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Department Chair, Professor, Engineering Leadership Endowed Scholar This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  
Education & Engineering Complex 257
(205) 934-1994

Visit Dr. Lu's Research Website

Office Hours: By appointment

  • B.S., Tianjin University, Ceramics
  • M.S., Ohio State University, Materials Science and Engineering
  • Ph.D., Ohio State University, Materials Science and Engineering
  • Post-Doc, Penn State University, Innovative Sintered Products 

Prof. Kathy Lu joined the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at UAB in 2023. From August 2004 to 2023, Lu was a Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA. During 2001-2004, she was a Materials Development and Processing Scientist at Energizer Battery Company, Westlake, OH. During 2000-2001, she was the Director of Materials Processing, Center for Innovative Sintered Products of Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA.


  • Research Interests

    Prof. Kathy Lu’s research interest is related to polymer derived ceramics and composites, materials degradation in harsh environments, data-driven materials processing and characterization, materials synthesis, processing, characterization, and fundamental studies, composites, hybrids, functional and structural materials, porous materials, ultrahigh surface area materials, and coatings for harsh environments and long term uses.

  • Recent Courses
  • Select Publications
    • Y. J. Cho, K. Lu, “A materials informatics approach for composition and property prediction of polymer-derived silicon oxycarbides,” Materials Today Advances, 18, 100384, 2023.
    • H. Chaney, K. Lu, “ReaxFF Simulation of Pyrolysis Behaviors of Polysiloxane Precursors with Different Carbon Content,” Chemistry of Materials, 35 (10), 3902–3910, 2023.
    • H. Chaney, Y. Zhou, K. Lu, “Understanding SiOC Atomic Structures via Synchrotron X-ray and Reactive Force Field Potential Studies,” Materials Today Chemistry, 29 101429, 2023.
    • Sk S. Hossain, K. Lu, “Recent Progress of Alumina Ceramics by Direct Ink Writing: Ink Design, Printing and Post-processing,” Ceramics International, 49 (7), 10199-10212, 2023.
    • H. J. Choi, K. Lu, “A High Compatibility SiOCN Coating on Stainless Steel,” Journal of Materials Science, 58, 3790–3801, 2023.
    • H. Chaney, K. Lu, “New Findings Related to Carbothermal Reduction of Polysiloxane-derived Ceramics,” Ceramics International, 49 (2023) 10193–10197.
    • K. Lu, H. Chaney, “New Insight into SiOC Atomic Structure Evolution During Early Stage of Pyrolysis,” Journal of the American Ceramic Society,106, 2737–274, 2023.
    • Y. Zhou, K. Lu, “Polymer-derived High Temperature Non-Oxide Materials: A Review,” Advanced Engineering Materials, 2023, 2200967 (24 pages).
    • K. Lu, S. Singh, “In-situ TEM Study of Kr Ion Irradiation Tolerance of SiFeOC Nanocomposite,” Journal of the European Ceramic Society, 42 (15), 6942-6950, 2022.
    • S. Singh, K. Lu, “Structural Evolution and Electrical Conductivity of Ti3C2-SiOC Ceramics,” Materials Science and Engineering B, 285, 115954, 2022.
    • K. Lu, S. Singh, L. Shao, “Kr Ion Irradiation Study of Polymer Derived SiFeOC-C-SiC Nanocomposite,” Journal of the American Ceramic Society, 105, 5664– 5675, 2022.
    • 12. S. Singh, K. Bawane, Z. Hu, L. Yang, Y. Chen, L. Shao, K. Lu, “Helium Ion Irradiation Effects on Microstructure Evolution and Mechanical Properties of Silicon Oxycarbide,” Ceramics International, 48 [11], 16063-16071, 2022.
    • 13. S. K. D. Singh, K. Lu, “SiOC Coatings on Yttria Stabilized Zirconia Microspheres Using a Fluidized Bed Coating Process,” Powder Technology, 396 (A), 158-166, 2022.
