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2022-2023 ISSE Annual Report to THEC

ISSE’s 2022-23 Annual Report to Tennessee Higher Education Commission is now available online.

ISSE continues to implement its five-year strategic plan to increase its research, educational, and outreach activities at the University of Tennessee. ISSE will promote the development of policies, technologies, and educational programs that will address and help remedy critical environmental issues around the world. We will strengthen our emphasis on cross-disciplinary collaborations that will help bring about global sustainability and environmental equity and justice.

Student Poster Winners, ISSE 2nd Annual Research Conference

Building on the success of ISSE’s first research conference, the second installment was held on Monday, September 18, 2023 at UT Conference Center. Repeating a popular element of last year’s conference, students involved in ISSE research competed in a poster presentation, and these are the winners:

ISSE Business Manager Sherry Russell was selected for the 2023 ISSE Outstanding Staff Award.

News Highlights

UT to develop U.S.–Japan Researcher Exchange program, Green Growth Collaboration through Clean Energy Technologies (EXCET)

New Roles at ISSE

Dr. Qiang He will be ISSE’s Associate Director, effective August 1st. In this role, Dr. He will lead the ISSE Annual Research Conferences each September, manage ISSE seminars, work with the new IEE initiative and the Environmental Engineering program, and assist with strategic planning and developing new research initiatives with ISSE director, Dr. Mingzhou Jin.

Dr. Jon Hathaway will be the Tennessee Water Resources Research Center (TNWRRC) Associate Director, also effective August 1st. Hathaway will oversee undergraduate research and outreach, community outreach, assist the TNWRRC director, Dr. John Schwartz, in strategic planning, develop new initiatives for water-related research, and assist with TNWRRC training operations, including revision of the stormwater STAR model and training manual and updating the TDEC manual for stormwater control devices.

Quick Look – ISSE Centers & Programs

Appalachian Leadership Institute is a comprehensive leadership and economic development training opportunity for people who live or work in Appalachia and are passionate about helping their communities thrive. Appalachian Leadership Institute Fellows participate in an extensive training curriculum developed by the Appalachian Regional Commission in partnership with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; The Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy; Tuskegee University; and Collective Impact.

UTK and the UT Center for Industrial Services proposed the East Tennessee Initiative for Smart Energy Management (ETISE) to promote the integration of smart manufacturing for energy management through technical assistance and workforce training. The goal is to create a regional model to integrate smart manufacturing in energy management systems into energy-related business practices. ETISE is funded by the Department of Energy through the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE), Industrial Efficiency & Decarbonization Office (IEDO), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and the Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office (AMMTO).

ISSE Climate Change Initiative Climate change is one of the most critical challenges faced by humans and our planet. Researchers at ISSE, working closely with the Climate Change Science Institute at Oak Ridge National Lab, are advancing our understanding of climate change and its impacts on human and natural systems. We use Earth system modeling, integrated ground and remote sensing observations, and advanced data analytical tools to study climate change and its effects on water availability, soil moisture, wildfires, and vegetation. Team members are Drs. Yaoping Yao, Yulong Zhang, Jiafu Mao, Joshua Fu, Mingzhou Jin.

DriveElectricTN promotes the adoption of electric vehicles for fleets and individuals across Tennessee with a goal of getting 200,000 EVs on TN’s roads by 2028. An autonomous program of TNCleanFuels, DriveElectricTN is supported by 60+ stakeholders from across Tennessee and the United States, with focus areas such as EV Awareness, EV Policies & Program, and EV Infrastructure intended to achieve precise, targeted development goals for electric vehicles in our state. DriveElectricTN and Knoxville Electric Vehicle Association volunteers chat with Ijams Nature Center visitors during a Drive Electric Earth Day Showcase. The new Ford Mustang Mach-E, Ford’s latest and most visible electric car is pictured in the background.

East Tennessee Clean Fuels mission is to increase the use of cleaner American fuels and vehicles and energy-saving transportation technologies to improve air quality and health, curb dependence on imported petroleum and support Tennessee’s economy. More specifically, we work to implement alt fuel projects in East Tennessee and work to make ETCleanFuels a sustainable coalition of involved participants from across East Tennessee. We serve as fleet guides to navigate alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies in the 21st century. ETCleanFuels is a nonprofit and a designated participant in U.S. DOE’s Clean Cities Program.

FEWSUS stands for International Research Coordination Network to Create Transdisciplinary Nodes of Food-Energy-Water to Support Sustainable Urban Systems. FEWSUS is funded by the US National Science Foundation. The grant, awarded to faculty and scientists at the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, supports the development of an International Research Coordination Network, designed to facilitate transdisciplinary, multinational communications and accelerate the development and transfer of multisectoral data, standards, analysis tools, new technologies, and a trained workforce among differently urbanized countries. 

The Tennessee Water Resources Research Center (TNWRRC) is a federally designated state research institute supported in part by the U.S. Geological Survey. It serves as a primary link among water-resource experts in academia, government, and the private sector. Our staffs’ backgrounds are broad, deep, and highly diversified, allowing TNWRRC to establish a range of productive partnerships. TNWRRC is housed within the Institute for a Secure and Sustainable Environment (ISSE) at the University of Tennessee.

FERSC is a Tier 1 University Transportation Center consortium led by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Its focus is the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA)’s research priority, Improving Mobility of People and Goods as its primary area. The consortium supports the DOT Strategic Goals of Economic Strength and Global Competitiveness as the primary focus and Equity and Transformation as the secondaries.

Energy and Environmental Justice (EEJ) is dedicated to interdisciplinary exploration into social justice, clean energy, accessibility to renewable resources, and infrastructure resilience. EEJ experts examine social-psychological and policy factors that influence energy and environmental justice, particularly in water systems, built environment, energy efficiency, microgrids, electric vehicles, and solar technology adoption. EEJ’s research initiatives empower academics, communities, utilities, and policymakers alike, fostering a shared commitment to equitable access to clean energy and a sustainable future. 

ISSE Magazines & Annual Reports

Sustainability News

TCE Research Leaders Merge Expertise for International Collaboration – EXCET. Leading EXCET for UT are Mingzhou JinChien-fei Chen, and Kevin Tomsovic

UT’s Kevin Tomsovic Elected to the National Academy of Engineering

Steady Supply: New Center to Improve Delivery of Goods. Tennessee Engineer highlights new USDOT center led by ISSE Director Jin.

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests $1 billion over five years to address infrastructure barriers that limit mobility, access, or economic development for communities across the country

How can we resolve EV battery supply issues?

Upcoming Events

Seminar: E-Commerce and Changing Urban Deliveries in New York City | Nov 17 | 4pm PST / 7 pm EST | zoom link