Laura W. Lackey

Dean of the School of Engineering, B.S., M.S., Ph.D., P.E., BCEE

Laura Lackey
Laura Lackey

Laura Lackey currently serves as dean, Kaolin Industry Chair and professor of environmental engineering in the School of Engineering. Since joining the faculty in 1998, she has taught more than 20 different courses ranging from freshman-level Introduction to Design to a variety of senior- and graduate-level offerings. Dr. Lackey received the School of Engineering Teacher of the Year Award in 2001, 2007 and 2015. She also was named to the All-Southern Conference Faculty Team in 2016. She served as chair of the Environmental Engineering Department for five years before transitioning to associate dean in 2013. 

In addition to her teaching, Dr. Lackey has taken an active interest in the Mercer On Mission program. She and her students have taken their research to communities globally through efforts in Kenya, Uganda and Ecuador. Projects in Uganda and Kenya focused on using manual well-drilling techniques and low-cost, human-powered pumps to bring water closer to users and in the development, installation and monitoring of point-of-use biosand filters used to treat surface water prior to drinking. Work in the El Oro Province of Ecuador is focused on the design, installation and testing of a mercury capture system intended to reduce emissions from artisanal mining processes that use mercury to extract gold from ore. 

Prior to coming to Mercer, Dr. Lackey spent six years at the Tennessee Valley Authority as an environmental/chemical engineer, where she conducted both basic and applied research with emphasis on the mitigation of organic wastes through bioremediation, and two years as an adjunct professor of environmental engineering at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. 

Dr. Lackey earned her Bachelor of Science, Master of Science and Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She is a registered professional engineer and a board-certified environmental engineer.