Linda Abriola, dean of the School of Engineering at Tufts University, and Alice
Gast, president of Lehigh University, have been included in the encyclopedia American Women of Science Since
This 2-volume compilation focuses on 500 notable women scientists from the beginning of the last
century up to the present and summarizes their wide ranging and varied significant advancements. Also
included are general features on 50 different scientific disciplines as well as essays on related
sociocultural topics, including recognized obstacles that have been particular to women working in the
fields of science.
Linda Abriola received her Ph.D. in civil engineering from Princeton, following a B.S.E. in the
same major from Drexel University in 1976. She was a professor of environmental engineering at the
University of Michigan, then later moved to Tufts to hold positions as professor of civil and environmental
engineering, adjunct professor in chemical and biological engineering and dean of the engineering school.
Abriola’s primary research focus is the integration of mathematical modeling and laboratory
experiments for the investigation and prediction of the transport and fate of reactive contaminants in the
subsurface. She is particularly known for her work on the characterization and remediation of aquifers
contaminated by chlorinated solvents. Abriola has served on advisory boards of environmental organizations,
is the author of more than 130 refereed publications, is an elected member of the National Engineering
Academy and has received a number of awards in recognition of her work.
In 1984 Alice Gast received her Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Princeton. Her bachelor’s
degree in chemical engineering was earned at the University of Southern California in 1980. Early in her
career, Gast was a professor of chemical engineering at Stanford University and the Stanford Synchrotron
Radiation Laboratory. In subsequent years, she was the vice president for research and associate provost at
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and held the Robert T. Haslam chair in chemical engineering before
moving to Lehigh University.
Gast studies surface and interfacial phenomena, in particular the behavior of complex fluids. Her
areas of research include colloidal aggregation and ordering, protein lipid interactions and enzymes
reactions at surfaces. She is the co-author of Physical Chemistry of Surfaces, 6th edition, a classic
textbook on colloid and surface phenomena.
Besides being a member of a number of national advisory boards and committees, as well as
scientific organizations, Gast’s accomplishments led to her being named in 2010 one of three
science envoys by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and the U.S. Department of State. In this
post she will travel to the Caucasus and Central Asia and advise the White House, the Department of State,
and the U.S. scientific community about ways to deepen existing ties and foster new relationships there.