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KNOXVILLE — Dr. Fred D. Tompkins will serve as interim dean of the University of Tennessee College of Engineering, it was announced recently.

Tompkins replaces Dr. Jerry E. Stoneking, the former dean who died Nov. 16 of an apparent heart attack.

Dr. Loren W. Crabtree, UT vice president and provost, said a national search would be launched in early January to seek a permanent dean.

Dr. Fred Tompkins

Tompkins, associate dean of engineering since 1994, joined UT faculty in 1974 as assistant professor in what was then the department of agricultural engineering.

He became full professor in 1984 and department head from 1991 to 1994.

Tompkins’ area of research is in machine design and equipment performance enhancement, especially related to off-road vehicles and field-going implements.

He is author or co-author of approximately 150 journal articles, archived papers, conference proceedings and technical reports.

At UT, Tompkins was the W. S. Overton Distinguished Professor in engineering. He has received five college or university-wide awards for excellence in teaching, including the Allen and Hoshall Outstanding Teaching Award in engineering and The UT Alumni Association Outstanding Teacher Award.

Tompkins, who earned his B.S. in 1971 and Ph.D. in 1974 at UT, is a professor of biosystems engineering and a registered professional engineer licensed in Tennessee.

He is active nationally in several professional societies including the American Society for Engineering Education, American Society of Agricultural Engineers and the Society of Automotive Engineers.

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