Dean of the School of Engineering at Tufts University
Drexel University’s College of Engineering selected Drexel engineering alumna Linda M. Abriola, the dean of the School of Engineering at Tufts University, as Drexel’s 2013 Engineering Leader of the Year. Abriola, who is the first female engineer to receive the honor, joins a prestigious group of engineering luminaries. Abriola was honored for her leadership in environmental engineering, her commitment to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and her endless contributions to engineering in an effort to improve today’s societal problems.
“I have known Linda for some time and have always been impressed with her energy and her passion for engineering,” said Dr. Joseph B. Hughes, dean of Drexel’s College of Engineering. “She has achieved the highest levels of distinction and is a role model for Drexel students. Linda is a Drexel alumna and the Drexel community should be very proud of her achievements, including her recognition as our Engineering Leader of the Year in 2013.”
As dean of the School of Engineering at Tufts, Abriola also holds a position as professor of civil and environmental engineering and is an adjunct professor in chemical and biological engineering. Abriola is a member of the NAE and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union. Prior to her appointment at Tufts, Abriola was the Horace Williams King collegiate professor of environmental engineering at the University of Michigan.
Abriola's primary research focus is the integration of mathematical modeling and laboratory experiments for the investigation and prediction of the transport and fate of reactive contaminants in the subsurface. She is particularly known for her work on the characterization and remediation of aquifers contaminated by chlorinated solvents.
Abriola's numerous professional activities have included service on a number of major federal agency advisory boards including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the National Research Council (NRC). Abriola served on the NRC's Committee on Ground Water Cleanup Alternatives, which was the first NRC committee to investigate the efficacy of pump-and-treat technologies. She was also a part of the NRC’s Committee on Gender Differences in Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty. She is currently an elected member of the NAE Council, the governing board of the NAE, and serves on two other NAE committees, the Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy, and the Integrated STEM committee, a new study of integrated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education at the K-12 level. In addition, she serves on the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Engineering Advisory Committee.
An author of more than 140 refereed publications, Abriola has been the recipient of a number of awards, including the Association for Women Geoscientist's Outstanding Educator Award (1996), the National Ground Water Association's Distinguished Darcy Lectureship (1996) and the U.S. Department of Defense’s Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program Project of the Year Award in Environmental Restoration (2006 and 2012). An ISI highly cited author in ecology/environment, Abriola was recognized in American Women of Science Since 1900 (ABC-CLIO, 2010), an encyclopedia focused on 500 of the 20th century’s most notable American women scientists.
Abriola holds doctoral and master's degrees in civil and environmental engineering from Princeton University and a bachelor's degree in civil and environmental engineering from Drexel University.
Past Drexel Engineering Leader of the Year recipients include James F. Albaugh, retired president and chief executive officer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes and executive vice president of The Boeing Company; Norman R. Augustine, retired president and chief executive officer of Lockheed Martin Corporation; Dr. Charles Vest, president of the NAE and president emeritus of MIT; Drexel alumnus Christopher Ferguson (’84), commander of NASA’s STS-126 Endeavour and STS-115 Atlantis; Dr. Bernard Amadei, founding president of Engineers Without Borders-USA and co-founder of Engineers Without Borders-International; and Dean Kamen, president of DEKA Research and Development Corp. and founder of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology).