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KNOXVILLE — University of Tennessee Engineering Dean Jerry Stoneking died suddenly Friday morning. He was 59.

UT President Eli Fly said the university would sorely miss Stoneking’s many contributions to UT engineering and academics.

Jerry Stoneking

“Jerry Stoneking’s death is a tragic loss to his family, the university, our community and the engineering profession,” Fly said. “As a distinguished faculty member, former department head and one of our senior deans, Jerry will long be remembered for his many contributions to the university.”

UT Provost Loren Crabtree described Stoneking as “a fine engineer and scholar-teacher, and an excellent dean.”

“His personal integrity, irrepressible spirit, sense of humor and keen intellect marked him as an extraordinary human being,” Crabtree said.

“To say that he will be missed by all who knew, loved and respected him falls far short of conveying our sense of loss.”

UT Communications Dean Dwight Teeter, the only active UT dean who had served longer than Stoneking,commended Stoneking as an ally with strong academic values.

“He was not only the leader of a fine College of Engineering, but a leader campus-wide,” Teeter said.

Stoneking, a native of Cincinnati, earned the B.S. in engineering from Georgia Tech in 1965. His master’s and doctoral degrees are from the University of Illinois-Urbana.

Stoneking joined UT’s faculty in 1975 and was named head of the department of science and engineering mechanics in UT’s College of Engineering in 1984. He became acting dean of the college in 1991 and dean in July 1993.

His research areas included structural mechanics with an emphasis on computational methods, pressure vessel analysis and micro-machining of optical components.

Stoneking was a member of the National Society of Professional Engineers, and advisory boards for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory Center for Manufacturing Technology. He had been published extensively on the costs and planning related to engineering education.

He had chaired the UT Dean’s Council since 1997, and won the state’s Outstanding Engineer of the Year award in 1996.

Stoneking is survived by his wife, Kaye, and his children Jennifer and Jeff. Arrangements will be announced later.