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Jennifer Benning, Ph.D.

Jennifer Benning
344 Goodwin Hall (MC 0218)
635 Prices Fork Rd
Blacksburg, VA 24061


Ph.D. Environmental Engineering, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2008
M.S. Environmental Engineering, Virginia Tech, 1997
B.S. Civil and Environmental Engineering, Rutgers University, 1995

Teaching/Courses Taught

Virginia Tech

  • Foundations of Engineering I
  • Foundations of Engineering II
  • Introduction to Green Engineering

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

  • Introduction to Sustainable Design
  • Sustainable Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering II
  • Capstone Design
  • Contaminant Fate & Transport
  • Environmental Impact Statements
  • Community Design I & II (EPICS)

University of Alaska Fairbanks

  • Introduction to Engineering


Jennifer is an Instructor in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech.  She holds degrees in Civil Engineering (B.S.) from Rutgers University, Environmental Engineering (M.S.) from Virginia Tech, and Environmental Engineering (Ph.D.) from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.  She most recently served as an Associate Professor (2010 - 2019) in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, where she created and coordinated the Sustainable Engineering minor program, and co-Directed the EPICS (Engineering Projects in Community Service) program.  She has four years of industry experience, working as a Project Manager, at Environmental Engineering, Inc., in Blacksburg, Virginia. 

Research Interests

  • Intellectual diversity, critical thinking, and intercultural competency outcomes through service learning
  • Green roofs and sustainable stormwater management
  • Contaminant transport in multi-media, including indoor and subsurface environments

Professional Affiliations

  • Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP), Student Services Committee
  • Sustainable Environment Research, Editorial Board
  • American Society of Engineering Education

Selected Publications

Benning J, Liu Z, Tiwari A, Little J, Marr L, 2013, Characterizing gas-particle interactions of phthalate plasticizer emitted from vinyl flooring, Environmental Science and Technology, 47(6), 2696-2703.

Benning J, Shearer C, 2016, Sustainable engineering at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology: A vertically-integrated civil engineering program, ASCE Journal of Profession Issues in Engineering Education and Practice: Special Issue on Sustainability Education in Civil and Environmental Engineering: D2516001.

Pyatt R, Benning J, Tilsen N, Tinant C, 2015, Pedagogy into practice: teaching environmental design through the Native American Sustainable Housing Initiative, Chapter in Putting the Local in Global, Stylus Publishers.

Lupo C, Olson K, Clay D, Benning J, Stone J, 2013, Life cycle assessment of the beef cattle production system for the Northern Great Plain, US, Journal of Environmental Quality, 42(5), 1386-1394.

Benning J, Davidson C, Lupo C, 2012, Toasters and sustainability, Center for Sustainable Engineering Modules,