Margaret Kosal and Her Favorite Element

Associate professor in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs shares her favorite element

October 2, 2019

The monthly series "My Favorite Element" is part of Georgia Tech's celebration of 2019 as the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements, #IYPT2019GT. Each month a member of the Georgia Tech community will share his/her favorite element via video.

The October edition features Margaret Kosal, an associate professor in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs. 

With the 2019 Nobel Prizes soon to be announced, it is fitting that Kosal celebrates Marie Curie in this month's video. Marie Curie was the first woman to win a Nobel prize, the first person to win the Nobel Prize twice, and the only person so far to win two Nobel prizes in two scientific disciplines: physics (1903) and chemistry (1911). 

Kosal directs the Sam Nunn Security Program and the Program on Emerging Technology and Security. She is also a member of the Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience. Her research explores the relationships among technology, strategy, and governance.

She is the author of “Nanotechnology for Chemical and Biological Defense.” The book explores scenarios, benefits, and potential proliferation threats of nanotechnology and other emerging sciences. She is the editor of “Technology and the Intelligence Community: Challenges and Advances for the 21st Century.” The book examines the role of technology in gathering, assimilating and utilizing intelligence information through the ages. She is editor-in-chief of Politics and the Life Sciences. The journal publishes original scholarly research at the intersection of political science and the life sciences.

Kosal has served as a senior advisor to the Chief of Staff of the Army and as science and technology advisor in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Trained as an experimental scientist, Kosal earned a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, working on biomimetic and nanostructured functional materials. She cofounded the company ChemSensing, where she led research and development of medical, biological, and chemical sensors.

Renay San Miguel, communications officer in the College of Sciences, produced and edited the videos in this series. 

Other videos in this series are available at

September 2019, Hui Zhu, academic professional in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry

August 2019, Jasmine Au Howard, graduate student in the Scheller College of Business

July 2019, Jennifer Leavey, principal academic professional, director of the Georgia Tech Urban Honeybee Project, and much more

June 2019, Benjamin Breer, undergraduate double major in physics and aerospace engineering 

May 2019, G. P. "Bud" Peterson, president of Georgia Tech

April 2019: Kimberly Short, Ph.D. candidate

March 2019: Elayne Ashley, scientific glass blower

February 2019: Amit Reddi, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry

January 2019: Jeanine Williams, biochemistry major and track star