Dr. Freund was born in Gainesville Florida in 1964 and is a citizen of the US and Canada. He received a B. S. Degree in Chemistry from Florida Atlantic University in 1987. Dr. Freund received his Ph.D. in 1992 from the University of Florida, one of the top programs in Analytical Chemistry in the United States. During his graduate studies he received awards based on his research including the Shell Fellowship in Chemistry (1992) and the Electrochemical Society’s Joseph W. Richards Fellowship (1991). Subsequently, he became a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology where his research contributions helped to establish a multi-investigator interdisciplinary research program on the development olfactory-inspired sensor arrays. He subsequently established himself in both the Analytical Chemistry and Material Science fields as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Lehigh University and as the Director of the Materials Science Center in the Beckman Institute at Caltech respectively where he established and ran independent, externally funded, research programs.
He currently holds the position of Professor and Head of Chemistry at the Florida Institute of Technology and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Manitoba where he was a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Conducting Polymers and Electronic Materials. Over the past decade he has led the establishment of major, multi-investigator facilities including: the Manitoba Institute for Materials electron microscopy suite including S/TEM, E-SEM and HR-SEM ($8.5M from WED, FEI, the MRIF and the UofM); the Manitoba Regional Materials and Surface Characterization Facility ($7.4 M from CFI and MRIF), including XPS, SIMS, SAM and SPM; as well as the Manitoba Chemical Analysis Laboratory ($1M) housing modern equipment for research and education.
Dr. Freund’s work has been recognized by his peers as well as the scientific and popular press. His potential as an emerging leader in his field has been recognized through invitations to participate in special journal editions devoted to emerging investigators and future leaders in Analytical Chemistry. These include the 1999 issue of Analytica Chimica Acta entitled “Looking to the Future of Analytical Chemistry” and an issue of the Analyst in 2003 devoted to “Global Emerging Investigators.” In addition, he was an invited participant in the Federation of Analytical Chemistry & Spectroscopy Societies’ 2000 Young Investigator symposium entitled “Nurturing the Forces that will Shape 21st Century Analytical Chemistry.” More recently he was appointed as a Member of the Royal Society’s Editorial Board of the Proceedings of the Royal Society A, Mathematical, Physical & Engineering Sciences (2006-2012) and co-Chair of NSERC’s DG selection committee (2009-2011).
Since he began his scientific pursuit in 1989, Dr. Freund has published over 100 articles, has been issued 28 US patents and has given over 50 invited lectures. In addition, he has been involved in several research projects that have led to innovative discoveries and therefore have had a major impact in both the chemistry and the broader scientific community. These include: the development of one of the first chemically-diverse conducting polymer-based sensor arrays modeled after the mammalian olfactory system; the development of conducting polymer-based saccharide sensors; and the introduction of new membranes for artificial photosynthetic conversion. During his time at the University of Manitoba he has been either lead or co-PI on projects securing approximately 30 million dollars in research funding.
In his current role as Department Head at the Florida Institute of Technology, Dr. Freund is focused on expanding the Department's role as a research engine and as a generator of highly trained personnel in the field of chemistry.