Prof. Judy Riffle has been conferred the title of professor emerita by the Board of Visitors, recognizing her career as a professor of chemistry and former director of the interdisciplinary macromolecular science and engineering Ph.D. education program.

Prior to joining the Department of Chemistry faculty in 1987, Prof. Riffle worked in industry, first at Union Carbide Corporation as a research scientist and later at Thoratec Laboratories as Manager of the Materials Division and then Vice President of Research and Development. She initially returned to Virginia Tech (Prof. Riffle is also an alumna) as a Research Scientist and a Visiting Assistant Professor in 1987, before officially joining the faculty as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry in 1988.

As a faculty member, Prof. Riffle’s research made significant contributions to polymer science in the fields of biomaterials for drug delivery, polymer composites for defense and aerospace, and separation membranes for water purification and gas separation. Her work led to the development of materials used in heart transplants, arterial grafts, and contact lenses. In 2018, she received the department’s John C. Schug Faculty Research Award.

Prof. Riffle was named a Fellow of the American Chemical Society in 2010, where she supported its mission in several capacities including national workshop chair, national programming chair, national vice-chair and national chair.

In retirement from academia, Prof. Riffle will be turning her focus towards reverse osmosis membranes and using them to address the global water crisis through her company she founded in 2018, NALA Systems. Thank you for all your service to the department, and we wish you a happy retirement!