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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Dr. Harold Schmitt, a University of Tennessee-Knoxville industrial engineering professor, will head a new program to build and enhance UT’s participation with the industrial and commercial world.

Dr. Michael Devine, vice chancellor for research, and Chancellor Bill Snyder said Friday Schmitt will direct the new Office of Industry Programs and Technology Transfer, a unit of the university office of research.

“Dr. Schmitt brings to the office a commitment to forge stronger, more highly evolved UT-industry relationships and to provide opportunities for faculty and students to participate directly in the development of new technologies,” Devine said. “This will lead to better educated students and enhanced research capabilities for the university.”

Schmitt said goals of the new office include:

* Building industry links, including joint research projects, industrial advisory committees and student internships.

* Promoting technology transfer, which includes assisting with evaluating the commercial potential of new technologies, patenting and licensing inventions.

* Increasing participation with economic development organizations to more fully utilize resources and grow new industry.

“Dr. Devine and I look forward to working together to enhance university relationships with industry and promote commercial progress that will benefit UT and the community,” Schmitt said.

Snyder said the new office will strengthen the university’s existing relationships with business.

“The university has already established some very progressive programs with industry, and there is much potential in all these areas,” Snyder said. “Great benefits can be realized by both the university and industry as a result of mutual cooperation.”

Schmitt, former director of industry and professional development for the UT-Knoxville College of Engineering, will continue teaching engineering management courses in industrial engineering. He has been a nuclear physics researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, founded or co-founded three companies and holds four patents.

Contact: Dr. Harold Schmitt (423-974-6410)