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Notes from the Chancellor » Governor’s Chair Program Grows


Governor’s Chair Program Grows

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There will soon be 12 UT–Oak Ridge National Laboratory Tennessee Governor’s Chairs on our campus. Our newest Governor’s Chairs are Steve Zinkle, Sudarsanam Suresh Babu, and Ramamoorthy Ramesh.

Steve ZinkleZinkle, who will serve as Governor’s Chair for Nuclear Materials, begins October 1. He comes to UT from ORNL, where he was a UT–Battelle Corporate Fellow and chief scientist for the laboratory’s Nuclear Science and Engineering Directorate. His research focus is on how structures inside fusion and fission reactors are affected by radiation.


Sudarsanam Suresh BabuBabu, who came from The Ohio State University, is our Governor’s Chair for Advanced Manufacturing. His research is helping to widen the scope of advanced manufacturing and additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing.


Ramamoorthy RameshRamesh, who came from the University of California, Berkeley, is our Governor’s Chair for Nanomaterials Engineering. His research is important to the development of the next generation of thin film technology used in solar panels and computer memory.


Through the Governor’s Chair program, funded by the state and ORNL, we are attracting exceptionally accomplished researchers in biological science, computational science, advanced materials, and neutron science. Each Governor’s Chair is more than a single person; it represents a research enterprise—the faculty member, his or her associates, an influx of new funding, and a reputation of success.

Zinkle, Ramesh, and Babu join UT–ORNL Governor’s Chairs:

  • Jeremy Smith, a computational biologist who came to UT and ORNL from the University of Heidelberg in Germany. He was appointed in 2006.
  • Howard Hall, an expert in nuclear security who came to UT and ORNL from Lawrence Livermore National Lab. He was appointed in 2009.
  • Yilu Liu, an electric grid researcher who came to UT and ORNL from Virginia Tech. She was appointed in 2009.
  • Frank Loeffler, a biologist and environmental engineer who came to UT and ORNL from Georgia Tech. He was appointed in 2009.
  • Alexei Sokolov, a polymer scientist who came to UT and ORNL from the University of Akron. He was appointed in 2009.
  • Thomas Zawodzinski, an energy storage researcher who came to UT and ORNL from Case Western Reserve University. He was appointed in 2009.
  • William Weber, a materials scientist who came to UT and ORNL from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. He was appointed in 2010.
  • Brian Wirth, a radiation expert who came to UT and ORNL from the University of California, Berkeley. He was appointed in 2010.
  • Terry Hazen, an environmental biologist who came to UT and ORNL from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He was appointed in 2011.