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Recognitions, February 7

Coble Named Southern Company Faculty Fellow

Jamie Coble has been named the Tickle College of Engineering’s first Southern Company Faculty Fellow in recognition of her work as an assistant professor of nuclear engineering.

“I’m honored and grateful to have been selected for this recognition and to be associated with Southern Company, given it operates and is expanding its nuclear power operations,” Coble said. “This will enable me to focus even more on the issues surrounding the safety, sustainability, and economic competitiveness of nuclear power as a key carbon-free energy source.”

UT’s Mandrus, Simberloff Among Most Cited in World

Two UT faculty members have earned the distinction of being among the most cited researchers in the world, according to Clarivate Analytics, formerly Thompson Reuters.

Jerry and Kay Henry Endowed Professor of Materials Science and Engineering David Mandrus and Gore Hunger Professor of Environmental Science in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Daniel Simberloff have each been recently recognized for their contributions to science.

It’s the second such recognition for Mandrus since 2014 and the second in a row for Simberloff, placing them in select company among researchers.

Clarivate Analytics studied research and releases, measuring the total number of times that others cited the material in their own findings.

Student Startup Grow Bioplastics Awarded NSF Grant

Grow Bioplastics, a student startup, has received a $225,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant. The award will fund research and development work on lignin-biomass-based biodegradable plastics for agricultural applications, specifically plastic mulches.

Grow Bioplastics’ team, led by co-founders Tony Bova and Jeff Beegle, will use the SBIR funding to create new biodegradable plastics from lignin, a waste product of the paper and biofuel industries. Bova is an energy science and engineering PhD candidate in UT’s Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education. Beegle, a recent graduate with a master’s degree in microbiology, also completed his studies in the Bredesen Center.