We are STLCOP Profile: Eric Knoll
Published on 28 April 2015
Eric Knoll’s path to STLCOP was a long one. After high school, he worked as a surgical nurse in the U.S. Air Force, where he met his wife. Knoll then decided to go to Western Carolina University to study biology. The couple then moved to St. Louis, where Knoll worked at Monsanto as a synthetic organic chemist and pursued a master’s degree in analytical chemistry and then a doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biology, both from Saint Louis University. Next, Knoll became a post-doctoral researcher and then an associate biological and chemical safety officer at Washington University before joining STLCOP on April 1, 2013, as director of emergency management and environmental health and safety. He was recently promoted to assistant vice president for college services.
“Being able to establish two new programs at the College—emergency management and environmental health and safety—and guide them to where they need to be is what drew me to STLCOP,” Knoll says.
According to Knoll, his work revolves around problem solving. “I am working to establish the framework for how the College community will react in any situation, whether there’s a chemical spill, a natural disaster, or an intruder on campus,” he says. “The idea is to disseminate information and empower people to make choices and understand where to go and what to do during a time of crisis.”
Many of Knoll’s efforts focus on collaborating with neighboring institutions to create an overall emergency management group for the Washington University Medical Center.
Another of Knoll’s priorities is to provide training on laboratory safety and hazard communications to the College community.
Knoll’s goal is for the College to have the type of safety and emergency preparedness program that gets national attention. “I would like to see us set an example so that other places look up to us,” he says.
In his free time, Knoll is involved in softball, tee ball, and soccer with his son and daughter. He’s also an avid scuba diver. “My retirement plan is to run a chartered boat service that would do fishing and scuba diving, perhaps in the Florida Keys,” he says.