Elizabeth Sooby, Ph.D.
Lutcher Brown Fellowship
Unfilled chairs and professorships are used to support recently tenured faculty and help accelerate the success of their research through fellowships. The fellowships are one-year, nonrecurring honorific appointments. Fellows are nominated by academic leadership and selected by the provost through a competitive process.

Elizabeth Sooby, Ph.D.

Lutcher Brown Fellowship

Associate Professor, Physics and Astronomy, Mechanical Engineering

Elizabeth Sooby specializes in high temperature materials synthesis and thermal analysis for nuclear energy applications, specifically advanced nuclear fuel fabrication and characterization. Her research interests include actinide science, steam oxidation, thermal transport properties, and the implementation of artificial intelligence methods to enhance materials science data analytics.

She is principal investigator of the UTSA Extreme Environments Materials Lab (EEML) where she and her team primarily focus on the synthesis and screening of advanced reactor nuclear fuel and cladding concepts.

Sooby’s research has resulted in two refereed book chapters, nearly 30 conference proceedings, and over 30 peer-reviewed articles in journals such as the Journal of Nuclear Materials, Materialia, Advances in Applied Ceramics and Dalton Transactions.

To support her research efforts, Sooby has been awarded more than $11.6 million dollars in grant funding from organizations like the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. In 2022, she was selected to participate in the prestigious Early Career Research Program through the DOE Office of Science, which provides research funding for the next generation of leaders in STEM.

In recognition of her advances to light water reactor fuel technology, Sooby received the Landis Young Member Engineering Achievement award from the American Nuclear Society, and she was also a recipient of the UTSA President’s Distinguished Achievement Award for Research Achievement in 2021.

At UTSA, Sooby has chaired or been a member of multiple thesis and dissertation committees and has served as a faculty mentor for undergraduate research projects. She also supports students as a member of the student success committee in her department, as faculty advisor for the Rowdy Women in Physics club, and as a research advisor for both undergraduate and graduate level students. 

Her service to her field expands beyond UTSA’s campus. She is an active member of the American Nuclear Society and serves as chair for their diversity and inclusion committee. In addition, she has served on a number of federal program reviews and advisory boards. 

Sooby received her Ph.D. in Physics from Texas A&M University in 2014. Prior to joining UTSA in 2017, she was a Staff Scientist II at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where she completed a Seaborg Postdoctoral Fellowship in Actinide Science.