The 2002 Henry Darcy Medal is awarded to Wolfgang Kinzelbach for his outstanding contributions to the sustainable management of groundwater systems.
Prof. Kinzelbach was born in 1949 in Germersheim, Germany. He studied physics at the Universities of Mainz and Munich. He received a scholarship from the German Fellowship Foundation. At Stanford University he moved on to the field of environmental engineering in 1972. In this field he earned his doctorate from the University of Karlsruhe. His professional activities took him to Maiduguri, Nigeria, the Nuclear Research Center in Karlsruhe, and the Environmental Research Institute of the Academia Sinica in Peking for altogether 8 years. He started his groundwater activities at the University of Stuttgart in 1981. In 1988 he was appointed full professor of Technical Hydraulics and Hydrology at the University of Kassel and in 1993 full professor of Environmental Physics at the University of Heidelberg. Since 1996 he is full Professor of Hydromechanics and Water Resources Engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zürich.
His research concentrates on flow and transport processes in the environment with practical application in water resources management, pollution control, and remediation. His current focus is on soil and ground water. With his group he develops numerical simulation models for flow and transport, stochastic modelling methods for the incorporation of uncertainty, environmental tracer use in subsurface hydrology, and experimental methods such as particle tracer techniques and NMR applications. Topics of major current research projects are sustainable groundwater management in arid and semi-arid regions (with projects in Botswana, Niger, Nigeria, Tunesia, China) and safe nuclear waste disposal.
Prof. Kinzelbach is the author of numerous articles and 4 books. He was awarded the Ehrensenator Huber Prize by the University of Karlsruhe, the European Science Prize of the Körber Foundation and the Academic Software prize of the German Federal Minister of Research. He is a member of the Water Research Commission of the DFG and visiting professor at the Department of Geology, University of Oslo, Norway.