Funded Proposals (02/1/2016 – 03/31/2016)


The following UTC faculty and staff recently attracted $997,444 in external grant and contract awards:

Dr. David Aborn, Associate Professor of Biology, received an additional $4,605 from the Tennessee River Gorge Trust to supplement a pre-existing project aimed to locate Cerulean Warbler nests in the Gorge and, using a combination of banding and radiotelemetry, monitor post-fledging movements and survival. The additional funds will be used to suport a graduate assistant for the project.

Dr. Francesco Barioli, Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator of Mathematics, and Ms. Deborah Troutman-Cantrell, member of the School of Education, attracted $74,679 from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission to address professional development needs facing high school mathematics teachers as they prepare students for success in the new TN Core Algebra II standards.

Drs. Jennifer Boyd, Associate Professor of Biology, Henry Spratt, Professor of Biology, Andrew Bailey, Assistant Professor of Health & Human Performance, and Mr. Andy Carroll, GIS Manager for the Center for Academic and Innovative Technologies, attracted $68,267 from the Cumberland Trail Conference (CTC) to support the effort of two full-time graduate assistantships during the 2016-2017 academic year. The graduate assistants will help the CTC identify potential corridor locations to connect local communities to the Cumberland Trail and assess those locations for natural resource and recreational feasibility.

Dr. Hill Craddock, UC Foundation Professor of Biology, received $5,000 from the American Chestnut Foundation to conduct research on root rot, one of the major impediments to American chestnut breeding and restoration in Tennessee.

Dr. Lucien Ellington, UC Foundation Professor of Education, and Jeffrey Melnik, Assistant Director of the UTC Asia Program, attracted $4,499 from the UC Foundation to help 20 Tennessee Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and Honors teachers integrate Japan and East Asian regional studies into the classroom by providing teachers with content, curriculum resources, and pedagogical strategies.

Dr. Ahmed Eltom, Department Head of Electrical Engineering, received $763 from the Tennessee Valley Public Power Association (TVPAA) for a project in which graduate students will use equipment in the Electrical Engineering laboratory space in the College of Engineering and Computer Science to hold a substation maintenance lab demonstration for representatives of the TVPAA.

Dr. Ahmed Eltom and the Electrical Engineering Department attracted a software donation from Powersys Solutions. The new software, EMTP-RV is designed for the simulation and analysis of transients in power systems, and the donation will be used to help promote, develop, and improve the use of the software in the field of education.

Drs. Bryan Ennis, Associate Professor of Civil and Chemical Engineering, Bradley Harris, Assistant Professor of Civil and Chemical Engineering, Abdul Ofoli, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering, David Giles, Assistant Professor of Biology, Geology, and Environmental Sciences, Dawn Ford, Executive Director of the Walker Teaching Resource Center, and Mr. Perry Storey, Director of the Challenger Center, received $74,906 from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission to create remote laboratories for education at the high school level.

Drs. Nancy Fell, UC Foundation Professor of Physical Therapy, and Jessica Crowe, Academic Fieldwork Coordinator for Occupational Therapy, received $12,457 from the Alliance of Women Philanthropists – Giving Circle to create a digital stroke exercise video library and associated interprofessional and telehealth educational activities.

Drs. Bradley Harris and Soubantika Palchoudhury, Assistant Professors of Civil, Chemical, & General Engineering, attracted $26,761 from the Tennessee Board of Architectural and Engineering Examiners to improve the chemical engineering laboratories at UTC.

Dr. Catherine Kendall, Associate Professor of Interior Design, attracted $3,000 from the Tennessee Board of Architectural and Engineering Examiners to purchase two additional design workstations, monitors, pole monitor mounts, drafting stools, and cutting mats for the interior design program.

Dr. Hope Klug, UC Foundation Assistant Professor of Biology, received $535,262 from the National Science Foundation to study the operation of sexual selection. Through the project, undergraduate and master’s students will receive training in the development of mathematical models, experimental design, data collection and analysis, and writing.

Ms. Laurie Melnik, Director of the Southeast Center for Education in the Arts, attracted $600 from the Hunter Museum of American Art to implement a multidisciplinary, interprofessional program that will engage physicians-in-training through a series of visual art and applied drama methodologies. Through the program, participants’ self-awareness and intentionality when entering diverse situations with patient interactions will be strengthened.

