Dr. Kenya Crosson

Written by Laura Bistrek

Dr. Kenya Crosson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Engineering Mechanics. She has a joint appointment with Bioengineering Graduate Program and currently serves as the LTC Faculty Development Fellow for Diversity & Inclusion. Dr. Crosson has been a faculty member at UD for ten years and is the first female African-American tenured faculty member in the School of Engineering.

Dr. Crosson earned her B.S. in Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University. Her expertise is in environmental engineering, specifically the physical and chemical water and wastewater treatment processes. Her research focuses on the fate, transport,
and mitigation of emerging contaminants.

A fascination with water and the environment began early in Dr. Crosson’s life, when her family moved from Ohio to a very rural, agricultural part of North Carolina when she was in middle school. In North Carolina, Dr. Crosson noticed that flooding impacted these rural areas and that not all people had access to clean water, especially those that were disadvantaged. Through her father’s work running a rural community health center, she learned that people were dealing with rare cancers and wondered if the cancer had any connection to contaminants in the environment. A series of female science teachers in middle and high school fueled her interest in science. In high school, she went to a STEM program on a university campus where she took classes and did independent research focused on the environment and chemistry. It was through that high school program that she was first exposed to engineering.

When describing areas of passion in her work, Dr. Crosson’s immediate response is working with students. She is very involved working with undergraduate and graduate students in her research and in supporting students with ETHOS projects. She likes to coach and mentor students to help them discover what they want to explore. Dr. Crosson also likes collaborative research with colleagues in other disciplines to advance research in new areas. She recently completed a sabbatical where she worked with an environmental engineer and other scientists to learn about water quality and
copper corrosion in water distribution systems. At UD, Dr. Crosson appreciates the concept of lifelong learning, working with her colleagues, teaching project based courses, and using engineering, science and technology to help society.

Dr. Crosson’s accolades include: receiving a SOCHE faculty award for service as a faculty member, being recognized by the Office of Multicultural Affairs with a proclamation, receiving the Ohio Section of the American Water Works Associationan award for best research presentation in the State of Ohio, and being selected for a KEEN cohort to look at new ways of teaching that are good for inclusive classrooms and climate.