Energy Firm Creates UT Fellowship

KNOXVILLE — A Knoxville-based energy company has created a graduate student fellowship in geology at the University of Tennessee.

Tengasco, a fully diversified energy company which locates, develops and delivers natural gas and other petroleum resources, gave the UT department of geological sciences $25,000 to support a graduate student who intends to pursue a career in petroleum-related geology or geophysics.

“Our relationship with UT has been outstanding,” said Michael Ratliff, Tengasco’s president and chief operating officer. “The quality of work we have received from the students is just incredible. It increases our staff immeasurably.”

Ratliff and state Rep. Joe Armstrong attended the department’s annual honors ceremony to make the presentation. Armstrong, who sits on the Tengasco board, called the fellowship a win-win for the firm and the university.

The fellowship includes a $15,000 stipend, tuition and money to support student research activities.

Department head Dr. Bill Dunne praised Dr. Robert Hatcher Jr., UT-ORNL Distinguished Scientist of structural geology, and Dr. Richard Williams, professor and seismologist, for developing the relationship with Tengasco that made the fellowship possible.

“Working with Tengasco, our students actually get to see real data acquired for practical purposes,” Williams said. “It makes a real bright spot on their resume.”