Auburn chemical engineering professor receives Breeden Professorship

Published: Dec 2, 2020 4:03 PM

By Alyssa Turner

Virginia Davis, who most recently held the Alumni Professorship in the Auburn University Department of Chemical Engineering, has been named the Dr. Daniel F. and Josephine Breeden Professor.

A college-wide honor, the Breeden Professorship is reserved for faculty who demonstrate exceptional commitment to their students, research and service within the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering.

“Dr. Davis is not only a noted scholar and respected teacher within the chemical engineering discipline, but she is also part of a statewide effort to expand and improve STEM development,” said Christopher B. Roberts, dean of engineering. “This professorship recognizes her impact as an influential educator and research scholar.”

Having joined the Auburn faculty in 2005, Davis' research is concentrated on evaluating structure-processing-property relationships for engineering solid materials from anisotropic, nanomaterial dispersions. This includes research on rheology, lyotropic liquid crystals, additive manufacturing and polymers.

Davis received her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Tulane University in chemical engineering, and she completed her doctoral degree in chemical and biomolecular engineering at Rice University. Before entering academia, she spent 11 years of her career with Shell Chemical Co., where she transformed new polymer formulations into useful consumer products.

Davis boasts 45 publications with over 4,300 citations, three national awards and four extended invitations to national engineering conferences. Her university awards include Excellence in Faculty Outreach, an Alumni Professorship, the Auburn Engineering Alumni Council Research Awards for Excellence, the Mark A. Spencer Creative Mentorship Award and the Faculty Women of Distinction Award.

She was recently appointed by Gov. Kay Ivey to serve on the Alabama STEM Council for science, technology, engineering and mathematics related involvement within the state, and she serves on the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering’s diversity committee.

Daniel Breeden, a 1957 industrial management graduate and 1993 recipient of an honorary doctorate at Auburn University, and his wife, Josephine, established the endowment to support a superior Samuel Ginn College of Engineering faculty member committed to the betterment of students, provision of high-quality instruction and ambitious efforts of research and service.

Davis will hold the distinction of Breeden Professor for five years.

Media Contact: Chris Anthony,, 334.844.3447
Virginia Davis

Virginia Davis

Recent Headlines