Leadership, education, mentoring and advocacy in Tennessee’s advanced energy economy all are qualifications for an award bestowed Wednesday on Dr. Mina Sartipi. The 2023 “Thomas B. Ballard Advanced Energy Leadership Award” was presented by the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council (TAEBC) at its Opportunities in Energy event in Knoxville.
Sartipi is executive director of the UTC Research Institute, founding director of UTC’s Center for Urban Informatics and Progress, and a Guerry Professor of Computer Science and Engineering.
She was selected for the award based on her research on data-driven approaches to tackling real-world challenges in smart city applications focused on mobility, energy, and health, according to TAEBC. In particular, the group also cited Sartipi’s leadership in establishing the 1.2-mile MLK Smart Corridor testbed to accelerate smart city and connected and autonomous vehicle research; and expansion of the testbed with support from the Federal Highway Administration.
Sartipi joined UTC as an assistant professor of electrical engineering in 2006 and changed to computer science the following year because her research was more closely aligned with that discipline. In 2020 she was named both a Guerry Professor and a UC Foundation Professor. In 2018, was given an appointment as a faculty member with the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education, a joint program of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Sartipi’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Energy, the state of Tennessee, Lyndhurst Foundation and other organizations.
Among many other awards Sartipi has received are 2016 UTC Outstanding Faculty Research and Creative Achievement award and 2020 Smart 50 awards in Digital Transformation from Smart Cities Connect (in collaboration with EPB and the city of Chattanooga and EPB). She has delivered multiple keynote addresses and presentations including to the U.S. Congressional Caucus on Smart Cities, the Smart Cities Connect conference and the National Transportation Training Directors.
The Thomas B. Ballard Advanced Energy Leadership Award is named for Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer at PYA and Editor-in-Chief of Teknovation.biz magazine. Ballard was TAEBC’s first president upon its launch in 2014 and served on the board of directors until 2019. TAEBC bestowed the inaugural Thomas B. Ballard Advanced Energy Leadership Award to Ballard himself in 2019.