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Power Players

  • Power Player: Tomonori Saito

    Power Player: Tomonori Saito

    From upcycling polymers to making ultra-tough adhesives, much of Tomonori Saito’s research has focused on making stronger and more functional polymer materials that are energy efficient and environmentally friendly. “We tailor polymer chemistry for many energy-related applications such as plastic recycling, batteries, building materials, and manufacturing,” said Saito, who is a senior scientist at Oak…

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  • Power Player: Jian Liu

    Power Player: Jian Liu

    In 2021, more than 1,862 data breaches affected nearly 294 million Americans.  This is troublesome for researchers working with machine learning since they use enormous data sets which may contain sensitive personal information.  Jian Liu, an assistant professor in the Min H. Kao Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, is looking for a reliable…

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  • Power Player: Luke Scime

    Power Player: Luke Scime

    Luke Scime, an associate staff scientist and part of the energy systems analytics team, is one of three new University of Tennessee-Oak Ridge Innovation Institute fellows. He uses complex algorithms to program computers to use artificial intelligence to search for flaws in 3D printed items. Appointed for one-year renewable terms, UT-ORII Fellows are responsible for…

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  • Power Player: Tony Schmitz

    Power Player: Tony Schmitz

    Schmitz is working to help rebuild America’s manufacturing industry. A University of Tennessee-Oak Ridge Innovation Institute fellow, Schmitz is a professor in Tickle College of Engineering at the University of Tennessee‘s Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering and joint faculty for Oak Ridge National Laboratory‘s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility. He focuses on manufacturing research in support of…

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  • Power Player: John Brantley

    Power Player: John Brantley

    Plastic is everywhere―from food and drink containers to kids’ toys to car parts.  “We produce billions of tons of plastic waste every year, and many of these materials end up in landfills and they eventually infiltrate the environment,” said Brantley, an assistant professor of chemistry. His StART project focuses on developing new techniques for breaking…

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  • Power Player: Mike Kilbey

    Power Player: Mike Kilbey

    Designing New Materials for Energy, Sustainability, Additive Manufacturing UT Knoxville Chemistry Professor Mike Kilbey received one of UT-ORII’s first seed grants, right after the institute launched. That funding, renewed for 2022, was used to bring together a team of UT faculty, Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers and PhD students specializing in polymer synthesis, computation and…

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Media Contact:

Bridget Waller
Director of Communications, UT-ORII
Phone:  865-466-2649

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To learn more about the creation of UT-ORII, download the 2019 UT-ORNL Steering Committee’s Dec. 31, 2019, report.

Download the Recommendations of the Steering Committee (PDF)