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Federal Budget Outlook: Memo from the Interim Vice Chancellor for Research

Preparing for a Possible Federal Government Shutdown

This past Friday, the White House Office of Management and Budget held a conference call with federal agencies to begin the process of preparing for a possible government shutdown.

Though momentum appears to be developing around efforts to avoid a shutdown, the OMB has recently updated its webpage dedicated to Agency Contingency Plans. Consequently, it is both prudent and proactive to begin preparation for a possible shutdown.

We intend to use communication strategies that were used during the FY13 shutdown. If a shutdown is imminent, then additional memos will be shared with you with further updates.

Hopefully, a shutdown will be averted.

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Federal Budget Outlook: Memo from the AVCR and Director of Sponsored Programs

In anticipation of a government shutdown, the Office of Research and Engagement has been monitoring activities in Washington, DC in preparation for a potential government shutdown. As of Thursday afternoon, a continuing resolution had passed the House and was sent to the Senate for their vote in order to avoid a lapse in federal funding.  As of this afternoon, the Senate has not yet passed a continuing resolution.

We will maintain a Federal Budget Outlook website (research.utk.edu/budget-­outlook) and post new information as it becomes available. We will also disseminate information through a variety of other mechanisms.

For faculty with existing federal awards:
Should you receive a “Stop Work Order,” it is imperative that the Office of Sponsored Programs is notified immediately at 865-­974-­3466. During the 2013 shutdown these orders created a minimal impact. However, because they effectively end or suspend the awards, costs associated with any work conducted after the notification will not be reimbursed. The Office of Sponsored Programs will coordinate with the university to address any problems that may arise from these orders. Continue reading

UT, Harvard, Penn Team Up on Major Materials Breakthrough

(Photo by Silke Baron) A peacock mantis shrimp is seen in the Andaman Sea off Thailand. The club-shaped "fingers" that the shrimp uses to crack shells of shellfish and kill prey are seen in front. The intricate design of those clubs served as partial inspiration for a materials breakthrough involving UT.

(Photo by Silke Baron) A peacock mantis shrimp is seen in the Andaman Sea off Thailand. The club-shaped “fingers” that the shrimp uses to crack shells of shellfish and kill prey are seen in front. The intricate design of those clubs served as partial inspiration for a materials breakthrough involving UT.

A team including researchers from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Harvard University, and the University of Pennsylvania has opened up new pathways to 3D print short-fiber-reinforced materials with precisely controlled fiber arrangements.

Currently, 3D printing methods for polymer composites build parts by extruding materials through a nozzle that simply moves back and forth in a series of lines to define the desired shape.

The team’s advance adds precisely controlled rotation of the nozzle to the mix to allow variation of the fiber arrangement throughout the printing process. The new process, called rotational 3D printing, results in unique helical fiber arrangements that provide superior damage resistance to printed materials.

A critical aspect of their work—the ability to control where the strongest and weakest points are located—was inspired by one of nature’s recent viral video stars, the mantis shrimp.

Continue reading about this breakthrough at the UT News website.

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