Outstanding Collegiate Member

Hannah Lohman

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

For leadership that strives to empower and inspire other women; for a demonstrated commitment to excellence in research and community service; and for mentoring younger peers and aspiring engineering students.

Hannah Lohman is a Ph.D. candidate in environmental engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), where she has had the opportunity to develop her skills in environmental engineering as well as pursue prospects outside of academics to improve nontechnical skills integral to her future goals. She holds a B.S. in civil engineering and an M.S. in environmental engineering, both from UIUC. Her doctoral research focuses on overcoming the barriers of resource recovery sanitation and developing decision-making tools to evaluate the sustainability of sanitation alternatives.

Lohman, of Champaign, Illinois, has been involved in the Society of Women Engineers for six years and has served in five organizational and leadership areas. Most recently in 2021-22, she served as both director and funding coordinator for GradSWE, SWE’s graduate school community that comprises graduate students and STEM professionals. As funding coordinator, Lohman managed funding and helped obtain more than $20,000 in sponsorships from 18 UIUC STEM departments and six industry companies. In her role as director, she collaborated with 15 graduate school committee members to plan and sponsor events that enriched the academic, social, and professional needs of graduate students.

Through GradSWE, Lohman served as the Women Empowered in STEM conference director in 2020-21 and led a team of seven graduate students who set up the first fully virtual one-day conference using the Gather Town platform. Organizers developed tools and documentation to create a meaningful experience for attendees. Presenting a virtual conference also made it accessible to more students and allowed for a hybrid option.

Central to Lohman’s work in GradSWE is mentoring younger peers. She has mentored four students through the SWE mentorship program and high-achieving students from low-income families who are interested in engineering through the Illinois Promise program and the Parkland (College) Science Scholars.

Outside of GradSWE, Lohman has been involved in the Water Environment Federation, the American Water Works Association, and engineering honor society Tau Beta Pi. In one of her recent projects, she served as a project mentor for the Honduras Water Project course and advised technical design teams on how to improve their drinking water system designs for a community in Honduras.

Lohman has served on numerous departmental and engineering committees to increase and retain graduate student participation in professional and service opportunities. She is the recipient of many academic, service, and research awards, including the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and the UIUC Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Distinguished Fellowship. She was awarded the FY22 GradSWE Individual Award.

Upon completing her doctorate, Lohman will serve as a 2023 John A. Knauss marine policy fellow to advocate science-based decision-making to improve global environmental conditions.

Lohman grew up in Geneseo, Illinois, and is the third of six children. Her hobbies include spending time with her family (especially her niece and nephew), reading, taking care of her houseplants, traveling, and spending time in nature.