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Fall 2020

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UT Joins Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute CyManII

The desire of businesses, industry leaders, and even whole countries to gain advantages over their rivals by finding out secret information has not changed much in three centuries, even as those efforts have evolved from in-person spying, to intercepting communications, to cyber attacks.

Now, UT has joined a new institute aimed at stopping such disruptions: the Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CyManII), a $111-million, US Department of Energy (DOE)-backed, public-private partnership led by the University of Texas at San Antonio.

UT’s lead researcher with CyManII is ISE Professor Mingzhou Jin, Director of ISSE. Jin leads at a UT team of experts in cybersecurity, supply chain resiliency, automation, and energy efficiency to better secure vital US industries and initiatives.

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Joshua Fu selected as AAAS Fellow

seminar flyer

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) recently selected Joshua Fu, the John D. Tickle Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering, as an AAAS Fellow. In its announcement, the organization noted Fu’s “distinguished contributions to the field of air quality and climate modeling and informing national and international management and policies involving these issues.”

Early in his career, Dr. Fu decided to devote his career to protecting the environment. His current research focuses on climate-change impacts on energy infrastructure, air pollution, water availability, public health, and extreme events like heat waves, floods, and droughts, and has worked with NASA, the United Nations, and the Arctic Council.

“To have a faculty member chosen as an AAAS Fellow is a wonderful honor for Dr. Fu and a reflection of the high-quality, impactful work that he is doing,” said Janis Terpenny, Dean of the Tickle College of Engineering and Wayne T. Davis Dean’s Chair at the University of Tennessee.

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Dr Yulong Zhang

Dr. Yulong "Mars" Zhang has been selected to fill the position of assistant research professor in ISSE.

Most recently, he was a research scientist in the Laboratory of Environmental Model & Data Optima (EMDO), affiliated with the University of Maryland. Dr. Zhang’s post-doctoral research was in the Remote Sensing and Ecological Modeling Group in the Department of Geography at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His PhD is in Remote Sensing of Ecology from the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Zhang’s Research Interests
His ultimate mission is to understand how the terrestrial biosphere works as a key piece of the breathing Earth System, using remote sensing, ecological modeling, and ground observation to achieve this goal. Specific research areas are

  • Monitoring terrestrial vegetation activity and retrieve plant hydraulic traits based on multi-source remote sensing and ground measurements
  • Modeling atmospheric exchanges of carbon and water with terrestrial biosphere and explore how they are shaped by climate change and human-induced land use/cover change
  • Exploring the potential links between terrestrial vegetation variability with large-scale atmospheric teleconnections such as ENSO and Arctic Oscillation
  • Developing high resolution land surface products based on machine-learning, multi-source remote sensing (optical, thermal, and microwave) and cloud platform
  • Investigating dynamics and sustainability of Coupled Human and Natural Systems

Dr. Zhang has more than ten year’s research experience in Remote Sensing of Ecology. Past research activities include a series of projects funded by NASA Carbon Cycle Science (2017-2020), U.S. National Science Foundation (2013-2018), USDA Forest service (2014-2015), and Chinese Academy of Sciences (2008 – 2013).

Fall 2019

10/14/2019 - A Delicate Balance: Jin Aims for Global Food Sustainability
The interconnected global economy means that what happens in one area can have a profound effect elsewhere, affecting such important resources as food, fuel, and medicine. For food in particular, keeping supply and demand in balance within global food systems requires identifying gaps in the global crop supply chain, including production, storage, transportation, distribution, and consumption. Professor and Associate Department Head of Industrial and Systems Engineering and Director of the Institute for a Secure and Sustainable Environment (ISSE) Mingzhou Jin aims to help future-proof such looming problems in the supply chain. Together with UT Institute of Agriculture Blasingame Chair of Excellence Professor Andrew Muhammad, Jin proposed a new methodology for modelling. That proposal, “Coupled Modeling for Sustainability of the Global Crop Supply Chain with a Focus on China-US Interactions” received $500,000 in funding from the National Science Foundation’s Innovations in Food, Energy, and Water Systems program, $420,000 of which is going to Jin’s part of the program. “The whole motivation for this proposal is bridging the gap between what’s known globally and what’s known locally,” Jin said. “Yes, people do care about the future of our planet, but when they have to make a decision, it is mainly an economic decision.”


08/26/2019 - A Lab with a View
In the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, UT engineering professor John Schwartz and his students are taking adventurous steps to ensure the quality of our water and air is in check. Dr. Schwartz is director of ISSE's TN Water Resources Research Center. In this photo, John Schwartz and Taylor Blackstone are at their third collection point in the Smoky Mountains. Read more...


Spring & Summer 2019

03/2019 - Jonathan Overly was presented with the Paul Hayden Memorial Award at the 18th Annual Tennessee Environmental Conference. TDEC’s Jan Compton presented the award and praised Mr. Overly for his extraordinary commitment in Tennessee to environmental service. Throughout his career, Jonathan has developed partnerships with hundreds of community and fleet stakeholders; these partnerships have resulted in behavior change to enhance sustainable transportation and avoid millions of gallons in petroleum consumption. In 2015, he was recognized by DOE as a substantial contributor to the Clean Cities program and was inducted into the DOE Clean Cities Hall of Fame.


