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Bredesen Center Director to Retire

Lee Riedinger, director of UT’s Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education, informed me this week that he plans to retire at the end of 2018. He was appointed in 2010 to serve as the center’s first director.

I anticipate having a successor in place by January 1. Interested internal applicants can learn more about the position and apply online.

Chancellor Emeritus Jimmy G. Cheek and Michelle Buchanan will co-chair the internal search. Cheek is a Distinguished Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and director of the Post-Secondary Educational Resources Center in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences, who as chancellor was responsible for the formation and growth of the Bredesen Center. Buchanan is deputy director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory and executive vice president for science and technology with UT-Battelle LLC.

Members of the search committee include Shaun Gleason, director of the Cyber and Data Analytics Division at ORNL; Veerle Keppens, professor and head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering in the Tickle College of Engineering and director of the Joint Institute for Advanced Materials; Bamin Khomami, Granger and Beaman Distinguished Professor, head of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and director of the Sustainable Energy Education and Research Center; Zach Sims, graduate student in the Bredesen Center; Soren Sorensen, professor of physics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy in the College of Arts and Sciences; Russell Zaretzki, Heath Faculty Fellow, Joe Johnson Faculty Research Fellow, and associate professor in the Department of Business Analytics and Statistics in the Haslam College of Business; Tracey Wellington, Bredesen Center graduate and technical staff member at ORNL; and Wanda Davis, Bredesen Center business manager.

Dr. Riedinger joined the physics faculty at UT Knoxville in 1971. He has held various administrative positions and served as interim vice chancellor for research three times (1991–95, 2006–07, and 2012).

In 2000, Dr. Riedinger helped lead the formation of UT-Battelle LLC and the successful competition to assume the management of ORNL, becoming ORNL’s deputy director for science and technology. In this role, he worked to expand the capabilities of the laboratory through joint programs with UT and other leading universities. In 2007, he returned to teaching and research in the physics department.

His numerous accolades from UT include the Chancellor’s Research Scholar award in 1983, the Macebearer award in 2008, the Chancellor’s Medal in 2012, and the L. R. Hesler Award for Excellence in Teaching and Service in 2013. In 2017 the Graduate Student Senate named him Graduate Director of the Year.

During his retirement, Dr. Riedinger plans to travel, spend time with family, and work on a book about the history of the UT-ORNL connection. Each fall, he will return to UT to teach introductory energy science and technology courses.

Dr. Riedinger has served the university well and has positively impacted UT in many ways. I wish him all the best in retirement and look forward to working with the next director of the center.