Research News

UT Part of $140 Million White House Advanced Manufacturing Initiative

UT will be part of a national effort, announced today by President Barack Obama, which could lead to more fuel-efficient cars and decreased costs for ships and aircraft. Suresh Babu, UT–Oak Ridge National Laboratory Governor’s Chair for Advanced Manufacturing, and a team of faculty, will help lead UT’s research effort in the $140 million Detroit-based institute, called the Lightweight and Modern Metals Manufacturing Innovation, or LM3I—one of two institutes announced today.

Expert to Discuss Sleep and the Role of the Internal Clock at Science Forum

Theresa Lee

Theresa M. Lee, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of psychology, will present “Tick Tock: Sleep Across the Lifespan and the Role of the Internal Clock” on Friday during this week’s Science Forum. The presentation begins at noon in Room C-D of Thompson-Boling Arena. Attendees can bring lunch or purchase it at the arena.

Researchers Use Kraken to Understand Weather and Climate

NOAA-winter-storm

Severe weather raises questions about the phenomena that cause it. The answer to all questions is atmospheric conditions. The atmosphere consists of varying layers of gases or fluid structures. Researchers at the National Institute for Computational Sciences are using the supercomputing power of UT’s Kraken to model how the structures interact to help prepare accurate weather forecasts and climate predictions.

Bioenergy Expert Named Governor’s Chair

art-ragauskas

Arthur Ragauskas, an authority in bioenergy, has been named the fifteenth UT–Oak Ridge National Laboratory Governor’s Chair. He will serve as Governor’s Chair for Biorefining, based in UT’s Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering with a complementary appointment in the UT Institute of Agriculture’s Department of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries. He begins on June 1.

Study Finds Crocodiles Climb Trees

An American alligator perches on a tree branch in Pearl River Delta, Mississippi. Photo credit: Kristine Gingras with permission.

When most people envision crocodiles, they think of them waddling on the ground or wading in water—not climbing trees. However, a UT study has found that the reptiles can climb trees as far as the crowns. Vladimir Dinets, a research assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, is the first to thoroughly study the tree-climbing and -basking behavior.

NOvA experiment sees first long-distance neutrinos

Scientists, including a group of UT faculty and students, on the world’s longest-distance neutrino experiment have announced that they have seen their first neutrinos. Neutrinos are abundant in nature, but they very rarely interact with other matter. Studying them could yield crucial information about the early moments of the universe.

Engineering Professor Named to National Academy of Engineering

George-Pharr

George Pharr, Chancellor’s Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and Joint Faculty Scientist in the Materials Science and Technology Division at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has been named to the National Academy of Engineering. He becomes the fifth NAE member in UT’s College of Engineering.

UT Expert: Olympic Infrastructure Investments, Not Venues, Bring Economic Growth

All eyes turn to Sochi, Russia, for the 2014 Winter Olympics this week as athletes compete to take the gold. But what happens to the city and sporting facilities that have been built for the event once everyone returns home? It’s a question Scott Holladay, an assistant professor of economics at UT, has considered. He’s studied the overall impact of the Olympics on a host city’s long-term growth.

Office of Research and Engagement Expand Compliance Efforts

UT researchers will have more help in complying with complex federal requirements that cover everything from treatment of lab animals and surveying human subjects to handling hazardous materials and defense-sensitive information. The Office of Research and Engagement has hired Robert Nobles as assistant vice chancellor fo the responsible conduct of research and research integrity officer.

UT Study Finds Market Forces Influence the Value of Bat-Provided Services

Bats returning to Frio Cave near Conan, Texas, in the early morning. Photo Credit: Amy Russell of Grand Valley State University.

Services provided by Mother Nature, such as pest control from insect-eating bats, are affected by market forces like most anything else in the economy, a UT study finds. Researchers from UT and the University of Arizona, Tucson, studied how forces such as volatile market conditions and technological substitutes affect the value of pest control services provided by Mexican free-tailed bats on cotton production in the United States.