Sorab Panday of GSI Environmental Inc., Newport Beach, Calif., has received the National Ground Water Association’s (NGWA) 2015 M. King Hubbert Award for major science contributions to the knowledge of groundwater.

The award will be presented in December at the 2015 Groundwater Expo in Las Vegas.

“His contributions to our industry over his 26-year career are more far reaching and nuanced than simply authoring industry-leader software,” wrote nominator Dr. Vivek Bedekar, senior project engineer, S.S. Papadopulos & Associates Inc.

Panday, principal engineer at GSI Environmental, is best known as the author of MODFLOW-USG, an unstructured-grid groundwater flow simulator based on the world-leading MODFLOW family of programs. MODFLOW-USG has revolutionized the use of MODFLOW in the groundwater industry and the code is becoming an industry standard for groundwater modeling. Panday is working on the next version of MODFLOW-USG to include capabilities to simulate turbulent fracture flow, contaminant transport, and saltwater intrusion.

In addition to doing innovative and original work in groundwater science, Bedekar cited Panday’s other contributions, including:

  • Serving as an adjunct professor at the University of Waterloo
  • Mentoring professional staff at numerous private companies and public agencies
  • Teaching numerical modeling courses at public, private, and educational institutions
  • Publishing and presenting widely on groundwater, water resources, and environmental topics

“In summary, Dr. Panday’s contributions to our industry combine his broad range of practical experience with his in-depth theoretical and mathematical understanding of numerical computing,” Bedekar said. “Due to his tireless pursuit for high-quality work, a wide range of simulation capabilities are available to practicing modelers worldwide. His technical papers combined with his professional and academic training have enhanced our understanding of water resources and environmental systems.”

NGWA is a nonprofit that supports responsible development, management and use of water resources. It’s comprised of groundwater professionals ranging from contractors to equipment manufacturers to scientists and engineers. For more information, visit