Winter 2018-19

02/2019—ISSE Researcher Tim Ezzell was the invited keynote speaker at the 2019 East Tennessee Region State Legislators Hospitality & Tourism Lunch held February 15, 2019. Dr. Ezzell's topic was "Appalachian Regional Commission Study on Economics of Tourism."

ISSE's Tennessee Water Resources Research Center (TNWRRC) has a new Director. Dr. John Schwartz, a Professor in UT's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, has been selected to head TNWRRC, starting January 1, 2019.

01/2019—Yaoping Wang, ISSE Assistant Research Professor, delivered a seminar on January 18 from 2:30-3:30pm in JDT410. The title of her presentation was "The Vulnerability of Existing and Planned Asian Coal-Fired Power Plants to Changes in Climate and Water Resources." More...

12/2018—ISSE Researcher Terry Hazen, UT-Oak Ridge National Laboratory Governor's Chair for Environmental Biotechnology, was listed by Clarivate Analytics as one of the world's most cited researchers. More...


Fall 2018

11/2018—John Schwartz, an ISSE researcher in UT's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, was nominated and is serving on a committee with the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) comprehensively evaluating the Watershed Protection Plan for New York City’s drinking water supply. Eighteen experts from around the US are serving on this 21-month-long committee assignment. The first two meetings in the Catskills Mountain region were held in September and October 2018. Prior to the October meeting, the committee was given a tour of the region by the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, which included a visit to their NELAP (National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program)-accredited water quality laboratory in Kingston, the Boiceville wastewater treatment plant, the Stoney Clove stream restoration project near Phoenicia (see photo), the DiBenedetto farm operations and pollution controls, and a land acquisition site.

10/2018—A new three-year study involving University of Tennessee-Oak Ridge National Laboratory Governor’s Chair for Environmental Biotechnology Terry Hazen will look at how aquatic microbial communities are impacted by biocides associated with hydraulic fracking. Dr. Hazen is the director of ISSE's Methane Center. More...

10/2018—ISSE co-sponsored a symposium in Yixing, Jiangsu Province, China, on October 24-26, 2018. The aim of the symposium was to promote a crosscutting coordinated research network between China and the US for collaborative research in the nexus of food, energy and water systems (FEWS). More...

10/2018—Watch a video about the new propane autogas station in Greenville, TN. The new station is the result of a public-private partnership between Alliance AutoGas and NET Trans fleet (the regional public transit provider for the upper eight counties of northeast Tennessee). Alliance AutoGas works closely with ET Clean Fuels to improve alternative fuels infrastructure across the state.

09/2018—ISSE's TNCleanFuels co-hosted (along with TDEC and TDOT) the 4th Annual Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Forum on September 17-18, 2018, at the UT Conference Center in downtown Knoxville, TN. The forum, titled “Where Innovation Meets Implementation,” highlighted new research and technologies that improve transportation efficiency, reduce vehicle emissions, and address the mobility needs of all Tennesseans. The forum featured a showcase of alternative fuel vehicles, as well as a recognition ceremony for a new class of certified Tennessee Green Fleets. This year’s inductees were: Greater Dickson Gas Authority; WeGo Public Transit, Downtown Nashville Service; Athens Utilities Board, Natural Gas Division; Great Smoky Mountains National Park; NET Trans, Carter County Fleet; and City of Knoxville, Mower Fleet.


Spring & Summer 2018

05/2018—ISSE Researcher Joshua Fu was awarded the prestigious 2018 Lyman A. Ripperton Environmental Educator Award for his education efforts related to controlling air pollution. More...

05/2018—ISSE Researchers Cat Wilt and Tim Ezzell presented the findings from their report, "Hurdles to Healthcare: Overcoming Health Access Barriers in Haywood County, Tennessee," to officials in that county.

05/2018—ISSE Director Terry Hazen is part of a research team that has come up with a novel way of testing water. Read "UT’s Hazen Teams Up on Water Quality Breakthrough."

04/2018—An ISSE 2016-17 seed grant, "Appalachian Dark Skies Network," has generated further funding for improvements to Calhoun County Park, WVA. Read the story: Calhoun County officials reaching for stars with park improvements (in the Charleston Gazette-Mail, April 14, 2018)

04/2018—Thanos Papanicolaou, Director of ISSE's Tennessee Water Resources Research Center, was awarded the 2018 Einstein Award. More...

03/2018—A group of students from Puerto Rico are continuing their careers at UT, thanks in large part to joint UT–Oak Ridge National Laboratory Governor’s Chair for Environmental Biotechnology and ISSE Director Terry Hazen. More...


Winter 2018

01/2018—Rachel Chen, Director of ISSE's Center for Sustainable Business and Development, was named a 2016-17 Fellow by UT's Center for Transportation Research. More...

01/2018—A recent article co-authored by ISSE Director Terry Hazen, "Community proteogenomics reveals the systemic impact of phosphorus availability on microbial functions in tropical soil," was picked up by several news services:


ISSE News Archives.