Dr. Laura Lackey Named Dean of Mercer School of Engineering


MACON – Dr. Laura Lackey, interim dean and professor of environmental engineering, has been named dean of the Mercer University School of Engineering by Provost Dr. D. Scott Davis. The appointment is effective immediately.

Dr. Lackey, who has been serving as interim dean this academic year, succeeds Dr. Wade Shaw, who has moved to full-time faculty status.

“I am thrilled that Laura Lackey has accepted the deanship of the School of Engineering. Dr. Lackey’s unwavering commitment to our students is evident in her role as a pioneer in the Mercer On Mission program and as a dedicated faculty member,” Dr. Davis said. “Her love of Mercer and commitment to the student learning experience is contagious, and I can’t think of a better person to lead our School of Engineering.”

Since joining the engineering faculty in 1998, Dr. Lackey 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.

“I am enormously grateful for the opportunities that were offered to me when I joined the School of Engineering faculty 20 years ago as a member of the University community,” Dr. Lackey said. “Mercer University and the School of Engineering are extraordinary places that I cherish. My predecessor and colleague, Dr. Wade Shaw, has strategically grown the School through his eight years of outstanding leadership. I am excited to have the opportunity to contribute to its future and am energized by the chance to work with our talented faculty, staff and students, and with alumni and community partners to propel the School of Engineering to the next level.”

About Mercer University School of Engineering

Mercer University’s School of Engineering, founded in 1985, offers innovative and academically challenging programs that provide students with a comprehensive education, featuring a solid foundation in mathematics and sciences, a core engineering curriculum, a range of courses in engineering specialties and a strong emphasis on communication technologies. The School is consistently ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top three master’s-degree-level engineering schools in the Southeast. Known for its breadth of instruction in its undergraduate program and its five-year joint bachelor’s and master’s degree program, the School combines technical education with hands-on laboratory experience. Mercer engineers can look forward to joining fellow alumni in companies such as Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex, Lockheed Martin, Georgia Power, Siemens and Gulfstream Aerospace.