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Quarterly Research Report: July 1, 2017–March 31, 2018

Click image to download the Quarterly Research Report for Q3FY18

Download the Quarterly Research Report for Q3FY18

The Office of Research and Engagement welcomed Victor McCrary as the new Vice Chancellor for Research in March. We look forward to his leadership in guiding UT Knoxville from research excellence to preeminence.

In the first three quarters of fiscal year 2018 (FY18), cumulative totals showed a six percent decrease in the total number of proposals submitted and a six percent increase in the amount of funding requested when compared to the first three quarters of the fiscal year 2017 (FY17). The average amount requested on a per proposal basis was roughly $353K versus $314K in FY17.

In terms of the total award amount received, there was an eight percent decrease over FY17. However, several colleges displayed an increase in the award amount received during the same period of time. Tickle College of Engineering secured a 12% or six million dollar increase, while the UT Space Institute (UTSI) achieved a 75% or two million dollar increase over FY17. The Haslam College of Business, College of Communication and Information, College of Nursing, and College of Architecture and Design also recorded increases in the award amount.

Funding profiles followed historical trends with almost 60% of awarded dollars coming from federal agencies and 15% from the Tennessee government. From the federal agency perspective, the Department of Energy (44 percent) and National Science Foundation (NSF) (23 percent) accounted for 67 percent of our federal dollars followed by the Department of Defense (9 percent) and Department of Health and Human Services (8 percent).

The total research expenditures continued a positive trend representing a substantial increase of 30 percent or $39 million over first three quarters in FY17. Research expenditure amounts were up across the board.

Some projects of note received in the third quarter were:

  • John Schmesseur, UTSI professor of mechanical, aerospace, and biomedical engineering, H. H. Arnold Chair in Computational Fluid Dynamics, and B. H.Goethert Professor, led a team of researchers including Ryan Bond, Christopher Combs, Phillip Kreth and Trevor Moeller on a winning $3.4 million applied research proposal for the United States Air Force called Reusable Hypersonic Vehicle Structures through the University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI). During the course of this initiative, three campuses within the UT system (UT Knoxville, UT Space Institute, and UT Chattanooga) will provide detailed aerothermodynamic and structural thermal response analysis of candidate system configurations and material systems considered during the UDRI-led design of reusable hypersonic vehicle structures.
  • Tabitha Samual, group lead for the HPC Operations group at the National Institute for Computational Sciences, won a $772 thousand award from MARS Inc. to create and deploy a research environment to activate and support computational science capabilities, tools and programs for the company.
  • Greg Reynolds, associate professor of psychology received a $536 thousand award from NSF to study the role of attention and early experience in cognitive processing that will provide insights about facial recognition during infancy.


Bruce LaMattina
Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Development