Frank Lucas has scientific interests that include medical science, alternate energy solutions and system engineering. While employed for Beckman Coulter, Inc., he developed more than 100 commercial products. The theme of “Simplify and Automate” manual assays for early disease detection using novel intra-cellular technology was the logo used to advertise products created. He is the author on 13 U.S. Patents and three European patents. The products designed involved chemistry, hematology, cytometry, robotics, lasers, artificial intelligence software and system engineering. He has lectured all over the world.
In 1981, Lucas was the principal investigator for an alternate energy grant that used sugarcane crushed stalks as the starting material to enzymatically convert cellulose to fermented alcohol for fuel using solar distillation to harvest the alcohol. He also is a partner in a NASCAR short track race car and served as the crew chief responsible for the suspension race set up. Furthermore, Lucas designed and built an “off the grid” house in Maine on 150 acres of land. The home integrates wind power, photovoltaics and a conventional generator. The home was built in 1997. The forest on the property is maintained in a stewardship program where trees harvested are replaced with Hybrid Poplar able to grow to maturity in ten to 12 years. He taught physical science courses at Prince George Community College, Largo Md. that covered biology, biochemistry, physics and chemistry and now returned to teaching scientific literacy at Lynn University.
- B.S., University of Maryland
- M.S., George Washington University
Frank Lucas believes that most of us go through life testing our environment to try and decide what we want to be. In reality most of us can make a list of what we don’t want to be. More importantly the choice should be what we are good at and really like to do. In that sense, Lucas' teaching philosophy follows that of the “5th nickel.” The 5th nickel is what each one of us has, a gift of natural talent to be the best in one thing. Everyone is born with a 5th nickel. That nickel resides deep within each of us and we need to reach deep down in our pocket and find that nickel.
By Lucas' life’s work, he loves science. When he is in the classroom, he wants to radiate enthusiasm and communicate his interest in science to everyone. To do this he brings in real examples of the topic for the day. He discusses the topic with the students; they can see it, touch it and compare this example to something they are familiar with in their life experience. Lucas believes that scientific method is a process of discovery to arrive at a conclusion. Together in the classroom he and his students perform an experiment or see a demonstration so they can better understand the scientific principles. The demonstration may work how they expect or it may not, so the fun in science is the exploration and discovery for that better understanding. Lucas wants to explore science with the students, showing them how to use the process, sharing his understanding of it, and in the process helping all find their 5th nickel.
- Scientific literacy
- Global warming
- Alternate energy
- Principal Investigator : Department of Energy Grant “Production of Methane, Ethanol, single cell protein and Fertilizer via Solar Distillation and Immobilized Enzymes from Waste.” Grant # DE- FG44-80R410340: 1981-1982
- Inducted in the Beckman Coulter Inventors Hall of Fame: 2001
- Inducted in the Beckman Coulter “Circle of Excellence” 2001
- Beckman Research & Development Group won the Frost and Sullivan Industrial Quality Award for the FC 500 Flow Cytometer: 2003
- Principal Investigator : USDA Contract Grant 7412181002Y “Study viability of Hybrid Poplar in recovering ‘Slash’ cleared forest areas,” 2010