie J and Kuchta, Shawn H and Neilsen, Denise, Quantitative global sensitivity analysis of the RZWQM to warrant a robust and effective calibration, Journal of Hydrology, 511, 2014, 567 - 579
  • Sra, Kanwartej S and Thomson, Neil R and Barker, Jim F, Stability of activated persulfate in the presence of aquifer solids, Soil and Sediment Contamination: An International Journal, 23(8), 2014, 820 - 837
  • Sra, Kanwartej S and Thomson, Neil R and Barker, Jim F, Persulfate injection into a gasoline source zone, Journal of contaminant hydrology, 150, 2013, 35 - 44
  • Al-Shamsi, Mohammed Ahmad and Thomson, Neil R, Competition by aquifer materials in a bimetallic nanoparticle/persulfate system for the treatment of trichloroethylene, Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts, 15(10), 2013, 1964 - 1968