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Honors and Awards

Lucian Lucia Named 2023-24 University Faculty Scholar

Professor Lucian Lucia - Faculty Feature: Meet Professor Lucian Lucia - College of Natural Resources News NC State University
Photo by Kristen Fontana, NC State College of Natural Resources

Lucian Lucia, a professor in the Department of Forest Biomaterials at NC State, has been named a 2023-24 University Faculty Scholar.

The University Faculty Scholars program recognizes early- and mid-career faculty who have made outstanding academic achievements and contributions to NC State through their teaching, scholarship and service. 

“The magnificent people of North Carolina State University have made my path to receiving this award so fulfilling. To cast a metaphorical spin on the meaning of this award, it has been as if I was privy to a secret formula whose ingredients are the passion, dedication and commitment of our top students, researchers, teachers and staff,” Lucia said.

He added, “This recognition is therefore more a testament of the alchemy of these wonderful folks whose ardor for the importance of our university has sparked a renewed devotion to its mission. Our people have always inspired me to bring value to stakeholders and going forward, through the acknowledgement of this award, to more boldly share the best this university offers.”

Lucia, who also holds an associate faculty appointment in the Department of Chemistry, leads the The Laboratory of Soft Materials and Green Chemistry. A large part of his research focuses on the use of green chemistry to modify cellulose for biomedical applications.

Green chemistry is the utilization of a set of principles that reduces or eliminates the use or generation of hazardous substances in the design, manufacture and application of chemical products. Lucia began studying it as a way to minimize the chemical expenditures and energy requirements of converting wood into fibers.

Lucia has authored more than 400 publications. In 2006, he co-founded an open-access international research journal, BioResources, that is dedicated to original research articles, reviews and editorials on the fundamental science and engineering and advanced applications of lignocellulosic materials.

In 2021, Lucia was awarded the David Wetherhorn Award from the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI) for co-authoring the paper, “Extension of a steady-state chlorine dioxide brightening model for Z-ECF bleaching of softwood kraft pulps.” He was named a TAPPI Fellow in 2022.

Outside of his research, Lucia has made significant contributions to undergraduate and graduate education at NC State. He currently teaches several courses, including Principles of Green Chemistry and Forest Biomaterials Chemistry. Lucia was recognized with the Most Supportive Faculty/Staff Member Award in 2022 for his devoted support to his students.

Lucia joined NC State in 2004. He earned his Ph.D. in physical organic chemistry from the University of Florida, where he studied fundamental electron and energy transfer phenomena within organometallic frameworks for six years. From there, Lucia served as an assistant professor at a research institute at the Georgia Institute of Technology.