The International Association of Hydrogeologists accords the title of Honorary Member to those who have given exceptional services to the Association over a long period. Candidates are elected, following the recommendation of Council, by a vote of the General Assembly of the Association. This vote took place on 7th September 2021.
Dr Judith Flügge
Judith Flügge graduated in 2004 with an engineering diploma in hydrogeology and engineering geology from the Technical University Berlin. She received her PhD from the Technical University Braunschweig in 2009. Following this she began work at GRS as a groundwater modeler, and then project leader. In 2018 Judith was appointed Head of the Site Selection Department in the Geological Disposal Division.
Judith is responsible for fundamental research on long-term safety of disposal sites for radioactive waste. She oversees groundwater flow and radionuclide transport modelling, conducts laboratory experiments on characterization of different host rocks and evaluates siting criteria for disposal sites. In 2017 Judith became OECD/NEA Crystalline Club Co-Chair and in 2021 she was appointed Chair.
Her studies and research have taken her to Portugal and Brazil, and a drilling internship in the Philippines. In Rwanda Judith worked on restoration of artisanal tantalum mining wasteland.
Judith has been a member of IAH since 2004 and attended her first congress in 2010 in Krakow. Here she began her involvement with early career hydrogeologists at their first meeting. This led in 2011 to collaborating on the formal establishment of the Early Career Hydrogeologists Network (ECHN) and the first official meeting in Pretoria (2011). During this time, with Judith’s involvement the profile of ECHN was raised, with early career hydrogeologists invited as congress session co-chairs, prizes for ECHN posters and oral presentations and the renowned ECHN social events during IAH congresses. In 2012 in Niagara Falls, Judith became the first Early Career Hydrogeologist invited to speak during the opening ceremony. In the role of ECHN Chair, Judith was Advisor to IAH Council from 2011 to 2013.
Judith was elected Vice President of the German National Chapter in 2014 and is currently Secretary. She actively promotes networking of chapters and, during the Covid pandemic, through the establishment of the ‘What’s New in Hydro’ online sessions. She also promotes cooperation with the Expert Group of Hydrogeology in the German Geological Society (FH-DGGV). For her long-term contribution to the work of the Association, Dr Judith Flügge fully deserves the award of Honorary Membership.
Sophie Vermooten received her Master’s degree in hydrogeology from the University of Utrecht in 2002. Since then she has worked on groundwater management, as a modeler, in training of experts and as a leader of increasingly complex and integrated projects. Her career has taken her to China, Syria, Yemen, Italy, Kuwait, Tunisia, South Africa, Morocco, Madagascar and Australia.
Sophie is currently the Regional Manager for Europe for Deltares and Deputy Manager for Subsurface and Groundwater Quality. Before this she worked at IGRAC, the UN International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre on transboundary groundwater management. In 2008 she was also seconded to the Royal Embassy of the Netherlands in Beijing for 6 months to review expertise in China on groundwater management and soil pollution.
Her projects include creating, in partnership, a framework for drought management measures across Africa, and, over a number of years, developing multi-actor decision-making approaches for the private sector to support collaborative action for water stewardship in water stressed basins. She leads a number of projects where nature-based remediation solutions are implemented to tackle historical industrial pollution in the subsurface and groundwater. She is a member of Water Europe’s Policy Advisory Committee, representing the European research institutes.
With an early focus on international projects, joining IAH allowed Sophie to build a network of contacts. She was able to contribute to IAH’s goals by becoming Secretary and Treasurer of the Netherlands Chapter from 2008 to 2018. At the ‘Forward Look’ planning meeting in 2010, Sophie considered ways to reinvigorate IAH by attracting early career members and supporting them in developing their professional networks and careers. As a result, and through teamwork, ECHN and the use of social media were established.
In time Sophie became an advisor to ECHN, in support of the new generation of ECHN leaders, but she continued her work with the Netherlands Chapter and promotion and expansion of the LinkedIn group. For Her long-term contribution to the work of the Association, Sophie Vermooten fully deserves the award of Honorary Membership.