• Ph.D., North Carolina State University, 1970
  • M.S., North Carolina State University, 1963
  • B.S., North Carolina State University, 1961


Research Areas

Mechanics of Materials and Manufacturing Nuclear fuel and waste processing, ceramic and metallic coatings, composites and rapid prototyping



The major limitation of ceramics for structural applications is their brittleness. Dr. Lackey is investigating methods to improve the mechanical toughness of ceramics for industrial sponsors as well as the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Energy. Reinforcement with high-strength ceramic fibers triples the toughness, but further improvement is needed for most applications. One approach is to laminate the matrix, that is, the matrix is composed of alternating thin layers of two materials. Chemical vapor infiltration, a variant of the chemical vapor deposition process where a coating is deposited inside a fibrous preform, is used to prepare laminated matrix composites. Conventional and novel ceramics are being pursued as layer materials.

Dr. Lackey also has extensive experience in using chemical vapor deposition to deposit two materials simultaneously. He also designs, constructs, and operates processing equipment, including continuous fiber coating systems, and has made carbon fiber-carbon matrix composites for use in aircraft brakes and high thermal conductivity heat sinks for electronic applications.

His recent research uses laser and gas jet chemical vapor deposition to permit rapid prototyping with ceramics and metals. Applications being pursued are scaffolding for orthopaedic implants, nanolaminated materials for improved mechanical properties, and fabrication of microelectromechanical systems.

  • American Ceramic Society
    • Roland B. Snow Award for Best of Show in Ceramographic Contest, 1996
    • Best Paper Award, 1991
    • Fellow, 1977
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
    • Women in Engineering Faculty Excellence Award, 2001
    • Outstanding Performance in Program Development, 1991
  • American Society for Engineering Education (Southeastern Section) Best Paper Award, 2003
  • Carbon Journal 2nd Place Prize for Outstanding Ph.D. Dissertation Thesis Advisor, 1997
  • Science Applications International Corporation Award for Advisor of Student Winning the Best Paper Award, 1996
  • Sigma Xi (Georgia Tech Chapter) Award for Best Ph.D. Thesis Advisor, 1995 and 1990
  • American Nuclear Society Best Paper Award, 1977
  • Laminated Matrix Composites, U. S. Patent 6,284,357, with Stuart R. Stock, September 4, 2001
  • Fluidized Bed Coating Process with Liquid Reagent, U. S. Patent 6,187,379, February 13, 2001
  • Fabrication of Carbon/Carbon Composites by Forced Flow-Thermal Gradient Chemical Vapor Infiltration, U. S. Patent 5,916,633, with Sundar Vaidyaraman, June 29, 1999
  • Ceramic Fabric Forming Method, U. S. Patent 5,609,912, with John A. Hanigofsky, March 11, 1997
  • Rapid Process for the Preparation of Diamond Articles, U. S. Patent 5,527,747, with John A. Hanigofsky, June 18, 1996
  • Method for the Chemical Vapor Deposition of Group IB and Group VIIIB Metal Barrier Layers, U. S. Patent 5,352,656, with John A. Hanigofsky, David N. Hill, Michael J. Shapiro, E. Kent Barefield, and William B. Carter, October 4, 1994
  • Method for the Rapid Deposition with Low Vapor Pressure Reactants by Chemical Vapor, U. S. Patent 5,108,983, with E. Kent Barefield, William B. Carter, John A. Hanigofsky, and David N. Hill, April 28, 1992
  • Dispersion Toughtened Ceramic Composites and Method for Making Same, U. S. Patent 4,598,024, with David P. Stinton and Robert J. Lauf, July 1, 1986
  • Process for the Preparation of Fiber-Reinforced Ceramic Composites by Chemical Vapor Deposition, U. S. Patent 4,580,524, with Anthony J. Caputo, April 8, 1986
  • Method for forming Microspheres for Encapsulation of Nuclear Waste, U. S. Patent 4,481,134, with Peter Angelini, Anthony J. Caputo, Richard E. Hutchens, and David P. Stinton, November 6, 1984
  • Method of Deposition of Silicon Carbide Layers on Substrates and Product, U. S. Patent 4,459,338, with Peter Angelini, Charles E. DeVore, Raymond E. Blanco, and David P. Stinton, July 10, 1984
  • Method for Primary Containment of Cesium Wastes, U. S. Patent 4,376,792, with Peter Angelini, David P. Stinton, Raymond E. Blanco, Walter D. Bond, and Wesley D. Arnold, Jr., March 15, 1983
  • Gas Scrubbing Liquids, U. S. Patent 4,276,063, with Robert S. Lowrie and John D. Sease, June 30, 1981
  • Method of Evaluating the Integrity of the Outer Carbon Layer of Trisco-Coated Reactor Fuel Particles, U. S. Patent 4,227,081, with Anthony J. Caputo, Dante A. Costanzo, Frank L. Layton, and David P. Stinton, October 7, 1980
  • Process to Minimize Cracking of Pyrolytic Carbon Coatings, U. S. Patent 4,068,015, with John D. Sease, January 10, 1978
  • Means for Effecting Fluidization in Pyrolytic Carbon Coating Processes, U. S. Patent 3,889,631, with John D. Sease, June 17, 1975