Funded Proposals (8/1/2013 – 8/31/2013)


The following UTC faculty and staff recently attracted $1,252,327 in external grant and contract awards:


Ms. Twyler Boykin, Project Director of Upward Bound Math and Science, attracted $236,925 from the U.S. Department of Education to continue the Upward Bound Math & Science program (PRISM) during the 2013-14 academic year.  The goal of the Upward Bound Math and Science program is to strengthen the math and science skills of local high school students from low-income communities and to encourage these students to pursue postsecondary degrees in these fields.


Dr. Loren Hayes, Assistant Professor of Biology, Geology and Environmental Sciences, in collaboration with Dr. Peggy Kovach, Co-Director of the STEM Education program, and Dr. Cecelia Wigal, UC Foundation Professor of Industrial Engineering, attracted $249,801 from the National Science Foundation to engage teams of undergraduate and graduate students in field and lab work to determine some of the behavioral, geographical, and genetic factors underlying direct fitness variation in the degu, a Chilean rodent. A major goal of the program is to develop the professional skills and cultural understanding of students, increasing their international competitiveness and the likelihood for success of their team projects.


Dr. Jonathan McNair, UC Foundation Professor of Music, attracted $2,000 from the Tennessee Arts Commission to bring the Marian Anderson String Quartet, an acclaimed African American Chamber Ensemble, to Chattanooga. During their four-day residency, the artists will participate in a panel discussion, teach a master class, and hold a public performance.


Ms. Laurie Melnik, Director of Theatre Education at the Southeast Center for Education in the Arts, attracted $2,000 from the Hamilton County Department of Education for a professional development workshop at Barger Academy. The workshop will focus on the subject of literacy and the arts. In a second proposal, Ms. Melnik attracted $10,000 from the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga for a program called CommuniCreate, which aims to increase parental involvement in children’s academic careers. The program will facilitate experiential learning opportunities in the arts for K-12 students and families and develop an educational resource kit that will be accessible at no cost via the web.


Drs. Mbakisya Onyango, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering, and Joseph Owino, Department Head and UC Foundation Associate Professor of Civil and Chemical Engineering, in collaboration with Tennessee State University, secured $219,632 from the Tennessee Department of Transportation to evaluate the performance of pavement markings in Tennessee.   The study will determine the impact that factors such as traffic intensity, weather conditions, geographic location, and pavement types have on the reflectivity of pavement markings. .


Dr. Jeff Rector, Assistant Director Client Services/Training and Outreach of Financial Aid, and Mr. Bill Parker, Financial Literacy Coordinator, attracted $10,000 from the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga to support the UTC Financial Literacy Education Program. Utilizing peer financial counselors, the program will work with campus offices, local organizations, and the community to promote financial wellness among current and prospective students through workshops, seminars, and one-on-one counseling sessions.


Ms. Ginny Reese, Director of Continuing Education, and Dr. Vic Bumphus, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, secured $91,223 to host the Southeastern Command and Leadership Academy (SECLA) at UTC. The SECLA is a dynamic seven-week law enforcement leadership and management program designed for progressive and innovative police managers.


The SimCenter Research Team recently secured a number of awards:

  • $98,474 from the Office of Naval Research to develop an improved model of simultaneous physics processes relevant to ship and aircraft design.
  • $20,000 from the U.S. Air Force via Flow Modeling & Simulation LLC to develop a comprehensive computational tool that can be used to simulate conditions in a turbine engine. The software tool will reduce cost in computational testing and increase efficiency in simulation development.
  • $175,000 from SimCenter Enterprises for research and development projects that will boost the SimCenter’s computational capacity and advance research in engineering simulation and modeling.


Dr. Will Sutton, Dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science, and The SimCenter Team attracted $134,172 from the U.S. Department of Education for year two of the Computational Engineering PhD program at UTC. Grant funds will support several PhD students and help the Graduate School of Computational Engineering extend its research from defense and space related research to real-world energy utilization and advanced manufacturing applications.


Mr. Kim Wheetley, Director of the Southeast Center for Education in the Arts, attracted $3,100 from the Tennessee Arts Commission to fund the 7th National Arts and Education Forum in May 2014. Funding will support honoraria for nationally known experts in education, integrative learning, and professional development who will help plan the Forum, present keynotes and panel presentations, and facilitate participants’ discussions.


Submitted Proposals (8/1/2013 – 8/31/2013)


The following UTC faculty and staff members submitted proposals with the potential to generate over $1,221,977 in external funding, if awarded:


Dr. Jennifer Boyd (Biology, Geology and Environmental Sciences) requested $5,812 from environmental engineering firm S&ME, Inc. to transplant 85 endangered large-flowered skullcap plants to a protected habitat in the Enterprise South Industrial Park in Hamilton County. The plants must be moved from their current location to avoid being affected by upcoming TDOT construction.


Drs. Greg Heath (Assistant Provost for Research and Engagement) and Jerald Ainsworth (Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs) requested $415,251 from the National Institutes of Health to enhance and expand biomedical and biobehavioral research on UTC’s campus. Drs. Heath and Ainsworth plan to actively engage community, regional, state, and national partnerships to foster collaborative biobehavioral research opportunities for UTC faculty and students.


Dr. Greg Heath (Assistant Provost for Research and Engagement) in collaboration with regional partners, requested $227,154 as part of a $17.4 million request from the American College of Sports Medicine to work at the clinical and community level to increase physical activity among high-risk Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. The project will focus on improving health education and creating behavioral change to improve beneficiary’s activity levels. Dr. Heathalso submitted a Letter of Intent to the John Hopkins Global Center on Childhood Obesity to repeat an analysis of existing data on policies and environmental changes designed to increase physical activity levels in children and youth. The assessment will focus on youth in both the East and South Chattanooga communities.


Dr. Nicky Ozbek (Psychology) submitted a Letter of Intent to the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation to study the relationship between curcumin (a chemical compound in the spice turmeric) and b-amyloid plaques found in the retinas of people with Alzheimer’s disease. In mice studies, curcumin has been found to block the formation of plaques and break apart plaques that have already formed.


Drs. Manuel Santiago and Stefanie Whitson (Chemistry) requested $7,656 from the American Heart Association via the UT College of Medicine-Chattanooga to analyze samples of cardiotonic steroids. Drs. Santiago and Whitson’s work will support research on the relationship between cardiotonic steroids, hypertension, and blood pressure regulation.


Dr. Manuel Santiago (Chemistry) requested $335,511 from the National Science Foundation to provide interdisciplinary research experiences for college students. Over the next three summers, undergraduates from across the region will conduct research under the direction of cross-disciplinary faculty teams. Other members of the project include Drs. Cuilan Gao (Mathematics), Jose Barbosa, David Giles (Biology, Geology and Environmental Sciences), Nicky Ozbek(Psychology), Kristen Whitson (Physics), and Stefanie Whitson (Chemistry).


The SimCenter Research Team requested $10,593 from SmartTruck Systems, LLC to perform flow simulations of drag reduction devices. In a second proposal, The Research Team requested $220,000 from the Office of Naval Research to develop a computational procedure to evaluate various drag reduction strategies for hydrodynamic marine vehicles.

Tagged with: