Core Faculty

Kimberly A. Gray

Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and (by courtesy) Chemical and Biological Engineering

2145 Sheridan Road

Tech #A322

Evanston, IL 60208-3109

+1 847 467 4252
k-gray( at )


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

Our work on environmental process deals with the general study of contaminant fate in aquatic systems. Specifically, we use the analytical technique of pyrolysis/GC/MS to trace the removal or transformation of organic compounds in systems such as drinking water treatment, surface waters, or wetlands. We are particularly interested in understanding the coupled effects of organic and metal contaminants in treatment or natural processes.

In the area of radiation-induced catalysis, our work is focused on understanding how radiant energy is converted to chemical energy to drive the degradation of pollutants in complicated mixtures. We study photocatalytic reactions on titanium dioxide by using novel analytical techniques to improve our mechanistic understanding of the process. We also study the radiolytic destruction of contaminants in soils and on oxide surfaces.

Our ecotoxicological research involves the study of PCB dynamics in stream sediments. We are investigating the effects associated with PCBs strong partitioning in biological organisms on ecological structure.

In the area of environmental remediation, we are working on the remediation of a number of highly contaminated brownfield sites on the Southeast side of Chicago.

Selected Publications

    1. C.T.T. Bihn, T. Tong, J-F Gaillard, K.A. Gray J.J. Kelly,  (2013).  “Use of High-throughput screening to measure short-term cytotoxicity among common stream bacteria to nano-titanium dioxide in natural surface waters,” Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology, in press.

    2. T. Tong, Anas Shereef, Jinsong Wu, ,C.T.T. Bihn, J.J. Kelly, J-F Gaillard, K.A. Gray (2013).  “The effects of material morphology on the acute bacterial cytotoxicity of nano-TiO2,” Environ. Sci. Technol., in press.

    3. T.R. Eaton, M. Campos, K.A. Gray, J.M. Notestein  (2014).  "Quantifying accessible sites and reactivity on titania-silica (photo)catalysts: Refining TOF calculations,” Journal of Catalysis, 309:156-165.

    4. W. Wu, K. Bhattacharyya, K. Gray and E. Weitz (2013).  “Photo-induced Reactions of Surface Bound Species on the Titania Nanotubes and Platinized Titania Nanotubes: An in-situ FTIR study,” Jour. Physical Chemistry C, in press.

    5. K. Bhattacharyya, A. Danon, B. Vijayan, K.A. Gray, P.C. Stair, E. Weitz (2013).  “The role of the surface lewis acid and basic sites in the adsorption of CO2 on titania nanotubes and platinized titania nanotubes:  An in situ FT-IR study,” Jour. Phys. Chem. C, 117 (24), pp 12661–12678; DOI:10.1021/jp402979m.

    6. Daniel Finkelstein-Shapiro, Sarah J. Hurst, Kimberly A. Gray, Nada Dimitrijevic, Tijana Rajh, Pilarisetty Tarakeshwar, Vladimiro Mujica (2013). “CO2 pre-activation via charge transfer states of TiO2-aminosalicylic acid complexes,” JPC Letters, 4(3):475-479.

    7. T. Tong, C.T.T. Bihn, J.J. Kelly, J-F Gaillard, K.A. Gray (2013).  “Cytotoxicity of commercial nano-TiO2 to Escherichia coli assessed by high-throughput screening: Effects of environmental factors,” Water Research, 47:2352-2362

    8. Daniel Finkelstein-Shapiro, Charlie Y.-H. Tsai, Shuyou Li, Kimberly A. Gray (2013).  “Synthesis of high-energy anatase nanorods via an intermediate nanotube morphology,” CPLETT, 546:106–108; DOI 10.1016/j.cplett.2012.07.039.

    9. Kathryn N. Kalscheur, Miguel Rojas, Christopher G. Peterson, John J. Kelly, Kimberly A. Gray (2012).“Algal Exudates and Stream Organic Matter Influence the Structure and Function of Denitrifying Bacterial Communities, Microbial Ecology, 64:881–892.

    10. Olga Lyandres, Pongkarn Chakthranont, Daniel Finkelstein Shapiro, Michael Graham, Kimberly Gray (2012). “The effects of preferred orientation in sputtered TiO2 thin films on the photooxidation efficiency of acetaldehyde,” Chemistry of Materials, 24:17:3355-3362; DOI:

    11. Y.T. Liang, B. Vijayan, O. Lyandres, K.A. Gray, M.C. Hersam (2012).  “The effect of dimensionality on the   photocatalysis of carbon-titania nanosheet composites: Charge transfer at nanomaterial interfaces,” Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 3:1760−1765.

    12. K.N. Kalscheur, R.R. Penskar, A.D. Daley, S.M. Pechauer, C.G. Peterson, J.J. Kelly, K.A. Gray (2012), “Effects of anthropogenic inputs on the organic quality of urbanized streams,” Water Research, 46: 2515-2524 DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2012.01.043.

    13. K. Schwartzenberg, K.A. Gray (2012).  “Nanostructured Titania:  The Current and Future Promise of Titania Nanotubes,” Catalysis Science and Technology, 2 (8), 1617 – 1624; DOI: 10.1039/C2CY00538G.

    14. Baiju K. Vijayan, Nada M. Dimitrijevic, Daniel F. Shapiro, Kimberly A. Gray (2012).  “Coupling titania nanotubes and carbon nanotubes to create photocatalytic nanocomposites,” ACS Catalysis 2, 223–229.

    15. P.A. DeSario, J. Wu, M.E. Graham, K.A. Gray (2012).  “Nanoscale structure of Ti1-xNbyO2 mixed phase thin films: Distribution of crystal phase and dopants,” Journal of Materials Research, 27:944-950 (DOI:10.1557/jmr.2011.449).

    16. Alon Danon, Kaustava Bhattacharyya, Baiju K. Vijayan, Junling Lu, Dana J. Sauter, Kimberly A. Gray, Peter C. Stair, and Eric Weitz (2012).  “The Effect of Reactor Materials on the Properties of Titanium Oxide Nanotubes,” ACS Catalysis, 2 (1), 45–49.


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