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Virginia Tech Nanoscientist Receives 2011 Bessel Research Award

by Editor1 last modified July 20, 2011 - 14:27

Prof. Peizhen Kathy Lu, director of Virginia Tech’s Innovative Particulate Materials Laboratory and associate professor of materials science and engineering at the school, was named the 2011 recipient of the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award.

Virginia Tech Nanoscientist Receives 2011 Bessel Research Award

At the Innovative Particulate Materials Laboratory, Prof. Lu concentrates her research on nanomaterials, fuel cell material design, composites, materials design, and powder synthesis. Her research group currently has several projects underway focusing on fuel cells and hydrogen utilization and production.

Her team’s current programs include:

Solid Oxide Fuel Cells -- Electrochemical devices that convert the chemical energy of a reaction directly into electrical energy. “We are interested in engineering the particulate materials of different cell components to enable high temperature long term operation, sustained performance, and low cost,” she posts at her groups’ web site.

Hydrogen Production – To provide fuel for energy generation. The team is focused on critical material problems through particulate processes to enable hydrogen production in large quantity and low cost.

Three-Dimensional Printing - To make complex parts or unique composition designs through the help of computers. The three dimensional and digital processing offers quick solutions to the most intriguing problems in particulate materials.

With the award, Prof. Lu is invited to spend a year cooperating on a long-term research project with Ralf Riedel at the Technische Universität Darmstadt's Institute for Materials Science in Germany.

Lu is the recipient of several distinguished awards, including the 2008 Karl Schwartzwalder Professional Achievement Award for Ceramic Engineering; the 2005 Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award, and a 2005 National Science Foundation Fellowship.

She obtained her bachelor's and master's degrees in ceramics from Tianjin University, China in 1990 and in 1993, respectively. She obtained a second master's degree and her doctorate in MSE from Ohio State University in 1999 and in 2000.

Virginia Tech's Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science supports Prof. Lu’s laboratory.