Nancy L. Ross has been appointed the new head of geosciences in the College of Science, effective immediately. After serving for more than three years, Ken Eriksson has requested to step down as the leader of that department.

“The College of Science and the Department of Geosciences deeply appreciate Ken’s contributions during some critical times,” said Lay Nam Chang, dean of the college.

Ross is a professor of geosciences and has been serving as the associate dean for research, graduate affairs, and outreach in the College of Science since 2004.  She is also the co-director of the X-ray Crystallography Laboratory located at the Integrated Life Sciences Building at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center. 

She is recognized as a leader in research into the structure and properties of materials using X-rays, neutrons, among other means, and relating the results to provide an understanding of the stability of materials ranging from metal-organic frameworks to ultra-dense silicates under different and sometimes extreme conditions.  Her research is interdisciplinary in nature with applications to mineral physics, materials science, and solid state chemistry.

"Nancy has the background and experience to lead one of the more prominent departments in the university, and I am delighted she has consented to step up to this role," Chang said. "She has the strong support of the department in assuming this position.  Her decision to do so has created a gap in operations of our office that will be difficult to fill.  I also appreciate Ken's tremendous effort during the past three years in guiding geosciences through some challenging times."

Ross earned a master’s degree from the University of British Columbia and a Ph.D. from Arizona State University.



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