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Recognitions, December 12

Boyd Venture Challenge Awards Funding to UT Student Startups

Three businesses owned by students at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, were awarded a total of $25,000 in the fall 2018 Boyd Venture Challenge. The Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in UT’s Haslam College of Business hosted the seed-fund grant competition.

Start-up companies Qardian Labs, Winter Innovations and Quantum Lock were selected from a group of six finalists. A panel of five judges determined the funding awards.

“We saw an extremely impressive group of companies pitch this semester,” said Tom Graves, operations director of the Anderson Center. “The compelling presentations and potential shown by all of the companies presented the judges with a significant challenge.”

UT Home to Several Most Cited Researchers

When peers cite a faculty member’s research, it’s a solid indication of the respect they have attained in their field.

Clarivate Analytics annually calculates the world’s most cited researchers, and the 2018 list features eight people who work with the UT Knoxville campus in some capacity.

Those selected from UT this year are:

  • Sheng Dai, professor of chemistry; his work focuses on synthesizing and characterizing materials used in energy applications.
  • Terry C. Hazen, UT-Oak Ridge National Laboratory Governor’s Chair for Environmental Biotechnology; he researches microbial ecology, water health, bioenergy, and the environment.
  • David Mandrus, Jerry and Kay Henry Endowed Professor in materials science and engineering; he leads a group focused on discovering and characterizing new quantum materials.
  • Art J. Ragauskas, UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair for Biorefining; his work deals with bioenergy, biofuels, and green chemical engineering.
  • Gerald Tuskan, adjunct professor in the UT Institute of Agriculture; his work involves the study of plants for bioenergy.

Student Work Exhibited at Hodges Library

Student work from the Super Booleans! Studio, a third-year Architecture research studio led by assistant professor Maged Guerguis, was selected for an exhibition at the John C. Hodges Library. In this studio, students investigated the novel effects of geometrical Boolean operations as an architectural technique to create a novel effect with political potential.

Students Michaela Stanfill and Tyler Sanford exhibited their proposal for a new grand music hall in downtown Knoxville as a part of the new architectural exhibition.

Professors Named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Professors Lynne Parker and Adriana Moreo have been selected as 2018 American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellows for their work as leading researchers and their distinguished professional service.

Parker, a member of the Min H. Kao Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, was honored for her contributions to the field of robotics. She is the 32nd faculty member at UT to be recognized and the 10th from the Tickle College of Engineering. Parker also is an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Fellow. She is currently serving as assistant director for artificial intelligence for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Adriana Moreo, a professor of theoretical condensed matter in the Department of Physics, also made the AAAS list for her studies of condensed matter—specifically the properties of materials that result from a large number of interacting atoms and electrons.

Moreo is the fourth member of the current physics faculty to be elected a fellow of the AAAS and the 33rd among all UT faculty. She also is a fellow of the American Physical Society.

McClung Museum Director to Retire

Jeff Chapman, director of UT’s McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture, will retire at the end of the 2019 spring semester after 29 years as the museum’s director.

Under Chapman’s leadership, the McClung Museum has established itself as central to research, teaching, and interdisciplinary programming at UT. The only museum on the university’s campus, it has hosted classes for thousands of students, received five accreditations by the American Alliance of Museums, and welcomed more than 1.4 million visitors since its opening in 1963.

Today, there are about 25,000 objects in the museum’s arts and culture collections from around the globe, and its research collections in archaeology, paleo-ethnobotany, and malacology hold millions of specimens.

Governor Announces Advisory Board Members

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam recently appointed 20 members to new advisory boards for each of the campuses within the UT System.

Each campus advisory board comprises five public members appointed by the governor; one faculty member appointed by each institution’s Faculty Senate; and one student member appointed by each campus advisory board.

The public members of UT Knoxville’s advisory board are Alexia Poe and Tom Smith of Nashville, John Tickle of Bristol, and Syreeta Vaughn and Tim Williams of Knoxville.

The Faculty Senate appointed Louis J. Gross, Chancellor’s Professor and Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, to serve as the faculty appointee to the board. The student member will be appointed by the board at a later date.

The advisory boards were created under the UT Focus Act passed by the General Assembly last session. Each board is charged with submitting recommendations to the UT System Board of Trustees on campus level strategic plans, operating budgets, and tuition.