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 catalysis and physicochemical processes in natural and engineered environmental systems with particular focus on energy and urban sustainability applications.  She studies the synthesis, characterization and performance of photo-active materials, principally TiO2-based nanocomposites for solar fuel production, resource recovery and water/air treatment.  Work in her group also involves the investigation of chemical fate in natural systems.   She probes the role of periphyton (algal biofilms) in contaminant accumulation in stream sediments and in denitrification in wetlands.  She studies the ways in which detailed understanding of ecological relationships (periphyton structure, dynamic food web descriptions) improves our ability to predict chemical transfer (bioaccumulation) in aquatic systems and ultimately human health risks.  Application of this research is important in efforts to restore critical ecosystems (Great Lakes), to make ecological forecasts in the face of climate change and to employ ecosystem function for environmental protection (treatment wetlands). She is also studying 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 recovery and economic recovery.  She was a Senior Science Fellow at the Environmental Law and Policy Center and is a faculty affiliate of the Buffett Center of Global Studies and the NU Law School. She is the author of over 130 scientific papers and lectures widely on energy, climate and environmental issues.

Selected Publications

    1.  Chao Liu, Scott L. Nauert, Marco A. Alsina, Dingdi Wang, Alex Grant, Kai He, Michael Nolan, Eric Weitz, Kimberly A. Gray, Justin M. Notestein (2019). Role of surface reconstruction on Cu/TiO2catalysts in CO2conversion, Applied Catalysis B,255:117754; DOI - 10.1016/j.apcatb.2019.117754

    2.  Kazi Sadman, David E. Delgado, Yechan Won, Qifeng Wang, Kimberly A. Gray, Kenneth R. Shull (2019). Versatile and high-throughput polyelectrolyte complex membranes via phase inversion, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 11:17:16081-16026;  https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.9b02115

    3.  Han Gao, Jeanne M. LaVergne, Corey M.G. Carpenter, Raj Desai, Xu Zhang, Kimberly Gray,Damian E. Helbling, George F. Wells (2019).  Exploring Co-occurrence Patterns between Micropollutants and Bacterial Community Structure in a Restored Riparian Zone, Environmental Science: Process & Impacts, 21:867-880; DOI 10.1039/C8EM00588E.

    4.  Carolyn M. Wilke, Claire Petersen, Marco Alsina, Jean-François Gaillard,Kimberly A. Gray (2019).  Photochemical interactions between n-Ag2S and n-TiO2amplify their bacterial stress response. Environmental Science: Nano,6, 115 – 126;DOI: 10.1039/C8EN01159A.

    5. K.A. Gray (2019). Geoengineered Strategies:  The Feasibility of Climate Intervention on a Global Scale, in Climate Geoengineering: Law and Governance,David Dana & Wil Burns, eds. Springer Publisher, in press.

    6. M.A.L.R.M. Cortes, J.W.J. Hamilton, P. K. Sharma, A. Brown, M. Nolan, K.A. Gray, J. A. Byrne (2019). Formal Quantum Efficiencies for the Photocatalytic Reduction of CO2in a Gas Phase Batch Reactor.  Catalysis Today, 326:75-81.

    7. Yechan Won, Kevin Schwartzenberg, Kimberly A. Gray(2018). TiO2-based transparent coatings create self-cleaning surfaces, Chemosphere, 208:899-906, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2018.06.014

    8. James Griffin, Eric Taw, Abha Gosavi, Nicholas E. Thornburg, Ihsan Pramanda, Hyung-Sool Lee, Kimberly A Gray, Justin M. Notestein,George Wells (2018).  Valorization of Bioelectrochemically Derived Hydrogen Peroxide Through Sulfoxidation.  ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering,6(6):7880-7889, DOI:10.1021/acssuschememg.7b04641.

    9.  Carolyn M. Wilke, Bettina Wunderlich, Jean-François Gaillard, and Kimberly A. Gray (2018). Synergistic bacterial stress results from exposure to nano-Ag and nano-TiO2mixtures under light in environmental media, Environmental Science and Technology52 (5), pp 3185–3194; DOI 10.1021/acs.est.7b05629.

    10.  Chao Liu, Justin M. Notestein, Eric Weitz and Kimberly A. Gray (2018).  Photo-initiated Reduction of CO2by H2on Silica Surface. ChemSusChem,11(7):1163-1168. DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201702341. Front Cover Feature. 




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