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Bredesen Center Honors

NSF Graduate Fellowship recipients Mallory Ladd, Kemper Talley, and Jayde Aufrecht. Image courtesty of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy.

National Recognition

The Bredesen Center is home to 11 national fellowship recipients. These prestigious awards have been granted to graduate students by the following programs:

  • National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship
  • National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship
  • Nuclear Nonproliferation and International Safeguards Fellowship
  • Nuclear Energy University Program Fellowship
  • Nuclear Forensics Graduate Fellowship
  • Hydro Research Foundation Fellowship
  • Fulbright U.S. Student Program

Bredesen Center Honors Day

Each spring The Bredesen Center honors graduate students for outstanding achievement in Research, Entrepreneurship, and Policy. We are proud to honor these diverse contributions in research, education, and outreach.

Research Awards

First Authorship Award: presented to the student with the most journal articles published as 1st author since joining the Bredesen Center

2016 recipient: Alan Pezeshki

Hit the Ground Running Award: presented to the student with the most journal articles published since joining the Bredesen Center

2016 recipient: Yunchao Li

First Step Award: presented to students who have published their first 1st authorship paper during the past year

2016 recipients: Sam Akato, Jay Billings, Emily Clark, Chris Hartnett, Jake Houser, Alex Lewis, Yunchao Li, Beth Papanek, Alan Pezeshki, Kyle Sander, Peter Shankles

The Derek Austin High Impact Award: presented to the student published as first author in the highest impact journal during the past year

2016 recipients: Beth Papanek and Adam Thompson

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Derek Austin and PhD advisor, Dr. Mike Simpson.

Much like the Bredesen Center students of today, Dr. Derek Austin received his Ph.D. from UTK in 2006 after performing his research work at ORNL in Mike Simpson’s group.  Derek was a pioneer of the prominent noise biology work to come out of this group — work that continues on today.  Derek’s crowning research achievement resulted in a paper published in Nature that he first authored.  Derek blazed a path that serves as example of the core values of the Bredesen Center.  He performed cutting edge interdisciplinary research that was published in top journals, but he also made entrepreneurship a part of his legacy by participating in the formation of two successful start-up companies. Although Derek ultimately lost his courageous battle against pancreatic cancer, his example lives on within the Bredesen Center.  The Derek Austin High Impact Award honors the Bredesen Center students that follow Derek’s example and publish their research results in prominent scientific journals.

Entrepreneurship Awards

Students are recognized for outstanding progress in the area of entrepreneurship.

2016 recipients:

  • Jeff Beegle and Tony Bova for their work with Grow Bioplastics
    • Winner of 2014 and 2016 VolCourt Pitch Competitions
    • Winner of 2016 Boyd Venture Challenge
    • Winner of 2016 Charlotte Venture Challenge

Policy Awards

Students are recognized for outstanding progress in the area of policy.

2016 recipient:

  • Justin Knowles for his leadership on various Bredesen Center projects related to the EPA’s Clean Power Plan

Research Awards

First Authorship Award: presented to the student with the most journal articles published as 1st author

2015 recipient: Ernesto Zuleta

Hit the Ground Running Award: presented to the student with the most journal articles published since joining the Bredesen Center

2015 recipient: Anthony Gianfrancesco

First Step Award: presented to students who have published their first 1st authorship paper during the past year

2015 recipients: Robbie Brese, Mary Alice Cusentino, Zach Langford, Meng Li, Kun Lou, Liz Norred, Guin Shaw, Adam Thompson, Humaira Taz, Jennifer Trumbo, Tracey Wellington, and Debbie Weighill

The Derek Austin High Impact Award: presented to the student that has published a paper as first author in the highest impact journal

2015 recipient: Meng Li

Entrepreneurship Awards

2015 recipients:

Policy Awards

2015 recipients:

  • Justin Knowles received ANS Student Conference Awards for Commendation of Service and Best Graduate Presentation in Detection / Measurement
  • Justin Knowles 2015 recipient of the ANS Distinguished Service Award
  • Mallory Ladd for her work with The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC
  • Tracey Wellington for her work with the U.S. Department of Energy Scholars Program

 Outreach Awards

2015 recipients:

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