    • N. Yang, C. Ophus, B. H. Savitzky, M. Scott, K. Bustillo, and K. Lu, “Amorphous and Crystalline Co-Existing SiOC Phase Analysis Using 4D-STEM,” Materials Characterization, 181, 111512, 2021.
    • A. Rau, K. Knott, and K. Lu, “Porous SiOC/SiC Ceramics Via an Active-Filler Catalyzed Polymer-Derived Method,” Materials Chemistry Frontiers, 5, 6530-6545, 2021. .
    • N. Yang, K. Lu, “Phase Content Prediction in Polymer-Derived Ceramics with Metal Additives,” Journal of the American Ceramic Society, 104, 5379-5391, 2021.
    • Y. J. Cho, K. Lu, “Water Vapor Oxidation of SiC Layer in Surrogate TRISO Fuel Particles,” Composites Part B: Engineering, 215 (15) 108807, 2021.
    • J. Zheng, K. Lu, “Electrically Conductive and Thermally Stable SiC-TiC Containing Nanocomposites via Flash Pyrolysis,” Journal of the American Ceramic Society, 104(6) 2460-2471, 2021.
    • N. Yang, K. Lu, “Effects of Transition Metals on the Evolution of Polymer‐Derived SiOC ceramics,” Carbon, 171, 88-95, 2021.
    • N. Yang, W. Wang, W. Cai, K. Lu, “Corrosion and Tribocorrosion Mitigation of Perhydropolysilazane-Derived Coatings on Low Carbon Steel,” Corrosion Science, 177, 108946 (11 pages), 2020.
    • N. Yang, K. Lu, “Ultrahigh Surface Area SiOC Ceramics Based on Perhydropolysilazane and Polysiloxane,” Microporous and Mesoporous Materials, 306(15), 110477 (9 pages), 2020.
    • K. Bawane, K. Lu, Q. Li, R. Bordia, “High Temperature Oxidation Behaviors of SiON Coated AISI 441 in Ar+O2, Ar+H2O, and Ar+CO2 Atmospheres,” Corrosion Science, 166 (15)108429 (7 pages), 2020.
    • N. Yang, M. Gao, J. Li, K. Lu, “Nickel Crystallite-Containing Magnetoceramics from Water Assisted Pyrolysis of Polysiloxane and Nickel 2,4-Pentanedionate,” Journal of the European Ceramic Society, 103, 145–157, 2020.
    • D. Erb, K. Lu, “Synthesis of SiOC Using Solvent-Modified Polymer Precursors,” Materials Chemistry and Physics, 237, 121844 (6 pages), 2019.
    • N. Yang, K. Lu, “Thermophysical Property and Electrical Conductivity of Titanium Isopropoxide – Polysiloxane Derived Ceramics,” Journal of the European Ceramic Society, 39 (14), 4029-4037, 2019.
  • Academic Distinctions & Professional Societies
    1. 2023 Arthur L. Friedberg Ceramic Engineering Tutorial and Lecture, American Ceramic Society
    2. 2023-2024 President-Elect, Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society
    3. 2023-2024 Editor of Materials Letters
    4. 2022 Board of Trustees of the Science Museum of Virginia (July 1, 2022-June 30, 2023, appointed by the Virginia Governor)
    5. 2022 The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS) Fellow
    6. 2022-2025 Editorial Review Board Member of International Materials Reviews
    7. Executive Committee (2021-2022) and Board of Directors (2021-2023) of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society
    8. 2020 VEBELO Scientist Award
    9. 2020 ELATES (Executive Leadership in Academic Technology, Engineering and Science) Fellow
    10. 2020 Fulbright Distinguished Chair Award
    11. 2017 Fellow of the American Ceramic Society
    12. 2015 Virginia Tech Alumni Award for Research Excellence
    13. 2015- Associate Editor of Journal of the American Ceramic Society
    14. 2018-2022 JOM Journal Advisor and Guest Editor
    15. 2014- Editorial Review Board of Frontiers in Energy Research, section Fuel Cells
    16. 2014-2016 Editorial Board Member of Annals of Material Science & Engineering
    17. 2012 College of Engineering Faculty Fellow Award, Virginia Tech
    18. 2011 Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
    19. 2008 Karl Schwartzwalder- Professional Achievement in Ceramic Engineering Award, American Ceramic Society
    20. 2005 Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award, Oak Ridge Associated Universities
    21. 2001 P/M Metallography Competition Award, APMI International