Ph.D., University of Arizona
After five years at the University of Utah, Otakuye Conroy-Ben has returned to Arizona — the state where she became the first Lakota in history to receive a doctorate in engineering.
She is among three new faculty members to join the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment in 2015–2016.
Her research interests surround water and wastewater treatment and reuse — ranging from understanding what pollutants exist in wastewater, what effects they can have and why they sometimes survive treatment.
Currently, Assistant Professor Conroy-Ben (whose first name is pronounced “Oh-TOCK-oo-yay”) is quantifying organic pollutants found in sewage and wastewater impacted water that have been proven to have adverse effects on animals, including the feminization of male fish. Disturbingly, sometimes these pollutants (a new class of androgens that her team discovered) be detected at low level in drinking water, said Conroy-Ben.
Another notable project focused on understanding a specific community’s drug usage or abuse trends by using sewage as a dilute urine sample.
Focused on Salt Lake County, she was able to identify that prescription pain medications were more prevalent in affluent suburbs, while methamphetamine abuse was inversely proportional to neighborhoods where the population lacks educational training.
Conroy-Ben aims to build on these efforts by starting a research lab at ASU that allows certified work with bacteria and controlled substances.
She also has a passion for working with Native American and female students to build their presence in engineering.
“In addition to an excellent environmental engineering program and faculty, I came to ASU because of the opportunities to work with under-represented students in STEM,” she said
Additionally welcome the following new faculty in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment:
Ph.D., University of Quebec (Canada)
After completing his doctoral degree in environmental sciences, Perreault moved to Yale University as an a National Sciences and Research Council postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering. His research explores the interface between biological and engineered systems, with an emphasis on environmental nanotechnology, nanotoxicology, environmental microbiology and water quality.
Professor of Practice
Look for additional announcements about new faculty members in the Fulton Schools of Engineering in the coming weeks.