Funded Proposals (10/1/2014-10/31/2014)


The following UTC faculty and staff recently attracted $321,806 in external grant and contract awards:

Drs. Kyle Anderson, James Newman, and Li Wang, Professors of Computational Engineering, secured $10,000 from High Performance Technologies Inc. to begin evaluating various higher-order methods for unsteady flow to determine best practices in their use. This research will be incorporated into previous research conducted at UTC, and more funding is expected for this project in the future.

Dr. Joey Shaw, Associate Professor of Biological and Environmental Sciences, in collaboration with multiple universities in the Southeastern U.S., was awarded $301,163 from the National Science Foundation to build a regional-scale dataset of native Southeastern plants by digitizing specimens from herbariums across the region. The completed dataset will be used to explore the effects of climate change on plants, speed the discovery of vulnerable plant populations, and improve the ability of land managers to conserve regional biodiversity.

The SimCenter Research Team attracted $10,643 from SmartTruck Systems, LLC to perform flow simulations of drag reduction devices. In their research, the SimCenter will conduct a simulation for specific road conditions.


Submitted Proposals (10/1/2014 – 10/31/2014)


The following UTC faculty and staff members submitted proposals with the potential to generate over $1,689,919 in external funding, if awarded:

Ms. Sandy Cole, Director of the Center for Community Career Education (CCCE), requested $12,123 from the Hamilton County Department of Education to continue the Postsecondary Awareness with Success (PAWS) program for 4th and 5th grade students at Brown Academy. The students will learn the importance of academic success in elementary school and the benefits of a strong academic foundation in middle and high school.

Dr. Gregory Heath (Assistant Provost for Research & Engagement /Health and Human Performance) collaborated with Emory University to request $399,591 from NIH for a project researching the prevention and management of non-communicable chronic diseases through exercise. The study intends to work with a diverse population of low-income adults who are inactive and have at least one cardiovascular disease risk factor.

Dr. Wanda Hunt (Nursing), in collaboration with Dr. Joanne Wilkinson of Boston University and the Boston Medical Center, requested $446,754 from the American Cancer Society’s Research Scholar Award Program to fund a project titled “Learning Together about Mammograms.” The project will measure the effectiveness of a DVD aiming to educate women with intellectual disabilities on the importance of receiving regular mammography screenings.

Dr. John Lee (Chemistry) requested $55,000 from the American Chemical Society’s Undergraduate Investigator Program to fund a project that studies the synthesis, characterization, and reactivity of Ruthenium(II) complexes. This research will engage undergraduate students through the application of classroom knowledge to real-world scientific challenges.

Drs. Mbaki Onyango, Joseph Owino, Ignatius Fomunung, Nur Sisworahardjo, Weidong Wu, Aldo McLean (Engineering and Computer Science), and Jennifer Ellis (Education) requested $249,937 from NSF’s Improving Undergraduate STEM Education program to investigate the barriers in the engineering education pipeline that hinder students from graduating. Through both qualitative and quantitative research, the investigators aim to identify problem and opportunity areas for engineering students at UTC in an effort to implement initiatives that provide a solution to graduation barriers.

Dr. Nicky Ozbek (Psychology) requested $15,000 from the University of Tennessee Research Foundation to fund a project that aims to increase the marketability of the Wheeler Odor Threshold Test, a test used to measure olfactory ability, by standardizing and simplifying the administration of the test.

Drs. Jin Wang, John Matthews, Cuilan Gao (Mathematics), Lafe Taylor (SimCenter), and Pam Carter (Education) requested $249,099 from NSF’s Improving Undergraduate STEM Education program to establish a pilot educational program on engineering mathematics for early-stage undergraduates. This project aims to provide the next-generation applied mathematicians with a strong engineering and technological background that can meet the ever-increasing needs of the STEM workforce.

Dr. Gary Wilkerson (Human and Health Performance) requested $13,480 from the University of Tennessee Research Foundation to further UTC research on an individualized approach to the prevention of sports-related sprains and strains. Funds would support the development of proprietary software for smartphones that would help provide an efficient and inexpensive mechanism for acquiring research data.

Drs. Tom Wilson, Ethan Carver, Jose Barbosa, Bradley Reynolds (Biological and Environmental Sciences), and Linda Frost (Honors College) requested $248,935 from NSF’s Improving Undergraduate STEM Education program to improve introductory laboratory courses for both science and non-science majors. This project intends to increase the number of students interested in pursuing a science degree, while offering non-science students the opportunity to engage in a research project with a series of hands-on learning labs that are linked to authentic research initiatives.