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2015 Faculty Accolades

2016 Faculty Appreciation Week

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, boasts a productive and distinguished faculty with a proud record of research, scholarship, and creative achievement. We honor a selection of those many faculty whose accomplishments received recognition in 2015.


Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Karen Lloyd, Assistant Professor
Microbiology, College of Arts & Sciences
Lloyd’s work with subsea floor mud and frozen Siberian soil earned her a 2015 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in Ocean Sciences. The announcement was made in early 2015 in a full-page advertisement in the New York Times and on sloan.org.

American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellows

Parans Paranthaman, Joint Faculty
Bredesen Center, Distinguished Research Staff Member and leader of the Materials Chemistry group of Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Chemical Sciences Division
AAASThe association is honoring Paranthaman for his contributions to the field of chemistry, including materials for superconductors, solar cells, lithium ion batteries, and processing of magnetic materials.

C. Neal Stewart, Professor
Plant Sciences, UT Institute of Agriculture
The association is honoring Stewart for his contributions to the field of plant molecular genetics, particularly bioenergy and biotechnology.

American Institute of Chemical Engineers

Bamin Khomami, Granger and Beaman Distinguished University Professor, Department Head
Chemistry, College of Arts & Sciences
The American Institute of Chemical Engineers bestowed a top honor on Khomami as the group’s board of directors announced his election as an AIChE Fellow.

American Nuclear Society

J. Wesley Hines, Postelle Professor, Department Head
Nuclear Engineering, College of Engineering
Hines has been elected Fellow of the American Nuclear Society for his scholarly accomplishments as a leader in the discovery and development of reliability enhancing condition monitoring technologies for the nuclear industry.

Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award

Brian Wirth, Governor’s Chair
Nuclear Engineering, College of Engineering
The US Department of Energy has named Brian Wirth, a joint UT College of Engineering and Oak Ridge National Laboratory appointee, an Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award winner. Given by the DOE in recognition of research supporting science, energy, or national security, it is considered the highest achievement that a midcareer researcher can receive. 

Fulbright Fellowship

J. Patrick Biddix, Associate Professor
Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, College of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Fulbright
Biddix studied in Montreal conducting research at Concordia University as the visiting research chair for person and society.

Brendon McConville, Associate Professor
School of Music, College of Arts & Sciences
McConville began lecturing and conducting research in Pescara, Italy at the Luisa D’Annunzio Conservatory of Music. His lectures will focus on recent American compositional and analytical trends.

Brad Collett, Assistant Professor
Plant Sciences, College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources
Collett is teaching in Slovenia at the University of Ljubjana for the 2016 spring semester. Collett’s project title is “Low Impact Development: Opportunities for a Society in Transition.”

Joseph Bozell, Professor
Biomass Chemistry, Center for Renewable Carbon
Bozell studied in Belgium conducting research at Ghent University. His research includes catalyst design for the sustainable production of chemicals and fuels from renewable feedstocks.

Huntington Library 

Hilary Havens, Assistant Professor
English, College of Arts & Sciences
Havens has been awarded a short-term fellowship for her book project, “From Manuscript to Print: Revising the Eighteenth-Century Novel,” which delineates the creative process of composition of eighteenth-century novelists, and the interactions between author, “editors” (to the extent that they existed in the eighteenth century), and audience in the early novel.

National Academy of Inventors

Douglas Birdwell, Professor
Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, College of Engineering
NAIA lifetime of innovation in areas related to computing and processing has led to Birdwell being named as a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. His research into computing and information systems has spanned from their initial surge in the 1970s through their universal adoption today.

National Academy of Forensic Engineers

David Icove, UL Professor of Practice
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, College of Engineering
Icove was recently awarded one of the top honors in his field as he was chosen a fellow of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers.

National Endowment for the Humanities

Tina Shepardson, Professor
Religious Studies, College of Arts & Sciences
NEHShepardson received an NEH Fellowship to study religious violence and persecution in the Middle East in the fifth through seventh centuries, with a focus on the development of the Syrian Orthodox Church. Her resulting book will shed new light on this historical example of Christian conflict, radicalization, and schism, and should help us understand and respond to religious conflicts today.

Tore Olsson, Assistant Professor
History, College of Arts & Sciences
Olsson received an NEH Fellowship to study the interaction between US and Mexican efforts to modernize agriculture in the 1930s and 1940s, alongside the cross-pollination of the US New Deal and the Mexican Revolution. The project, which reveals rarely acknowledged similarities between the histories of the U.S. and Mexico, will culminate in a book to be published in 2017 or 2018.

National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend Award

Markus Kohl, Assistant Professor
Philosophy, College of Arts & Sciences
Kohl has been awarded an NEH summer stipend for work on his project Kant on Freedom in Theory and Practice. 

National Science Foundation CAREER Award

Brian O’Meara, Associate Professor
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, College of Arts & Sciences
O’Meara is developing methods that will use information from species alive now, and potentially extinct species, to understand how and why species have changed through time.

Other recently announced NSF CAREER awards are effective in calendar year 2016.

R&D 100 Award

Michael Sepaniak, Professor
Chemistry, College of Arts & Sciences
R&D 100 AwardsA low-cost chemical sensor invented by Michael Sepaniak, professor of chemistry, in partnership with the Y-12 National Security Complex has been recognized by R&D Magazine as a top technology product in the marketplace. Sepaniak and his team were honored with an R&D100 Award for ChIMES (Chemical Identification by Magneto-Elastic Sensing), a new low-cost passive chemical sensing technology.