The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory have named physics professor Lee Riedinger as director of the UTK/ORNL Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have named physics professor Lee Riedinger as director of the UTK/ORNL Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education (CIRE).

UTKRiedinger joined the physics faculty at UT Knoxville in 1971. He has held various administrative positions at UT Knoxville before returning to teaching and research, most recently as interim vice chancellor for research in 2006-07. He has also played an integral role in strengthening the relationship between UT Knoxville and ORNL in his posts as ORNL’s deputy director for science and technology beginning in 2000 and associate laboratory director for university partnerships in 2004-06.

oakridgeCIRE was developed after state legislation passed in January 2010 authorizing the university to establish an academic unit of UT Knoxville for interdisciplinary research and graduate education in collaboration with ORNL. By combining the educational resources of the state’s largest flagship institution with the research capabilities of the Department of Energy’s largest science and energy laboratory, CIRE will provide expanded opportunities for graduate students in energy-related sciences and engineering.

The center aims to add 20 to 40 high caliber graduate students each year, moving the university closer to its goal of becoming a Top 25 research institution.

“Lee’s impressive accomplishments in nuclear physics research, dedication to teaching and experience in enhancing the relationship between UT Knoxville and ORNL makes him the perfect person to lead this unprecedented center,” Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek said.

CIRE will be home to one of the first interdisciplinary doctoral programs in energy science and engineering (ESE). Students will be able to specialize in nuclear energy, bioenergy and biofuels, renewable energy, energy conversion and storage, distributed energy and grid management, and environmental and climate sciences related to energy. Recruitment for the program will begin this fall.

CIRE also will be home to the newly created UTK-ORNL Distinguished Graduate Fellowship Program, in which students may pursue existing doctoral programs with concentrations in computational science and engineering, materials science and engineering, and nuclear science and engineering. The first class of fellows began studies this fall.

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Source: Seymour Herald
Photo: University of Tennessee, Knoxville and Oak Ridge National Laboratory