September 7 and October 11, 2017 were very special days in the life of the College. In the morning hours of those days, two faculty members whose tireless efforts on behalf of CECS students in the Chemical Engineering Program were honored with events marking the dedication of two laboratories which now bear their names. As of September 7, Room 120 in the EMCS Building became the Dr. Jim Henry Chemical Engineering and Control System Laboratory, named in honored of Professor Emeritus Dr. Jim Henry. Effective October 11, Room 119 is the Dr. Francis “Frank” J. Jones Chemical Engineering Laboratory, named in memory of the late Dr. Frank Jones.
In 1980, Dr. Jim Henry joined Professor Emeritus Dr. Jim Cunningham in establishing the foundation of the Chemical Engineering Program so many students and faculty colleagues benefit from today. In addition to Dr. Henry’s scholarly work at Yale and Tulane, he was also a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Jordan, and spent a sabbatical as a visiting professor at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. His prior work in industry and with the US Department of Energy informed his teaching and research, and the opportunity to share with his hundreds of students, the application of what they learned from him in the classroom and laboratory.
During his tenure with the College, Jim was always attuned to the needs of our students and the changing “face” of Chemical Engineering as both a science and a profession. When he decided to implement and run a remote chemical engineering lab, the internet was in its infancy. Through his own design, ingenuity, and determination, the Controls Lab was “born.” Over the past twenty years he has been recognized by colleagues, students, the National Science Foundation and the Chemical Division of the American Society of Engineering Education for his work in deploying the remote lab experience to the global community including developing countries.
It was fitting that Dr. Henry be honored with the naming of EMCS 120 in his honor – a place where he spent countless hours working with dozens of his students in research and teaching. The “investment” of those countless hours in both EMCS and in Grote Hall during prior years “has paid off” in the success of the College’s past, present, and future Chemical Engineering students. Dr. Henry’s impact on the life of the College is invaluable.
Dr. Frank Jones came to the College of Engineering and Computer Science in 2000 and became Director of the CECS Chemical Engineering program in 2007. His career as teacher, mentor, and administrator included service as University of Tennessee at Chattanooga as UC Foundation Professor of Chemical Engineering, as Professor of Chemical Engineering at Louisiana Tech University, and as Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at Drexel University.
Dr. Jones was an active member of several professional organizations including the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), American Chemical Society (ACS), Sigma X, Phi Lambda Upsilon (an honorary chemical society), the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), and the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR). His many honors and awards included: the Engineering Research Award presented by the UTC College of Engineering and Computer Science: 2001, 2003, 2007; the Exceptional Merit Award for Research 2005-06, 2008-09; the Outstanding Departmental Researcher Award 2009-10, 2011-12; and the Outstanding Teacher in Chemical Engineering Award 2012-13, 2013-14. Much of Dr. Jones’ research focused on environmental science, and he established an Environmental Science concentration curriculum within UTC’s Chemical Engineering Program.
Dr. Jones was a dedicated teacher and included both students and colleagues in his prolific research publications and presentations. His valiant battle against cancer was inspiring to all who knew him. Dr. Jones is greatly missed by his beloved family, colleagues and former students. Through the generosity of his family, the Dr. Frank Jones Chemical Engineering Lab Fund was established. The College will be able to ensure that Dr. Jones’ legacy lives on with the naming of his former research lab. Each year, a portion of the endowment will support the development and construction of a chemical reaction-powered car for UTC’s participation in the AiChE annual Chem-E- Car Competition, and will assist with the design and analysis of microreactors for the production of biorenewable fuels.
Among the speakers at the Jones Laboratory dedication were two of Dr. Jones’ brothers, Brian and Russ Jones, and UTC alumna Dr. Stephanie Fraley. After graduating from UTC in 2006 with a BS in chemical engineering, Fraley earned her PhD in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Fraley currently serves as assistant professor of bio-engineering at the University of California, San Diego. Her research involves understanding the multiple-scale physical and molecular contexts that drive complex cell behavior in sepsis and cancer. Through her research, she aims to improve understanding of immune modulated disease progression and develop new technologies for disease detection and personalized interventions. Dr. Fraley was mentored by Dr. Frank Jones and was one of many student beneficiaries of his dedicated work and that of Dr. Jim Henry in strengthening and expanding the teaching and research components of the CECS Chemical Engineering Program.