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Dr. Lee Riedinger

Lee RiedingerDr. Lee Riedinger is a Professor of Physics at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, on the faculty since 1971. He received a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in 1968. His field is experimental nuclear physics, emphasizing properties of high-spin states in deformed nuclei. He is an author of 200 refereed publications, has an h-index of 33, has given 60 invited talks at conferences and workshops, and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS). His research has been funded by the Department of Energy since 1976.

At present, his research is focused on experiments to search for the occurrence of tetrahedral nuclear shapes and includes experiments at the ATLAS accelerator at Argonne National Laboratory utilizing beams of heavy nuclear projectiles and the Gammasphere array of gamma-ray detectors. Various sabbatical leaves have been spent at the Niels Bohr Institute in Denmark.  He served as the elected chair of the Division of Nuclear Physics of the APS in 1996 and the chair of the Southeastern Section of the APS in 2004. In 1983-84, he was the science advisor to Tennessee Senator Howard Baker, who was then the majority leader of the U.S. Senate. He has received the UT Chancellor’s Research Scholar Award in 1983, the 2005 Francis G. Slack Award from the Southeastern Section of the APS, and the 2008-9 Macebearer award at the University of Tennessee, the top faculty honor.

In addition to teaching and research, he has served in a number of administrative leadership positions at the university: 1988-91, director of the UT Science Alliance Center of Excellence, a program devoted to building joint research between UT and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL); 1991-95, UT Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, which was then the chief research officer; 1996–2000, head of the Physics Department; 2006-7, Vice Chancellor for Research.  From 1993 to 1996, he was the first chair of the Tennessee Science and Technology Advisory Council, which advised the Governor and the Legislature on technical priorities for the state.  In 1999 he was one of the leaders of the successful UT effort to choose a partner (Battelle) and bid on the ORNL management contract.  From 2000 to 2004, he served as the ORNL Deputy Director for Science and Technology and took the lead on various laboratory-wide research initiatives, including the Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program, which develops new technical capabilities and research directions at the laboratory. From 2004 to 2006, he served as the ORNL Associate Laboratory Director for University Partnerships, to extend the capabilities of the laboratory through joint programs with universities, including joint faculty hires and joint institutes.

Since his return to the university in 2006, he has led various efforts to bring a greater focus on energy at UT. In the vice chancellor position, he led an Energy Working Group to map future directions in energy-related research and education, and helped to initiate a center devoted to sustainable energy. He has developed an undergraduate course in future energy technologies, taught at different levels to the Haslam Scholars and to upper division science and engineering majors.

In September of 2010 he was appointed to the first director of the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education, which is the academic home of a new doctoral program in energy science and engineering.

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