Frontline's University of Waterloo connections

Tuesday, November 23, 1999

By: Tara Bonin

Frontline group shot

James Barker, Tracy Smith, Tara Bonin, Angela MacDonald, Bill Lawlor, Peter Gray and Dave Innocente.

Frontline Environmental Management Inc. is a haven for keen University of Waterloo grads. Seven out of twelve of Frontline's technical staff members did at least some of their learning at U of W in disciplines ranging from environmental studies, geology and geophysics through environmental and geological engineering.

Frontline is an environmental consulting company located in Kitchener, Ontario. Frontline's 5 key project focus areas are Environmental Management Systems (including ISO 14000 initiatives), Water Resources, Environmental Site Assessment, Site Development /Brownfield Redevelopment, and Air Quality. Our mission is to create business solutions for difficult environmental challenges. We keep our ties to U of W through our membership in CRESTech (Centre for Research in Earth and Space Technology - formerly the Waterloo Centre for Groundwater Research), and through use of U of W's laboratory facilities and other resource. Here are some of the interesting things that we Frontliners have done since we finished our (first) degrees at the University of Waterloo:

Peter 'Big Daddy' Gray, B.Sc., Geology (1987): investigated water complaints and figured out what causes people's water problems, designed groundwater recovery and treatment systems to protect groundwater and surface water (i.e. lakes and rivers) from poisonous chemical spills, travelled to Africa to drill a well to supply a whole village with drinking water, and started his own company (Frontline)!;

Tara 'Killer' Bonin, B.Sc., Geophysics (1990): studied patterns in electromatic data from chemical contamination beneath landfill sites, compared past and present chemistry results to monitor the effectiveness of systems designed to prevent contamination of water resources, and travelled to different areas of North America to see how other people deal with water shortages and contamination;

Bill 'Milkman' Lawlor, B.Sc., Hydrogeology Option (1997): helped companies in Canada and the US to make sure that they're managing their operations in an environmentally responsible way; figuring out if hydrocarbons, metals and other compounds are entering the groundwater flow system near leaky underground storage tanks (LUST!), foundries and factories;

James 'Big Wheel' Barker, B.Sc., Environmental Studies (1996): improved his practical environmental skills through the Environmental Technology program at Conestoga College; conducted environmental site assessments; cleaning up old industrial properties and preparing them for redevelopment - in some cases with a totally new type of beneficial land use;

Tracy 'Rainbow' Smith, B.A.Sc., Civil Engineering (1997): assisting with coordination of field sampling programs; managing databases containing chemistry and water level information; travelling to California to learn how to use Environmental Visualization System (EVS) software to model the distribution of chemicals in 3D - and figuring out the best way to use the program to explain to the general public what is happening at a given site; working toward P.Eng. status early in 2001;

Dave 'Not So' Innocente, B.E.S., Environmental Studies (1998): followed up with a year at Conestoga College (to get his E.E.T. certification); aided in the preparation of the Decommissioning and Redevelopment Workplan for a large lakefront property in Toronto, Ontario - including drafting a stormwater management plan; assisted in completing several Phase I and Phase II environmental studies.

Angela 'Shoeless Joe' MacDonald, B.A.Sc., Geological Engineering (1999): conducted a 'forensic' environmental investigation to determine the source of petroleum contamination of groundwater at a particular site; used Environmental Visualization system software (EVS) to model and animate the development of a plume of solvent vapours in the air above an industrial facility. Angela also traveled to the west coast to not only attend the EVS workshop but also attend the 22nd Biennial Groundwater Conference in San Diego. Angela also likes to keep strong ties with the Geological Engineering department by volunteering her time at all open houses and student tours.