Prof. Despina Louca is the Maxine S. and Jesse W. Beams Professor of Physics at the University of Virginia. After obtaining BA and MS degrees from Bryn Mawr College she earned a PhD in Materials Science from the University of Pennsylvania followed by a postdoctoral appointment at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Her research focuses on materials such as topological insulators and semimetals, spintronic antiferromagnets, transition metal dichalcogenides, disorder superconductors, and layered semiconductors. She is particularly interested in understanding their response to temperature, pressure, and magnetic fields using neutron and X-ray scattering techniques. She is a member of DOE’s Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee and a Fellow of the American Physical Society. In 2017, she was elected President of the Neutron Scattering Society of America.