Commendations Corner - October 2019

In the Commendations Corner, we highlight the awards, achievements, and recognition of our faculty. Please send your own accomplishments to so that your good news can be included in future newsletters.

  • Dr. Andrew Muhammad (Agricultural and Resource Economics) and Dr. Mingzhou Jin (UT's Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering) received $500,000 from the National Science Foundation to develop an optimal food system model from both an economic and resource-use perspective.

  • Dr. Scott Lenaghan (Food Science) and Dr. Neal Stewart (Plant Sciences) are co-authors on a policy forum Science article on the responsible development of synthetic biology.

  • UTIA representatives (Drs. Sindhu Jagadamma, Joanne Logan, Forbes Walker, Chris Clark, and David Ader) attended the Climate Underground Conference hosted by former Vice President Al Gore at his family farm in Carthage, Tennessee.

  • Doug Hayes (Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science) has been elected to serve as editor and chief of the scientific journal, Journal of Surfactants and Detergents.

  • Dr. Sean Schaeffer (Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science) is partnering with USDA NRCS on a $300,000+ grant to quantify soil properties of key ecological sites across the state of Tennessee.

  • A team of UTIA researchers (Drs. Tim Rials and Burt English as co-PDs, Drs. Edward Yu, Niki Labbe, Julie Carrier, Nour Abdoulmoumine, Kim Jensen, Jada Thompson, James Larson, David Hughes, Sreedhar Upendram, Carlos Trejo-Pech, Christopher Clark, Christopher Boyer, Don Hodges, and Mike Collins of the Center for Natural Capital) was awarded a three-year $750,00 grant to support the development of sustainable aviation biofuels and coproducts industry derived from woody biomass feedstock in the Central Appalachian Region.

  • Dr. Neal Stewart (Plant Sciences) is co-author on the article, “One thousand plant transcriptomes and the phylogenomics of green plants,” which is featured on the cover of Nature.

  • The Fresh Electric Farm ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to commemorate the installment of the first container as part of UTIA (Dr. Carl Sams, Plant Sciences), TVA, KUB, and Second Harvest of East Tennessee’s Indoor Agriculture National Demonstration Project.

  • Dr. Doug Hayes (Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science) served as a panelist for the 1,4-Dioxane public meeting hosted by the California Environmental Protection Agency.

  • Dr. Jim Brosnan (Plant Sciences) presented a seminar on research exploring weed management in turfgrass to the National Coalition for Food and Agricultural Research in Washington, DC.

  • Dr. Andrew Muhammad (Agricultural and Resource Economics) received the Quality of Communication Award from the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

  • Dr. Tim Rials. co-editor (AgResearch and Center for Renewable Carbon), and Dr. Nikki Labbé, co-author (Center for Renewable Carbon), published a special topic with colleagues at DOE’s Idaho National Laboratory in the journal Frontiers in Energy that is in the running for “The Spotlight Award” (click on Economic eco-fuels). The winner of this award will received $100,000 to host a conference on their paper’s topic.