Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

Lu Yu Receives Wood Science Recognition

Lu Yu at PhD hooding ceremony (May, 2022)

Dr. Lu Yu, a recent alumna of the Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) Department (PhD, 2022), has been awarded second place in the 2022 International Academy of Wood Science Ph.D Award.  Often we think of materials scientists and engineers as metallurgists or ceramists but the importance of using renewable materials for a sustainable future has greatly increased the overlap between traditional materials science and agricultural domains.  Dr. Yu benefited from the collaboration between the Center for Renewable Carbon (CRC) at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture and the MSE department at the University of Tennessee Knoxville.  In her dissertation work, Dr. Yu was co-advised by Prof. David Harper (CRC) and Prof. David Keffer (MSE).  This award is a recognition of the innovation that occurred when she brought her experience as a materials scientist to bear on lignin-based raw materials.

For more information about the International Academy of Wood Science, visit

For more information about Dr. Yu’s dissertation work, see

Yu, L., Hsieh, C.-T., Keffer, D. J., Goenaga, G., Dai, S., Zawodzinski, T., Harper, D.P., “Hierarchical Lignin-Based Carbon Matrix and Carbon Dot Composite Electrodes for High-Performance Supercapacitors”, ACS Omega 6(11) 2021 pp. 7851-7861, doi: 10.1021/acsomega.1c00448 (Open Access).

Yu, L., Seabright, K., Bajaj, I., Keffer, D.J., Alonso, D.M., Hsieh, C.-T., Li, M., Chen, H., Dai, S., Gandomi, Y., Maravelias, C., Harper, D.P., “Performance and Economic Analysis of Organosolv Softwood and Herbaceous Lignins to Activated Carbons as Electrode Materials in Supercapacitors”, Frontiers in Energy Research 10 2022 article #849949, pp. 1-15, doi: 10.3389/fenrg.2022.849949. (Open Access).

Lu Yu harvesting switchgrass with colleague Dayton Kizzire on the UTIA campus (March, 2019) Lu would eventually extract the lignin and turn material like this into supercapacitor electrodes, adsorbents and carbon quantum dots.