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Faculty and Student Recognitions

Recognitions, June 23

The official start of summer brings exciting honors and funding awards for UT Students: Geography Professor Elected President-Elect of UCGIS; UTIA Professor Receives Community Development Early Career Achievement Award; Nuclear Engineering Professor Receives DOE Science Grant; Ames AgResearch and Education Center Welcomes New Assistant Director; Tickle College of Engineering Appoints New Dean; Transportation Engineering Doctoral Student Earns Second Place from SDITE; UTIA Researchers Secure $1 Million Seed Funding for Enhanced Biological Insect Control Solutions

Professor Shih-Lung Shaw elected President of UCGIS

UT Geography Professor Dr. Shih-Lung Shaw has been elected President-Elect of the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS), which is a non-profit organization that creates and supports communities of practice for GIScience research, education, and policy endeavors in higher education and with allied institutions. It is the professional hub for the academic GIS community in the United States, with partnerships extending this capacity abroad.

Upendram Receives Community Development Early Career Achievement Award

Sreedhar Upendram, assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, has received the 2021 Bonnie Teater Community Development Early Career Achievement Award from the Southern Rural Development Center. Upendram developed an ability-to-pay index that enabled unprecedented sharing of data and resources across federal and state agencies.

Hayward Receives DOE Science Grant for Advancing Neutron Reflectometry

Associate Department Head Jason Hayward was awarded a grant for $459,893 by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences within the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science for his research “Neutron Detector Development for High-rate Neutron Reflectometry at the Second Target Station of Oak Ridge National Laboratory.” This research will address the engineering challenges required to accurately handle high neutron count rates for next generation reflectometers.

Letham Named New Assistant Director

UTIA is pleased to announce that Jodi L. Letham is joining the Ames AgResearch and Education Center as Assistant Center Director effective July 6. An animal scientist and agronomist, Letham previously served as an Extension associate at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Letham comes to UTIA from Cornell University, where she served as an Extension specialist for the Northwest New York Dairy Livestock and Field Crops Team.

Mench Named Next Dean of Engineering

Matthew Mench has been selected to serve as the next dean and Wayne T. Davis Dean’s Chair of the Tickle College of Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He begins July 1. Mench, a Chancellor’s Professor, the Condra Chair of Excellence, and a professor of mechanical engineering in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering, has served as interim dean since March.

Shah Earns Second Place from Southern District Institute of Transportation Engineers

Nitesh Shah, a transportation engineering doctoral student studying under CEE Professor Chris Cherry, recently earned second place from the Southern District Institute of Transportation Engineers (SDITE) for his research on electric scooters (e-scooters). He won the 2020 Outstanding Student Paper Award in the graduate student category for the paper entitled “Why do people take e-scooter trips? Big Data and Unsupervised Machine Learning Insights on Temporal and Spatial Usage Patterns.”

$1 Million Seed Funding Secured to Advance Enhanced Biological Insect Control Solutions

A UT Institute of Agriculture laboratory has helped develop biological insect control technology attracting $1 million in seed funding. A team from the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology led by professor Juan Luis Jurat-Fuentes and including Heba Abdelgaffar and Jason Burris worked collaboratively with Impetus Ag, a research and development firm based in St. Louis, Missouri, to advance the initial concept to practice.