Faculty News and Notes

 

Ayres HallChris Cherry, assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, has been mentioned in the August 2011 issue of Outside magazine for his research project on a campus bike-share model. In the article, Cherry discussed his electric bike pilot program which is in the works for the UT campus. The article can be viewed here. Cherry is mentioned on the last page of the article.

Ramon P. DeGennaro, the CBA Professor of Banking and Finance, was an invited lecturer at the Chautauqua Institution in August. DeGennaro spoke during a course titled, “The Causes, Cures and Consequences of the Financial Crisis.” Pulitzer Prize winning business author Gretchen Morgenson, who with Joshua Rosner wrote current New York Times #1 best seller among business books, Reckless Endangerment, also spoke. The course was attended by more than 160 people daily and featured speakers from the Federal Reserve System. DeGennaro also has been named an associate editor of the Financial Review, the journal of the Eastern Finance Association.

Mike Gilchrist, associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, has received a National Science Foundation award of $582,552 to help scientists who have sequenced genomes to do access the information within the genomes themselves. His team’s research will develop and fit mechanistic models of protein translation and allele fixation to genomic data. The results will allow scientists to extract biologically meaningful information encoded with the coding sequences of an organism’s genome. This will be especially important to health care. For example, this science can uncover clues about the environmental requirements, epidemiology, and adverse health effects of harmful pathogens.

Bob Hatcher, distinguished professor in earth and planetary sciences, has been selected to receive the Outstanding Educator Award of the Eastern Section of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (ESAAPG). He will receive the award at the annual ESAAPG Meeting in Arlington, Virginia, next week. The award is a tribute to his effectiveness as an educator in the classroom and in the field. He was nominated by 15 of his former graduate students and six of his colleagues in academia, government and industry.

Professor and distinguished scientist in the Department of Chemistry Jimmy Mays has been named to the American Chemical Society (ACS) fellows program. The program was created in 2008 to recognize and honor ACS members for their outstanding achievements in and contributions to the science, the profession, and service to the society. Mays is a polymer chemist who specializes in anionic polymerization and polymerization in ionic liquids. The new ACS fellows were honored at the society’s fall national meeting in Denver in late August. Additional information about the program is available here.

Jay Rubenstein, associate professor of history, has been working on translating memoirs of a twelfth-century monk for three years. In October, his work will be published in the book, Monodies and on the Relics of Saints. The book is set against the backdrop of the First Crusade and offers insights into medieval society. Readers witness a world and a mind populated by royals, heretics, nuns, witches, and devils, and come to understand just how fervently Guibert of Nogent was preoccupied with sin, sexuality, the afterlife, and the dark arts. Critics call the book “exotic, disquieting, and illuminating.” Rubenstein has another book about the First Crusade to be published in November called Armies of Heaven: the First Crusade and the Quest for Apocalypse.

Nathan Sanders, associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, has received a National Science Foundation award for $1,997,320. Sanders’s research will reveal the cascading effects of climate change on gene regulation and protein production, and the subsequent effects on taxonomic and functional diversity of ant assemblages, which are major drivers of ecosystem function in terrestrial habitats.

Brian Wirth, Governor’s Chair in Nuclear Engineering, along with Bamin Khomami, department head for chemical and biomolecular engineering, invested funds in the Newton HPC Program to expand the Linux compute cluster. Their funds financed the purchase of a 1,728 processor compute cluster addition. The upgrade consists of thirty-six computer nodes each with forty-eight CPU cores and ninety-six GB of RAM. This expansion increases the total Newton Program computational capacity to 4,300 CPU cores. Wirth plans to use the computation capacity of Newton for computational modeling and measurements of radiation effects in materials and molecular dynamics simulation. For more information about the Newton HPC Program, visit http://newton.utk.edu/.

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