Faculty News and Notes

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Ayres HallDavid Chandler, a graduate research assistant in the Department of Nuclear Engineering, recently received one of three “best paper” awards at the COMSOL Multiphysics Conference in Newton, Mass. Chandler completed his doctorate in nuclear engineering at UT in August and submitted an article based on his dissertation work to the conference. His paper was titled “COMSOL-based Nuclear Reactor Kinetics Studies at the High Flux Isotope Reactor,” and was co-authored with his doctorate advisor, G. Ivan Maldonado, and two of his technical mentors at Oak Ridge National Laboratory: James D. Freels and R. Trent Primm, III. The subject of their article explores the computational ability to accurately predict the dynamic behavior of a nuclear reactor core in response to reactivity-induced perturbations. Read more here.

Ramon P. DeGennaro, the CBA Professor of Banking and Finance in the College of Business Administration, has been appointed as an Associate Editor of The Journal of Financial Research, effective January 1, 2012. The Journal of Financial Research is the journal of the Southern Finance Association and the Southwestern Finance Association.

Jackie Johnson, professor at the UT Space Institute, has been named a Fellow of the Institute of Physics (IOP) in recognition of her personal contribution to the advancement of physics as a discipline and a profession, as well as for work in characterization of amorphous materials and developing an x-ray image plate for mammography. As a member of the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering, Johnson works on glass ceramics for image plates, solar up-converters and diamond-like carbon coatings for biomedical applications. The IOP is a leading scientific society that works to advance physics research, application and education, and engages with policy makers and the public to develop awareness and understanding of physics.

Barbara Kaye, of the School of Journalism and Electronic Media, was honored as the Educator of the Year by the Advertising Federation of Knoxville. Kaye was honored for her excellence in educating future advertising and journalism professionals. Read more here.

Joan Rentsch has joined the faculty of the School of Communication Studies as professor of communication studies and director of the organizational research laboratory. Rentsch was previously the College of Business Administration where she served as a professor in the department of management from 2001 to 2011 and as an associate professor from 1999 to 2001. Rentsch studies psychological processes in organizations focusing on communication and cognition in teams and organizations and on the measurement of cognition.  Her published research appears in such journals as Journal of Applied Psychology, Personnel Psychology, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Academy of Management Journal, and Organizational Research Methods.  She is on the editorial boards of Journal of Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management Review.

Steven Wilhelm, professor of microbiology, co-authored a lead editorial for Nature Climate Change entitled “Healthy competition: Noxious cyanobacteria pose a considerable health threat to freshwater ecosystems. Research now suggests that toxic strains may be outcompeted by their non-toxic counterparts as surface concentrations of carbon dioxide increase” and was quoted in a lead editorial in the journal Science in the article “China Aims to Turn Tide Against Toxic Lake Pollution” featured in the September 2 edition. Wilhelm has done extensive research into cyanobacteria.

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