ACerS is pleased to announce that Lavina Backman has been selected for Volunteer Spotlight, a program through which we recognize a member who demonstrates outstanding service to The American Ceramic Society through volunteerism.

Backman recently completed her Ph.D. at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Virginia (UVA). She specializes in ultrahigh-temperature materials for extreme environments, and her dissertation work focused on the oxidation behavior of high entropy ultrahigh-temperature ceramics.

She has a B.Sc. in mechanical engineering with a concentration in mechatronics from De La Salle University in Manila, Philippines. Before graduate school, she worked as an associate manufacturing engineer, then a mechanical design engineer for surgical devices.

Backman’s leadership is recognized through her election to important positions, such as the recruitment and professional development chairs for her department at UVA and co-chair for the Gordon Research Seminar on High Temperature Corrosion (for 2021). She was inducted into UVA’s Raven Society, an honor society recognizing academic and service excellence. Backman was also a recipient of the Virginia Space Grant Consortium Fellowship, which was renewed for a second year.

For most of her graduate career, Backman was actively involved with ACerS President’s Council of Student Advisors, serving on the outreach subcommittee (which she led in her first year), the communication subcommittee, and as a liaison to the Basic Science Division. While in the PCSA, she contributed to an outreach program to design and make available educational posters for a K–12 audience and helped implement social media campaigns to highlight the achievements of past and present PCSA members.

In addition to her activities in the PCSA, Backman served as a peer reviewer for Journal of the American Ceramic Society. After graduation, she plans to remain active in ACerS through contributions to the Young Professional Network.

We extend our deep appreciation to Backman for her service to our Society!