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University of Tennessee


Established in 1794, the University of Tennessee is classified as a research university with very high research activity (RU/VH) by the Carnegie Commission. The university conducts externally-funded research totaling more than $300 million annually, including some $17.3 million annually in research sponsored by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Areas of joint research with ORNL include the:

  • Bioenergy Science Center’s work on cellulosic ethanol;
  • Center for Computational Sciences partnership with the National Science Foundation;
  • Science Alliance, with divisions in biological, chemical, physical, and mathematical/computer science.
  • UT/ORNL Joint Institutes and Centers include Biological Sciences, Computational Sciences, Neutron Sciences, Heavy Ion Research and the National Transportation Center.

The University of Tennessee, with a total of 46,000 students located at five campuses including 27,000 students on the flagship Knoxville campus,  has:

  • Highly ranked programs in Engineering, Business and Law Administration
  • One of the nation's leading Agricultural Science and Veterinary Colleges
  • Governor's Chair program
  • New $125-million bioenergy research center is searching for ways to produce alternatives to gasoline
  • Cherokee Farms Research Campus advances the research of UT and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in computational sciences, climate and environment, advanced materials, biomedical sciences and renewable energy
  • The Center for Safer Athletic Fields - A partnership between the University of Tennessee and AstroTurf to build a $1.5 million research center dedicated to athletic field safety
  • Textiles and Nonwovens Development Center, TANDEC, is recognized worldwide as a leading applications development facility for melt processing nonwovens

TANDEC encourages relationships between academics and industry to provide leadership in research, education, and industry services, fostering new developments in melt processed nonwovens.

  • The Center for Transportation Research is a hub connecting universities across the Southeast



UT partnership with Battelle Memorial Institute to manage Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) formalizes the university's longstanding collaborative relationship with one of the nation's premier research facilities and the U.S. Department of Energy's largest national laboratory.

UT Knoxville is home to the one of the world's most powerful academic computers. Called Kraken, the computer allows researchers from UT and around the world to find answers to pressing questions from climate change to drug design. Kraken is the world's sixth fastest computer.

Joining Kraken is Nautilus, a $10 million supercomputer whose purpose is to take the staggering amount of data created by computers like Kraken and interpret it meaningful ways.

The National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS), is dedicated to finding creative solutions to major ecological and biological problems from animal disease to wildfire control. NIMBioS brings hundreds of scientists to UT Knoxville.

NSF has awarded two $3 million Integrative Graduate Education Research and Training, or IGERT, awards to UT Knoxville research groups studying sustainable technology and scalable computing. These centers bring the top graduate students to UT Knoxville.

UT's managing partnership with ORNL is enhancing the state's role as a growing hub for research alternative energy, national security and the creation of new materials.

UT and ORNL have created joint institutes in areas such as biological sciences, computational sciences, heavy ion research, nanophase materials sciences and neutron sciences. These joint institutes take advantage of the instructional and research strengths offered by the university and the national lab.