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Suresh Babu Named Bredesen Center Director

I am honored to announce that UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair for Advanced Manufacturing Suresh Babu has been chosen as the next director of the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education effective January 3.

As leader of the Bredesen Center, Suresh will oversee one of our largest doctoral programs, with 132 students representing multiple colleges enrolled in Bredesen Center programs. He will replace Lee Riedinger, who has led the center from its inception and is retiring at the end of January.

As a part of his overall appointment, Suresh will retain his Governor’s Chair position and continue to work at ORNL’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility in Hardin Valley and with the Tickle College of Engineering’s Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering. He has helped UT and ORNL gain national recognition as leaders in the development of advanced materials and advanced manufacturing.

Among his many accomplishments, in just the past five years, Suresh has:

  • Been a key figure in IACMI—The Composites Institute, a $259 million UT-led institution that has industry, research, government, and university partners across 37 states.
  • Helped foster UT’s partnerships with Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow (LIFT) and the Manufacturing and Materials Joining Innovation Center.
  • Been invited to the White House for an event detailing new materials and manufacturing techniques.
  • Been selected by the US Navy to lead a Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative—the first time a UT professor has been chosen for the award.
  • Been instrumental in the launch of local small businesses focused on advanced manufacturing led by UT students.

Suresh’s connections to UT and ORNL go back much further than his current tenure. He served as a research professor at UT in 1996–97 and on ORNL’s research and development staff from 1997 to 2005.

Suresh is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Welding Society, and ASM International, and is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in metallurgy from the PSG College of Technology in 1986, his master’s in industrial metallurgy from the Indian Institute of Technology in 1988, and his doctorate in materials science from the University of Cambridge in 1992.

With such a long and noteworthy history with both UT and ORNL, Suresh will be a perfect fit as leader of the Bredesen Center.

Please join me in welcoming Suresh to his new role.