Dr. Joey Shaw, UC Foundation Professor of Biology, received $4,600 from the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission to study the distribution of genetic diversity within North American Castanea. The funding will expand the project’s pre-existing work with the Southern Appalachians, Piedmont, and eastern portions of the Coastal Plain to include portions of the western Coastal Plain, Ozarks, and Ouachitas.

Drs. Kidambi Sreenivas, Abdollah Arabshahi, and Robert Webster (SimCenter) attracted $124,200 from the Tennessee Department of Transportation to improve the aerodynamic performance of boat tails that are used on class 8 trucks.

Dr. Kidambi Sreenivas and the SimCenter team received an additional $57,845 to continue conducting research on the adaptive meshing of ship air-wake flowfields.


Submitted Proposals (02/1/2016 – 03/31/2016)


The following UTC faculty and staff members submitted proposals with the potential to generate over $5,618,802 in external funding, if awarded:

Dr. Deborah McAllister (Education) requested $50,000 from Vanderbilt University’s Tennessee Space Grant Consortium to increase STEM learning for middle school students enrolled in the STEM Saturdays program, preservice teachers enrolled at UTC, and preservice and inservice teachers participating in the Robotics Summer Workshop. The project will improve and maintain elementary student skills in mathematics and science, while preparing preservice and inservice students to take an active role in planning for mathematics and science experiences in schools and encouraging their future students to participate in mathematics and science activities.

Dr. Mbakisya Onyango (Chemical Engineering) requested $22,931 from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to determine the most cost effective approach to maintain or repair failed longitudinal joints in the state of Ohio. The research team will provide ODOT with the best decision making approach to repair longitudinal joints.

Drs. Mina Sartipi, Joseph Kizza, Li Yang, Farah Kandah, Dalei Wu, Craig Tanis, Yu Liang (Computer Science), James Newman, Reinhold Mann (SimCenter), and Greg Heath (Health & Human Performance) requested $2,561,038 from the National Science Foundation to implement a program that will train a new generation of engineers with outstanding cross-disciplinary skills and capabilities in exploiting the data-rich environment of modern smart cities to benefit and improve all city-wide sectors. Chattanooga will serve as a pilot location for the project.

Drs. Mina Sartipi (Computer Science & Engineering), James Newman (SimCenter), and Greg Heath (Health & Human Performance) requested $288,612 from the National Science Foundation to investigate the exploration of mass sensing in the urban planning process, population health monitoring and assessment, and urban planning practices and services that address smart land use and health-centric active living promotion. The research will facilitate smart decision- and policy-making strategies that directly impact the future of a health-informed approach to urban planning and development.

Dr. Chris Smith (Nursing) requested $342,354 from the Health Resources and Services Administration to provide traineeships to nurses who are pursuing advanced degrees as primary care nurse practitioners. Additionally, the project will increase the number of FNPs and DNPs prepared to work in rural and underserved areas, while increasing diversity of the FNP and DNP workforce.

Drs. Kidambi Sreenivas, Abdollah Arabshahi, and Robert Webster (SimCenter) requested $248,400 from the Tennessee Department of Transportation to improve the aerodynamic performance of boat tails that are used on Class 8 trucks.

Mr. Perry Storey, Mr. William Floyd (Challenger Center), and Dr. Deborah McAllister (Education) requested $499,776 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to enhance the Earth Odyssey project at UTC’s Challenger Center, a science education program that offers an earth sciences learning experience that fosters environmental literacy and community resilience development through challenging and engaging hands-on activities for students. Funding for the project will enable the program to include more underserved and underrepresented populations in the region, reaching an audience frequently lacking in STEM education.

Ms. Karen Vann (Center for Community Career Education) requested $1,200,000 from the U.S. Department of Education to continue the Talent Search Program which offers academic and social support to economically disadvantaged, potentially first-generation, college-bound middle and high school students. Through Talent Search, more than 500 area students participate in academic counseling, workshops and seminars, college campus visits, mentoring, cultural enrichment activities, and other educational experiences.

Drs. Gary Wilkerson, Carrie Baker, Marisa Colston, Shellie Acocello (Health & Human Performance), and Ashish Gupta (Management) requested $405,691 from the National Institutes of Health to refine an electronic system for sport injury prevention and reduction of risk or disability. The long-term goal is to provide an efficient mechanism to longitudinally track the injury risk of individual athletes, thereby focusing preventive efforts.

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