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Dr. Henry (Harry) McDonald, University of Tennessee interim vice president for research, is returning full-time to his post as a distinguished research professor at UT-Chattanooga.

Dr. Henry (Harry) McDonald

Dr. Joe Johnson, UT interim president, said Dr. Fred Tompkins, who heads the university’s research foundation, will assume McDonald’s duties as chief research officer for the UT system. The changes will be effective Jan. 1, 2004.

McDonald was inducted into the Royal Academy of Engineering in London last month. Membership in the royal academy is Britain’s highest engineering honor.

McDonald, who also is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, said he enjoyed his tenure as the UT system’s chief research officer.

“It was beneficial to learn more about research administration at the university,” McDonald said. “I do, however, look forward to returning to doing my research on a day-to-day basis.

“Over the past six months, I have had to split my time between research and administrative duties and between Chattanooga and the university’s other research installations.”

Johnson said having McDonald back in UTC’s Computer Simulation and Design Center will be a boost to one of the university’s most important research programs.

“I appreciate Harry’s willingness to take on these additional duties, and he made valuable contributions to the university,” Johnson said. “Having one of the world’s most internationally acclaimed computer engineers back in his laboratory full-time certainly will move one of our most important research programs along at a faster pace.”

McDonald, who came to UT in 2002, holds the Chair of Excellence in Computational Engineering at UTC. He also is a former Director of NASA Ames Research Center as well as former head of the computational science lab at Pennsylvania State University-s Applied Research Laboratory.

Johnson also praised Tompkins for agreeing to assume the role of interim vice president for research while also leading the new UT Research Foundation.

“Fred has served UT very well in so many roles over the years,” Johnson said. “He has stepped-in on many critical occasions to help our institution when his talents were needed.”

Tompkins was named head of the Research Foundation earlier this year after serving as interim dean of engineering at UT-s Knoxville campus. He has been at UT as a faculty member and administrator since 1974.

“Research is one of the core missions of the University of Tennessee,” Tompkins said. “I look forward to working with faculty and staff across the UT system to continue increasing the size and significance of the institution-s research enterprise.”