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Lilia Abron

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Information about Lilia Abron

Profile image of Lilia Abron

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Chemical Engineer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Paris, France
Favorite Quote:
I won't worry about that today, I'll worry about it tomorrow.

Birthplace

Born:
3/8/1945
Birth Location:
Memphis, Tennessee

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Chemical Engineer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Paris, France
Favorite Quote:
I won't worry about that today, I'll worry about it tomorrow.

Birthplace

Born:
3/8/1945
Birth Location:
Memphis
See how Lilia Abron is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Chief executive officer and chemical engineer Lilia Ann Abron was born on March 8, 1945 in Memphis, Tennessee. Her father was a school principal and her mother was a school teacher who taught art and geography. Abron attended Lemoyne College in Memphis, Tennessee where she received her B.S. degree in chemistry in 1966. She earned her M.S. degree in sanitary engineering from Washington University in St. Louis in 1968. After receiving her M.S. degree, Abron worked for the Kansas City Water Department. She went on to become a research engineer for the Metropolitan Sanitary District of Greater Chicago. Abron received her Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Iowa in 1972, the first African American woman to do so.

After completing her education, Abron served as an assistant professor of civil engineering at Tennessee State University and held a joint appointment as an assistant professor of environmental engineering at Vanderbilt University. In 1975, she joined the faculty of Howard University as an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering while serving as a consultant to local engineering firms. Abron founded PEER Consultants in 1978, an environmental engineering consulting firm that provides solutions to the problems of contamination of the environment. Her firm had contracts with the Superfund program including the Boston Harbor cleanup; the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy through its Hazardous Waste Remedial Actions Program. In 1995, Abron founded Peer Africa with the mission of building energy-efficient homes in post-apartheid South Africa. Peer Africa’s Witsand iEEECO (Integrated Energy Environment Empowerment-cost Optimization) Sustainable Human Settlement won the American Academy of Engineers 2012 Superior Achievement Award.

Abron is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and the International Women’s Forum. Professionally, she is a member of the Water Environment Federation, American Water Works Association and American Society of Civil Engineers. She also serves on the Advisory Board for the College of Engineering, University of South Florida. Abron has been active in in community serving as the president of the Washington DC chapter of Jack and Jill of American, Inc., and as a board member for the Baptist Home for Children. She was an original participant of the 1975 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) study, “The Double Bind: The Price of Being a Minority Woman in Science.” In 1999, Abron was the recipient of the Hancher-Finkbine Alumni Medallion from the University of Iowa; in 2001, she was awarded the Magic Hands Award by LeMoyne-Owen College, and in 2004, she was elected to the National Academy of Arts and Sciences. Abron has three adult sons.

Lilia Ann Abron was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 17, 2012.

See how Lilia Abron is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lilia Abron's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lilia Abron lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lilia Abron describes her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lilia Abron talks about her mother's growing up and education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lilia Abron describes her mother's family resemblance
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lilia Abron talks about her mother's role in the family
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lilia Abron talks about her family as land owners
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lilia Abron describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lilia Abron talks about her grandparents
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lilia Abron talks about her father's education and how her parents met
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lilia Abron talks about her siblings and her parents' personalities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lilia Abron describes her earliest childhood memories
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lilia Abron talks about her childhood neighborhoods
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lilia Abron describes the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lilia Abron talks about the racial climate of Memphis when she was a child
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Lilia Abron talks about her childhood career interests
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lilia Abron talks about her elementary school experience
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lilia Abron talks about the structure of her childhood schools
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lilia Abron talks about her family's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lilia Abron talks about her family's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement- part 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lilia Abron talks about her academic standing during high school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lilia Abron talks about her social life during high school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lilia Abron talks about her decision to attend Lemoyne Owen College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Lilia Abron talks about her experience at Lemoyne-Owen College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lilia Abron talks about famous people that visited Lemoyne-Owen College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lilia Abron talks about the music of Memphis and her peers from college
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lilia Abron talks about her peers during her college years
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lilia Abron talks about her decision to major in chemistry
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lilia Abron talks about her decision to pursue her graduate studies at Washington University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lilia Abron talks about her experience at Washington University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lilia Abron talks about what a sanitary engineer does
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lilia Abron talks about environmental justice and her professors at Washington University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lilia Abron describes the social unrest after Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lilia Abron talks about her mentors and research at the University of Iowa
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lilia Abron talks about bottled water
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lilia Abron talks about her post-doctoral employment opportunities and African American women in STEM
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lilia Abron talks about her experience teaching at Howard University and how her career trajectory shifted
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Lilia Abron talks about how she met her husband
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Lilia Abron talks about her business, PEER Consultants
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Lilia Abron talks about environmental racism
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Lilia Abron talks about her consulting projects from her business, PEER Consultants
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Lilia Abron talks about PEER Africa and her work in Africa- part 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Lilia Abron talks about PEER Africa and her work in Africa- part 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Lilia Abron talks about her awards and her future plans
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Lilia Abron talks about her business partner, Douglas Guy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Lilia Abron talks about the dynamics of working in South Africa
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Lilia Abron reflects on her legacy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Lilia Abron talks about the business operations at PEER
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Lilia Abron reflects on her career and talks about the challenges of owning a small business
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Lilia Abron talks about her family
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Lilia Abron talks about how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Lilia Abron describes her photos