Faculty Directory
Kimberly A. Gray

Roxelyn and Richard Pepper Family Chair in Civil and Environmental Engineering

Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and (by courtesy) Chemical and Biological Engineering


2145 Sheridan Road
Tech A322 & A234
Evanston, IL 60208-3109

847-467-4252Email Kimberly Gray


Gray Research Group


Chemical and Biological Engineering

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Ph.D. Geography and Environmental Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

M.S. Civil Engineering, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL

B.A. Biology, minor in Biochemistry, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

Research Interests

Gray's areas of expertise are environmental chemistry and applied ecology in natural and engineered environmental systems with particular focus on climate action, energy and sustainability applications. The overarching goal of her work is to reinvent the flows of materials and energy in cities based on ecological principles in order to combat the climate emergency. She studies the synthesis, characterization and performance of photo-active materials, principally TiO2-based nanocomposites for resource recovery and water/air treatment. She leads a NSF LEAP-HI research team focused on nature-based strategies to manage stormwater, prevent flooding and enhance environmental quality in low income communities. She also studys the unintended ecotoxicological impacts of nanomaterial mixtures in aquatic systems and under light illumination. Recent work entails the adaptive and resilient design of urban systems to incorporate coupled ecological processes in response to climate change and demographic shifts. She works closely with the Chicago Legal Clinic to provide technical expertise to solve environmental problems for low-income urban communities and with other NGO in the Chicago region to develop creative solutions for resource and economic recovery. Gray is the author of over 150 scientific papers and lectures widely on energy, climate and environmental issues. 

Selected Publications

  1. M. Elkhadrawi, Carla Ng, Daniel J. Bain, Emelia E. Sargent, Emma V. Stearsman, Kimberly A. Gray, Murat Akcakaya (2023). Novel Physics-Informed Neural Networks for Estimation of Hydraulic Conductivity of Green Infrastructure as a Performance Metric by Solving Richards-Richardson PDE, Neural Computing and Applications, in press. 
  2. Han Fu, S. Shewfelt, LD Sylvan, JF Gaillard, KA Gray (2024)Polyaniline-metal coatings for biocidal applications: Mechanisms of activation and deactivationChemosphereVolume 346, January 2024, 140543https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2023.140543
  3. Natalia Obrzut, R Hickmott, L Shure, KA Gray (2023). The effects of lignin source and extraction on the composition and properties of biorefined depolymerization productsRSC Sustainability, 1, 2328 – 2340; DOI: 10.1039/D3SU00262D
  4. Z. Dong, D. Bain, KA. Gray, M. Akcakaya, C. Ng (2023). Modeling the Hydrological Benefits of Green Roof Systems: Applications and Future Needs, Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology, 9, 3120, DOI: 10.1039/d3ew00149k
  5. Han Fu, KA Gray (2023). Effect of molecular structure on the adsorption behavior of sulfanilamide antibiotics on crumpled graphene balls, Water Research, 242:120177https://doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2023.120177  
  6.  Han Fu, Vered Yaniv, Yifaat Betzalel,  Hadas Mamane, and Kimberly A. Gray (2023). Creating anti-viral high-touch surfaces using photocatalytic transparent films, Chemosphere, 323:138280https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2023.138280.
  7.  N. Obrzut, P. Carnelli, S. Brauer, J. Notestein, G. Wells, KA. Gray (2023). Valorization of lignin under mild conditions: biorefining flavonoids and lignin nanoparticlesACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, 11, 2, 491–501. doi.org/10.1021/acssuschemeng.2c03667 (Cover Feature)
  8. Han Fu, Haotian Cai, Kimberly Gray (2022). Metal oxide encapsulated by 3D graphene oxide creates a nanocomposite with enhanced organic adsorption in aqueous solution, Journal of Hazardous Materials, Vol 444, Part A, 130340 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2022.130340 .  
  9. N. Obrzut, KA. Gray (2023). Biorefining Renewable Aromatic Carbon: Unlocking Lignin’s Potential to Produce High-Value Products in Photosynthesis: From Plants to Nanomaterials, Harvey J.M. Hou, Mahdi M. Najafpour, Gary F. Moore, and Suleyman I. Allakhverdiev eds. (Elsevier), in press.

10 T. Schmitt, F. Rosi, E. Mosconi, K. Shull, S. Fantacci, C. Miliani, K. Gray (2022). New insights into the deterioration of TiO2based oil paints: the effects of illumination conditions and

surface interactionsHeritage Science, 10:99. DOI: 10.1186/s40494-022-00733-2 


Photocatalytic Composite (TiO2/SWCNT) for Organic Chemical Oxidation (provisional patent application NU 27068, filed), Y. Yao, R. Lueptow, K.A. Gray.

Mixed-phase nano-structured TiO2 composite photocatalyst for energy and energy efficiency applications, (provisional patent application NU 27093 ) G. Li & K.A. Gray.

Reactively sputtered TiO2 nanocomposite thin films for photoreduction and photooxidation applications under UV and visible light, (provisional patent application NU 28134, filed) L. Chen, M. Graham, K.A. Gray