Rackham Graduate School welcomes Lutgarde Raskin as associate dean for academic programs and initiatives. As associate dean, Raskin will be responsible for building and maintaining relationships with Rackham programs in engineering and the physical sciences.
During her career in the U-M College of Engineering, Raskin has repeatedly demonstrated her commitment to supporting graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. She has served as research advisor to 26 doctoral students, 65 master’s students, and 19 postdoctoral fellows, and she was recently awarded the U-M Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award for her outstanding service in this capacity.
In her new position, Raskin will work closely with master’s and Ph.D. degree granting programs to promote academic excellence, cross-unit partnership, student recruitment, graduate career outcomes, and improved campus climate and student experience. Raskin will also help to lead Rackham initiatives to advance the Strategic Vision and major goals of the graduate school.
“Professor Raskin’s dedication to graduate student success has been a hallmark of her career at the University of Michigan,” Rackham Dean Mike Solomon says. “Coupled with her expertise as a scientist, she comes equipped to help us rethink graduate education in the physical sciences and engineering in ways that will benefit all of our students in those programs.”
As an environmental engineer and one of four faculty members of the U-M Environmental Biotechnology Group, Raskin works to understand various aspects of the microbiome of engineered water systems—both drinking water and wastewater—in order to improve their human health and sustainability impacts. Specifically, she focuses on the recovery of water and energy from waste streams and the effect of biofiltration and disinfection on drinking water quality. Raskin is leading a College of Engineering Blue Sky Initiative: Remaking Water Infrastructure by Focusing on Microbial Biomes. She has authored or co-authored about 150 journal papers and delivered over 130 invited lectures. Her research has earned her numerous awards, including recognition as the 2018–2019 Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors Distinguished Lecturer. She is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, the International Water Association, and the Water Environment Federation, and she serves as an associate editor of Environmental Science & Technology.
Her service goes beyond her research accomplishments. She served as graduate chair for the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering for four years, as well as multiple terms on the department’s executive committee. She also served two, two-year terms as director for the U-M Environmental and Water Resources engineering program. She now looks forward to continuing her record of service at Rackham.
“Throughout my faculty career, I have been passionate about mentoring master’s students, Ph.D. students, and postdoctoral researchers,” Raskin says. “So, I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to bring this passion and my experience to Rackham. I look forward to working with a wide range of graduate programs in STEM fields and with likeminded colleagues from across campus.”
Raskin earned her combined undergraduate and master’s degrees in bioscience engineering from the KU Leuven in Belgium in 1987 and her Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in 1993. After serving in multiple faculty positions at UIUC from 1993 to 2005, she joined the U-M Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering as a professor in 2005 and was appointed the Altarum/ERIM Russell O’Neal Professor of Engineering in 2013.