A Fresh Approach to Water Intelligence
Freeboard Technology, a subsidiary of LimnoTech, is building smarter environmental sensor networks for lakes, rivers, estuaries, and wetlands, blending proven and emerging technology to monitor and forecast environmental conditions. Access to modern, cost-effective sensing systems is needed to monitor for impacts from climate change, excess nutrient runoff, toxic algae, hypoxia, extreme flooding, dangerous currents, and high winds and coastal erosion. Our staff have the experience to design, build, deploy, and maintain a network of complex sensors and integrate data and intelligence from satellites, high-resolution models, and cutting-edge research.
A water-centric startup
Freeboard Technology is based in Cleveland, Ohio ‒ home to vibrant technology and water-focused companies and nonprofits. The Cleveland base is particularly meaningful as the Cuyahoga River, which drains to Lake Erie, caught fire more than 50 years ago due to excessive pollution and neglect. Subsequent environmental laws and regulations now mandate continuous monitoring and regulation of pollution and other water inflows to Lake Erie. Although the direct discharge of industrial pollutants has stopped, Lake Erie is still heavily impacted by combined sewer overflows, widespread toxic and nuisance algal blooms, hypoxia, and new emerging threats. LimnoTech has worked for years to clean up our nation’s waters using the most advanced science, engineering, and design, dating back to the passage of the Clean Water Act and the signing of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement in the 1970s. The founding of Freeboard Technology in 2022 marks a continuing commitment to provide the most advanced tools, technology, and foundational research to the water sector.
Freeboard Technology grew out of LimnoTech’s work between 2010 to 2021 to apply sophisticated sensing technology from the telecommunications, healthcare, personal electronics, automotive, and cloud computing industries to the water industry. This includes early warning systems, online nutrient analyzers, and networks of connected buoys and observing platforms.
LimnoTech had pushed the limits of available sensing technology and in 2021 maintained the largest network of private real-time data buoys and drinking water intake monitoring sensors in the Great Lakes region. Freeboard Technology complements LimnoTech’s environmental consulting expertise and will bring new water technologies to market, drive down production costs, provide connectivity, and build smart decision sensor dashboards and analytics tools.
Upon founding Freeboard in 2022, Tim Dekker, president of LimnoTech, saw Freeboard Technology as the right next step. “We work every day with people who urgently need high-quality, real-time environmental data to monitor valuable ecosystems and a changing climate,” Dekker notes. “We’re excited to launch Freeboard to help meet that need.”
According to Freeboard co-founder Ed Verhamme, a principal, senior engineer at LimnoTech, “Freeboard will influence and direct the design, manufacturing, and deployment of networks of new sensors and infrastructure that are needed to monitor and protect our nations’ waters.” He adds, “the Midwest, including Michigan and Ohio, are fantastic incubators for new water technology development and innovation.”
The heart of our organization is our people. We are a passionate group that values integrity and excellence. Every day we come to work ready to help our clients advance their water-related initiatives and find solutions to challenging water issues. We thrive on collaboration, partnerships, and the success that happens when we work together.
The descriptions below provide a snapshot of the talented people who make it all happen.
Ed Verhamme, President
Ed Verhamme co-founded Freeboard Technology and was named its first president in 2022. Ed is well known for his work across the Great Lakes region to design, build, and maintain the next-generation sensing network that supports hundreds of thousands of boaters, key water managers, and critical infrastructure owners. Drinking water treatment plants, coastal communities, and the research community rely on his expertise to monitor hazardous weather, toxic and harmful algal blooms, hypoxic waters, and critical shoreline and wetland habitats. He has also served as a principal investigator on several major federally funded research projects and has contributed to nearly 20 peer-reviewed journal articles concerning water quality issues. In 2021, Ed served as the International Association for Great Lakes Research president and supported ongoing work to build robust public-private partnerships to tackle tough social justice and environmental issues.
Greg Peterson, Business Development
Greg Peterson has 40 years of experience in water resources and environmental engineering at more than 300 sites nationwide. Throughout his career, Greg has helped develop and grow sustainable and innovative environmental consulting business lines in water resource management; surface and groundwater monitoring and modeling; sediment management; hazardous waste site assessments; remedial investigations and feasibility studies; regulatory compliance; and nonpoint source assessment. Greg has managed projects in these broad technical areas for industrial, legal, commercial, academic, and government clients. Service sectors and projects managed by Greg have involved monitoring, evaluating, and remediating the full range of conventional and priority pollutants in groundwater, soils, waste disposal areas, sediments, lakes, streams, estuaries, and air.
Greg Cutrell, Application Scientist
Greg Cutrell supports the deployment and integration of soil, atmospheric, and water-based sensors at Freeboard Technology. He has a master’s degree in natural resource science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a bachelor’s degree in atmospheric science from the University of North Carolina-Asheville. His area of specialization is in applied climate sciences and atmospheric surface observations. Greg’s work includes integrating environmental monitoring sensors with custom software and data telemetry, data processing and storage, and front-end web applications for data end users. He is a lead scientist developing, integrating, and deploying real-time environmental sensors for operational and research projects.
Ken Gibbons, Engagement Scientist
Ken Gibbons supports engagement with current and new customers to ensure that Freeboard Technology is meeting their needs. His experience centers around eutrophication and harmful algal blooms (HABs). Ken has conducted research surrounding HABs and the development of collaborative products used to inform managers and decision-makers. Prior to joining Freeboard Technology, Ken worked as a senior program specialist at an inter-state agency working on various programs in the water quality area. He has a Master of Science in Biology from the University of Toledo and a Bachelor of Arts in biology with a minor in environmental geology from Albion College.
Zach Gordon, Product Engineer
Zach Gordon is a product engineer and is responsible for new product development, electronics integration, mechanical design, and product testing. He previously worked as an electrical and mechanical systems engineer at a large government contractor, implementing innovative technology in one of the world’s harshest marine environments. Zach has a wide breadth of knowledge of technical applications in the water space and supports the design and implementation of Freeboard Technology’s innovative network of sensors, buoys, and data collection.
Todd Redder, PE, Data System Engineer
Todd Redder, PE, supports the design, operation, and buildout of Freeboard Technology’s cyberinfrastructure including cloud services and online data systems. Todd specializes in designing and implementing custom web-based data management and decision-support tools and supporting infrastructure to meet specific client and project needs. He also has extensive expertise developing, calibrating, and applying mathematical models for evaluating hydrodynamics, water quality, sediment transport, contaminant fate, transport, and ecosystem response in watersheds, rivers, lakes, and estuarine systems.