Dr. Lilia A. Abron was born in Memphis, Tennessee on March 8, 1945 and grew up in the segregated South. She followed in her parents’ footsteps, attending LeMoyne College. Her college career did not begin well, with Abron losing her scholarship after her grades slipped and she lost her scholarship. During her sophomore year, she found her passion and switched to a chemistry major. She would go on to graduate from LeMoyne in 1966 with distinction. Her mentors at LeMoyne suggested that she study engineering, which led Abron to Washington University in St. Louis. There, she would earn her M.S. in sanitary engineering. She entered the professional field, working in sanitary departments in Kansas City and Chicago.
Dr. Abron graduated from the University of Iowa in 1972, becoming the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering. She spent a few years in academia, but after finding it didn’t fit her career goals, she moved on and established PEER Consultants, earning her another first – the first African-American to establish an engineering consultant firm focused on environmental issues. PEER focuses on developing long-term and sustainable solutions for environmental issues.
Abron was inducted into the College of Engineering’s “Distinguished Engineering Alumni Academy” in 19996 and received the University of Iowa Hancher-Finkbine Alumni Medallion in 1999. She is also a member of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority, and has served on the board of several charitable organizations.
American Council of Engineering Companies. (2021, February 17). Black History Month Profile: Lilia Abron, Shattering Glass Ceilings. https://www.acec.org/last-word-blog/black-history-month-profile-lilia-abron-shattering-glass-ceilings/
PEER Consultants. (n.d.). Our Story. PEER Consultants, P.C. https://peercpc.com/our-story
The History Makers. (n.d.). Lilia Abron’s Biography. https://www.thehistorymakers.org/biography/lilia-abron
Williams, R. (2022, January 5). Black Women in STEM: Dr. Lilia A. Abron. Owlcation. https://owlcation.com/stem/Black-Women-in-STEM-Dr-Lilia-A-Abron