From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice

Dr. Yuri Lvov: Making Huge Impacts with Tiny Things

Jan 27, 2014 | Faculty Feature

Yura+2011Yuri Lvov earned his PhD in Physical Chemistry in 1979 from Russia’s top university, Moscow State University, then worked at the Institute of Crystallography of the Russian Academy of Sciences. After the Soviet Union collapsed, he worked at some of the world’s most famous research centers in Germany (Max Planck Institute), Japan (National Institute of Materials Science, Tsukuba), and USA (Naval Research Laboratory, Washington DC). Yuri came to Louisiana Tech in 1999 as an established researcher and world-recognized pioneer of one of the most widely utilized nanotechnology methods–electrostatic layer-by-layer assembly (LbL nanoassembly.) our lab 2012He further refined and developed his approach, and involved several young and talented engineering and science professors in his work.  LbL nanoassembly became one of the primary platforms for Tech’s micro/nano research and innovation, leading to millions of dollars in grants for nanomaterials research from the NSF, NIH, and other agencies, and resulting in numerous patents, industry partnerships, and technology licenses.  More recently, instead of being complacent with his prior successes, Yuri initiated a second research direction utilizing clay nanotubes for building composite polymer materials.  These naturally occurring nanotubes are found in the soils in the Utah desert and some other parts of the world. They are environmentally friendly, inexpensive, and offer significant potential for commercial applications. Yuri was among the first to identify these nanostructures and realize their potential, and he remains one of the world’s foremost authorities on the use of clay nanotubes for practical applications. Yuri Lvov and StudentOver his tenure at Tech, Yuri has worked closely with many companies.  He has used his innovative approaches to overcome one of the key barriers to using nanotechnology in day-to-day applications, and that is to reduce the costs for manufacturing. LbL nanoassembly can be implemented in a wide variety of applications at relatively low costs. Yuri and his collaborators have applied LbL nanoassembly to create special materials, systems, and properties for drug delivery, biological coatings, wood fiber recycling, electronic paper and plastic, numerous types of sensors, anti-corrosive and flame-retardant paints, etc. Yuri is one of the most published researchers in Louisiana Tech’s history, and has received international recognition for his work. There are a few widely adopted indices of a researcher’s impact on the discipline that take into account the number of publications as well as citations of the publications by other researchers.Yuri London2013 Yuri’s average index is over fifty times higher than the national average for engineering researchers, and above the average of those scientists and engineers in the nation’s most distinguished group of researchers, the National Academies. Journal citations help distinguish a university and reflect the quality of the institution among peer institutions and funding agencies, something that is important as universities become more competitive for talent and funding.   In recent years, Yuri received an award as Louisiana’s leading materials science researcher.  Also, Small Times magazine  (for micro/nano research) recognized him as its 2007 National Innovator of the Year. Yuri LvovYuri was just recently awarded one of the world’s most prestigious international science awards, the Alexander von Humboldt Prize. The award is presented annually to internationally renowned scientists and scholars, and is currently valued at € 60,000. There have been approximately 20 chemists globally to previously receive the award. Only two other Louisiana researchers have received the award in the fields of physics and mathematics, but none in chemistry….until now. Additional information on Yuri’s award can be found at the following link: Yuri is quite charismatic and has many other personal interests. When he was young, Yuri enjoyed sky-diving.  He likes cooking and believes that a good chemist has to be a good chef.  Yuri likes sports, especially basketball and tennis. You can find Yuri and his wife Elena walking and working in their neighborhood late in the day. Elena is also a classically trained concert pianist who has been offering piano lessons to many kids in Ruston.  Lena Yura in Japan2Yuri-2012