John Ripley Freeman, 1855-1932, BS 1876, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was an internationally known hydraulics engineer who served as a consultant on water power, river control, water supply, and allied problems of hydraulic engineering. He worked also as an expert in the area of fire protection and prevention and studied the role of design and construction in relation to earthquakes. Mr. Freeman was elected a member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Corporation in 1893 and served on the Corporation until his death in 1932.
John R. Freeman consulted widely in the United States. Among many projects, he investigated the feasibility of damming the Charles River to create the Charles River Basin in Boston, Massachusetts, worked on the survey of the Greater New York water supply, and in California, in San Francisco on the Hetch-Hetchy Dam project. He also led many projects abroad, and acted as consultant to the government of China on projects relating to the Grand Canal and the Yellow River (Huang He). He also served on US government advisory committees.