The University of Tennessee-Oak Ridge Innovation Institute (UT-ORII) selected its first group of UT-ORII Fellows in 2022: Chad Duty and Tony Schmitz from UT Knoxville and Luke Scime from Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Appointed for one-year renewable terms, UT-ORII Fellows are responsible for working collaboratively across organizations, generating white papers, and helping to identify opportunities and resources to build new joint programs. UT-ORII Fellows receive stipends to support up to 25 percent of their base salary and benefits, and they are eligible for funding to seed new technical programs in strategic research areas of national impact.


Chad Duty is a UTK engineering professor and joint faculty member with ORNL’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility. His focus is the science of additive manufacturing, or 3D printing. “UT-ORII is a fantastic umbrella,” he said, adding that the Fellows program simplifies discussions about funding the work that involves both institutions. “It gives us a different color of money, and that has been incredibly empowering.”


Tony Schmitz is working to help rebuild America’s manufacturing industry. Schmitz is a professor in UTK’s Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering and joint faculty for ORNL’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility. He leads the Southeastern Advanced Machine Tool Network, is one of UT-ORII’s first seed grant recipients and serves as a mentor to interns participating in UT-ORII’s Student Mentoring and Research Training internship program for undergraduates.


Luke Scime is an ORNL associate staff scientist and part of the energy systems analytics team at ORNL. He uses complex algorithms to program computers to use artificial intelligence to search for flaws in 3D printed items. Scime said being a UT-ORII fellow will open doors for him to work with UT PhD. students and share his expertise in quality control with UT researchers developing new manufacturing processes.