Terry W. Hennigar, P.Eng., FEC, FCSCE, FCSSE – Doctor of Science ('20)

Video transcript

“Be prepared and you will do well. Being prepared will add wind under your wings.”


Terry Hennigar is fondly thought of as the grandfather of hydrogeology in Nova Scotia. His career spans more than 50 years of comprehensive experience in engineering, environmental science, hydrogeology, water resources management, and groundwater protection.

When Mr. Hennigar enrolled in engineering at Acadia, his dream was to fly the Avro Arrow supersonic jet. Its cancellation by the federal government in 1959 ended that dream, and he left Acadia to work for two years with Frontier College in northern Canada’s mining industry. When he returned to Acadia, he switched to the geology program.

In 1963, Professor Rupert McNeill introduced Atlantic Canada’s first course in hydrogeology, and Mr. Hennigar and a friend he recruited were its first students.

Professor McNeill’s course led to a summer job in the Province of Nova Scotia’s new Groundwater Section within the Department of Mines (now Department of Natural Resources), followed by a full-time job after graduation in 1965. At the urging of his employer, he took a master’s program at Dalhousie, graduating in 1968. Mr. Hennigar later worked for Environment Canada and several national consulting companies before starting his own business. “I give most of the credit to Rupert McNeill and the Acadia geology program,” he says. Of all the courses I have taken at University the new subject and course in hydrogeology captured my complete interest. Little did I know at the time that it would lead to a very interesting career.

Mr. Hennigar also served as an adjunct Associate Professor at Dalhousie and the Technical University of NS for 22 years teaching graduate courses in hydrogeology.

Across Canada, Mr. Hennigar is thought of as one of a handful of individuals who helped hydrogeology develop into a subdiscipline of geoscience in its own right.