University of Utah chemical engineering assistant professor Kerry E. Kelly has received the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Environmental Division Early Career Award, which honors those with “outstanding contributions in environmental chemical engineering in the early stages of the recipient’s career.”

Kelly received a bachelor’s in chemical engineering from Purdue University. She also earned a master’s from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and a doctorate from the U, both in environmental engineering. She currently is associate director for the Program for Air Quality, Health and Society and served eight years on Utah’s Air Quality Board.

Her research focuses on the connection between energy, air quality and human health. She has developed hands-on educational modules for middle school and high school students to understand how pollutants are measured. In collaboration with researchers in the U’s College of Engineering, she has developed portable air quality sensors that are being deployed throughout Salt Lake County. This network of sensors records near-real-time data of air pollutants throughout the Salt Lake Valley and displays the results on a computerized heat map. Kelly also led the development of a video game that teaches young people about the sources of poor air quality.