BiographyBiography of Merv Fingas
Merv Fingas is a scientist working on oil and chemical spills. He was Chief of the Emergencies Science Division of Environment Canada for over 30 years and is currently working on research in Western Canada. Mr. Fingas has a PhD in environmental physics from McGill University, three masters degrees; chemistry, business and mathematics, all from University of Ottawa. He also has a bachelor of science in Chemistry from Alberta and a bachelor of arts from Indiana. He has more than 800 papers and publications in the field. Merv has prepared 7 books on spill topics and is working on 2 others. The sixth book, Oil Spill Science and Technology, was published in 2012 as was the seventh book, a new version of the Basics of Oil Spill Cleanup. He has served on two committees on the National Academy of Sciences of the United States on oil spills including the recent ‘Oil in the Sea’. He is chairman of several ASTM and inter-governmental committees on spill matters. Importantly, he was the founding chairman of the ASTM sub-committee on in-situ burning and chairman of oil spill treating agents and another on oil spill detection and remote sensing, positions he holds today. Last summer he testified before a U.S. congressional committee on oil spills in conjunction with the Gulf spill. He was one of three scientists working with U.S. NOAA to examine the mass balances of the Gulf spill.
Dr. Fingas began his career in 1974 working for Environment Canada as a scientist working on oil and chemical spills. Dr. Fingas worked in general coordination on the program and specifically managed a number of sub-projects including those on chemistry, oil behaviour, remote sensing, spill tracking and spill treating agents. Dr. Fingas continued in many of these research fields until today. His specialities include; oil chemistry, spill dynamics and behaviour, spill treating agents remote sensing and detection, spill tracking, in-situ burning, and the fate and behavior of oil spills. He continues research and writing on these topics to this day.
Dr. Fingas began his career in 1974 working for Environment Canada as a scientist working on oil and chemical spills. His first tasks were largely to work on the Beaufort Sea Studies, a multi-million dollar joint industry-government program to develop oil spill readiness for the Canadian Beaufort Sea. His role in these studies was to coordinate chemical and physical studies and to prepare overview documents. With the completion of these studies a new study of large magnitude, the Arctic and Marine Oil Spill Program, was founded in 1977. Dr. Fingas, one of the founders of this program, worked in general coordination on the program and specifically managed a number of sub-projects including those on chemistry, oil behaviour, remote sensing, spill tracking and spill treating agents. Dr. Fingas continued in many of these research fields until today. His specialities include; Arctic oil spills, oil chemistry, spill dynamics and behaviour, spill treating agents remote sensing and detection, spill tracking, in-situ burning, and chemical counter-terrorism. He continues research and writing on these topics to this day.
Summary Merv Fingas is a scientist working in spill research and development:
• Specialities include; oil chemistry, spill dynamics and behaviour, spill treating agents remote sensing and detection, in-situ burning, chemical counter-terrorism
• Education: doctorate in environmental sciences, masters degrees in science (chemistry) and business (managerial sciences and general business), bachelor of arts and technical school training in machining and electronics
• Authored more than 800 technical publications, papers and books, manuals and more than 580 peer-reviewed papers or articles
• Experience includes more than 38 years in oil and chemical spill research, also as a research manager of up to 45 scientists, engineers and support personnel
• In SCOPUS has more than 290 cited documents with more than 3300 citations since 1996; H factor is 29; In Google Scholar as more than 390 documents with more than 4000 citations; H factor is 31
• Information dissemination: has written more than 60 manuals directed at operational personnel; developed and taught response courses for more than 30 years; and has given lectures and courses on spills in more than 20 countries
• Developments: developed several tools that have been commercialized
• New knowledge: evaporation of oils by non-air-boundary layer-regulated mechanisms, water-in-oil emulsion types and prediction models; in-situ burning emissions and prediction of these; algorithms to predict oil behaviour;
• Awards: has won more than 20 awards for research and papers including from the United States Government, Canadian Government and international conferences
• International Scientific Recognition: former world editor for the Journal of Hazardous Materials publishing more than 2500 papers annually; was invited in 2010 to the U.S. Congress to testify on oil spills on behalf of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences; has been on four U.S. National Academy of Sciences committees including a lead on oil spill behaviour for the important “Oil in the Sea” committee; has been on the advisory boards for several U.S. . Agencies and several state agencies, including Texas, Louisiana, Washington, Alaska and California; was a lead on several NATO studies including Germany, France and U.K.; serves on numerous international editorial boards and scientific committees
• Initiated several major research programs including: lead in AMOP (Arctic and Marine Oilspill Program) in mid-70’s; developed the chemical spill countermeasures program in late 70's; the chemical and physical studies program for oil and chemical spills in mid-80's; the chemical counter-terrorism program after 2001; led the Canadian chemical counter-terrorism program from 2004 to 2006; assisted in the development of research programs in the U.S. including MSRC, Texas and Alaska
• Managed many spill research projects and programs for over 30 years at funding levels as much as $6,000,000 per year and with up to 45 scientists, engineers and support staff
• Active in spill standards: vice-chairman of ASTM committee F-20 on spill standards for more than 30 years; sub-committee chairman on F-13, spill treating agents; F-15 on remote sensing; and F-16 on in-situ burning; wrote more than 15 standards
Collaborated on studies with more than 25 organizations around the world,; coordinated studies for more than 30 years through 6 internationally-attended committees; developed co-operative projects with many international groups
PhD McGill University, Environmental Physics, MSc. Ottawa, Chemistry; MBA Ottawa, Business, BSc. Alberta, Chemistry
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
Dr. Fingas’s specialities include; oil chemistry, spill dynamics and behaviour, spill treating agents remote sensing and detection, spill tracking, in-situ burning, and the fate and behavior of oil spills.