MACON — Kimberly A. Gray, Ph.D., an expert on natural and engineered environmental systems, will give the Third Annual Sigma Xi Distinguished Science Lecture at Mercer on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the auditorium of the Science and Engineering Building on the Macon campus. Dr. Gray will give a lecture titled “Energy and the Environment: The Central Challenge of Sustainability.”
The will be a reception in the lobby preceding the lecture in the Science and Engineering Building at 6 p.m., sponsored by Mercer’s chapter of the honor society of Phi Kappa Phi.
Americans live far from being sustainable, using energy and resources to a greater extent than what we produce and what other countries use, argues Dr. Gray, a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Northwestern University. There is an urgent need to determine the near-term and long-term paths to a sustainable future in an integrated fashion if we are to protect future generations, the environment, and the economies of the world. Dr. Gray will focus her presentation on current energy consumption, environmental consequences and our scientific and technical understanding to alter our current course set hundreds of years ago as societies moved from subsistence agricultural to highly industrialized economies. Dr. Gray believes that a compelling case for sustainability can be made.
Dr. Gray, who also holds a secondary appointment in chemical and biological engineering, has been on the faculty of Northwestern University since 1995. Her research focuses on the development of photoactive materials for energy and environmental applications, and on the study of chemical fate in environmental systems.
Since 2003, she has been the director of the Environmental Science, Engineering and Policy Program at Northwestern. She was recognized as a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator, was the 1998-99 president of the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors, and was the associate director of one of the first three NSF Environmental Molecular Science Institutes in the U.S., Northwestern’s Institute of Environmental Catalysis, from 1998-2005. In 2007, she received the McCormick Excellence Award in Research, Teaching and Citizenship. She is also the author of over 60 scientific papers and lectures widely on energy and environmental issues.