Kathy Lu, a professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and Deborah Good, an associate professor in the Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise, have been elected to Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Honor Society leadership.

Lu, a prominent College of Engineering researcher, was elected president, and Good, of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, was elected director of the mid-Atlantic region of Sigma Xi in November. Both will serve three-year terms beginning July 1.

Lu specializes in polymer derived ceramics and composites, materials degradation in harsh environments, and data-driven materials processing and characterization. She is recognized for her work in developing a fundamental understanding of processes used to fabricate high temperature materials and energy materials.

Lu’s work has secured her funding from agencies such as the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Office of Naval Research, as well as nonprofit organizations and private companies. Lu’s total external funding exceeds $10.8 million. Some of her past research includes nanoparticle processing, patterning, and sintering; energy materials; ultrahigh surface area materials; and conductive high temperature materials.

Since joining the Virginia Tech community in 2004, Lu has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed journal papers, 22 proceedings papers, and four book chapters. In addition, she has edited five books, authored two textbooks, and given more than 200 presentations. Lu’s academic service includes sponsoring 17 postdoctoral and visiting scholars and research scientists and mentoring 17 graduate students. She has also advised 74 undergraduate students. 

Lu received her bachelor’s degree from Tianjin University and her master’s degree and Ph.D. from Ohio State University.

Deborah Good
Deborah Good. Virginia Tech photo

Good has been a member of the Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences for 16 years and previously worked at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She earned her Ph.D. from Northwestern University and was a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Her translational research program is interested in identifying basic biological pathways and compounds that can be used to understand and treat genetic disease, including adult-onset obesity and idiopathic hypogonadism, with a focus on the genetic condition Prader-Willi syndrome. 

Good has successfully trained the postdoctoral fellows, 25 graduate students, and more than 125 undergraduates students. She is currently the co-principal investator on an NIH R25 program that funds 50 undergraduates over five years for a summer research program in obesity, and she is part of the core leadership on a $1 million Howard Hughes Medical Institute grant that seeks to make sweeping changes to how faculty approach inclusive pedagogy. Good has authored 55 peer-reviewed articles, four textbooks, seven book chapters, and hundreds of conference papers and presentations. Her total external funding exceeds $5 million.

The 125-year-old Sigma Xi society “seeks to enhance the health of the research enterprise, foster integrity in science and engineering, and promote the public's understanding of science for the purpose of improving the human condition,” according to the society.

It recognizes achievements in science and engineering and claims about 100,000 members worldwide. More than 200 winners of the Nobel Prize have been Sigma Xi members, including Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, Linus Pauling, Francis Crick, James Watson, Barbara McClintock, John Goodenough, and Jennifer Doudna, according to the society. Members must be invited to join, and the organization has nearly 400 chapters across the globe.

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