Tennessee Alumnus

Top Researcher

Brian Wirth, UT-Oak Ridge National Laboratory Governor’s Chair for Computational Nuclear Engineering, won the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award, considered the highest achievement a midcareer researcher can receive. Wirth, who has joint appointments at UT Knoxville and ORNL, and his research group are working to produce the safest nuclear energy possible while extending the life of parts and the reactors.

New Student Union


The first phase of the new Student Union building is open. The first levels house the VolShop, VolTech and VolBook stores, and the third and fourth floors include dining options such as Chik-Fil-A, Qdoba and AFC Sushi. The top level is dedicated to The Center for Career Development, which has improved space to host students and employers from across the country. The second and final phase of construction is scheduled to be finished in 2018. The project, which replaces the University Center built in 1954, is the largest single construction project in campus history.

Big Impact

$1.6 billion. That is the annual economic impact UT Knoxville has on the state of Tennessee, according to a study by UT’s Center for Business and Economic Research. The study shows the university creates nearly 33,000 jobs and contributes more than $125 million in tax revenue to state and local governments. The increase in impact from $915 million in 2007 is due mainly to the volume of campus construction and renovation projects.