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2018 Class of UT-ORNL Joint Directed Research Faculty Announced

Thirteen UT faculty members are the recipients of Joint Directed Research Development (JDRD) awards for 2018, a larger cohort than in previous years. The JDRD awards are funded by the Science Alliance, a Tennessee Center of Excellence, as part of its mission to increase collaborations between the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

Established in 2003, JDRD awards provide up to two years of funding for faculty members working in conjunction with an ORNL Laboratory Directed Research Development (LDRD) project or a project that addresses one of a stated list of strategic common interests. These interests include research of significance to areas such as advanced manufacturing, exascale computing, and energy science and technology.

The 2018 list of awards includes the following faculty members:

Barry Bruce, Department of Biochemistry & Cellular and Molecular Biology – Probing Dynamics of Photosystem | Oligomerization Using SANS and Cryo-EM

Jamie Coble, Department of Nuclear Engineering – Development of Capacitive Dimensional Change Sensors for Nuclear Materials Measurement

James Coder, Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering – Finite-Element Method for the Simulation of Transition and Turbulence in Weakly Compressible Flows

Mark Dean, Min H. Kao Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science – Next-generation Neuromorphic Coprocessor Power Consumption in the Beyond Exascale Era

Seddik Djouadi, Min H. Kao Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science – Robust Control Design for Power Electronics-Enabled Grid Architectures         

Jeremiah Johnson, Department of Microbiology – Epidemiological Study of Human Campylobacteriosis with Development of Microbial Source-Tracking Database

Steven Johnston, Department of Physics and Astronomy – Accelerating Quantum Monte Carlo Simulations with Machine Learning

Maik Lang, Department of Nuclear Engineering – Unraveling the Defect Structure in Irradiated Nuclear Materials using the ORNL Integrated Computational Environment-Modeling & Analysis for Neutrons (ICE-MAN)

Jian Liu, Department of Physics and Astronomy – Merging Phononic and Electronic Functionalities at Oxide Interfaces

Claudia Rawn, Department of Materials Science and Engineering – Complementary X-ray Diffraction Studies for the Characterization of Chromium Dissolution into Molten Chloride Salts

Seungha Shin, Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering – Atomistic Investigation of Interfacial Transport in Aluminum Alloys

Sarah Werner, Department of Microbiology – Mining GWAVA for Key Factors Shaping Microbiome Structure

Steven Wilhelm, Department of Microbiology – Microeukaryotes and Their Viruses : Uncovering Their Hidden Role in One of the Largest Terrestrial Carbon Sinks

Previous cohorts have typically included 10-12 awardees. The 2018 class includes ten first-year proposals and three second-year projects.

Submitted proposals are evaluated on a range of criteria including technical merit, the potential for future external funding, and the inclusion of graduate and undergraduate students. Student support via the JDRD program has provided opportunities for more than 100 students, furthering their education and future careers via unique collaborations with a world class national lab.

JDRD-awarded projects can be funded for up to two years with a progress assessment at the end of year one to determine if second-year funding will be given. Second-year funding is based on the development of the partnership and the research progress thus far.

Established in 1984, the Science Alliance mission is to expand cooperative ventures in research with ORNL and enhance science and engineering research programs at the UT. The center also provides support to several Distinguished Scientists – faculty members with a tenured distinguished professorship at the University of Tennessee and a distinguished scientist appointment at ORNL.