Biography, Publications, and Honors/Awards

Brief Biography

Professor Virginia A. Davis’ research focuses on understanding structure-processing-property relationships for engineering solid materials from anisotropic nanomaterial dispersions. Targeted applications include optical coatings, MEMS, 3D printed structures, and antimicrobial surfaces. In addition to this primary research topic, Dr. Davis and her team are very active in STEM education research as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. . Dr. Davis earned her Ph.D. from Rice University in 2006 under the guidance of Professor Matteo Pasquali and the late Nobel Laureate Richard E. Smalley. Prior to attending Rice, Dr. Davis worked for eleven years in Shell Chemicals’ polymer businesses in the US and Europe. Her industrial assignments included manufacturing, technical service, research, and global marketing management. All of these assignments were focused on enabling new polymer formulations to become useful consumer products.

 List of Publications  on Google Scholar

Selected Honors & Awards


Appointed by Governor Kay Ivey to the Alabama STEM Council

Awarded Daniel F. and Josephine Breeden Professorship in Auburn’s Samuel Ginn College of Engineering.


Auburn University Award for Inclusive Excellence and Diversity

Tomorrow’s Community Innovators


Provost’s Award for Faculty Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring

Auburn Engineering Magazine


Selected for National Academies Keck Futures Initiative Conference,

Invited to present poster at National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Grand Challenge Scholars Program Annual Meeting


Invited for Innaugural Auburn University TESS talk sponsored by Women in Science and Engineering


Invited to attend the National Academies Keck Futures Workshop, Invited to attend National Academy of Engineering Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium, Texas A&M ADVANCE Speaker Series Invitation,Conference of Southern Graduate Schools Award for Increasing Diversity in Graduate Education (with Auburn Department of Chemical Engineering)

Auburn University Excellence in Faculty Outreach Award


Awarded one of twenty Auburn University Alumni Professorships


Jim Westmoreland Memorial Judges Award South’s BEST Robotics Competition, Senior Faculty Alumni Engineering Council Research Award for Excellence


AIChE Nanoscale Science and Engineering Forum Young Investigator Award, Faculty Initiate Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Auburn University Women of Distinction Faculty Award


Elected AIChE Nanoscale Science and Engineering Forum Secretary/Treasurer, Awarded Department of Chemical Engineering Mary and John H. Sanders Professorship, Invited to Attend National Academy of Engineering Frontiers of Engineering Symposium, Auburn Samuel Ginn College of Engineering Mark A. Spencer Creative Mentorship Award


Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE),

South Texas Section of AIChE Best Applied Paper Award