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KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has named Wayne T. Davis as the dean of its College of Engineering.

Wayne T. Davis
Wayne T. Davis
Davis, who has served as the interim dean since May 2008, has worked at UT Knoxville for more than 30 years. His appointment follows a nationwide search.

“Dr. Davis brings a level of experience and expertise to the table that is unmatched,” said UT Knoxville Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek. “In his time here, he has proven himself not only to be a top-rate administrator, but also an accomplished researcher. He is the right person to lead the college into the next phase of its growth.”

“I am both honored and pleased to accept the position of Dean of the college,” said Davis. “I have thoroughly enjoyed my tenure at UT Knoxville and look forward to continuing to work with the students, faculty, heads, deans and the university on our quest to provide an ever-increasing quality education to our students and to developing technology that benefits the state and nation. I am particularly excited about the opportunity to also work with our many alumni and friends of the university who are dedicated to assisting us in our mission.”

The college is home to a number of nationally-ranked programs, including a graduate program in nuclear engineering that was ranked 11th in the nation by U.S. News and World Report for 2009.

The college also is in the midst of major growth, with construction underway on the Min H. Kao Electrical Engineering and Computer Science building. The 150,000-square-foot building, funded in part by a $12.5 million dollar gift from Kao, will house laboratories and classrooms, and will be the campus’ first LEED-certified building. A new 110,000-square-foot Civil and Environmental Engineering/Industrial Engineering Building also is being planned.

Davis received his bachelor’s degree in physics from Pfeiffer College (now Pfeiffer University) in Misenheimer, N.C.; a master’s in physics from Clemson University and a master’s in environmental engineering and doctorate in civil engineering from UT Knoxville.

Davis joined the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering as an instructor of environmental engineering in 1974 and became an assistant professor in 1975. He was named an associate professor in 1979, and became a full professor in the department in 1984. Davis also served as assistant dean of the Graduate School from 1985 to 1998 and as the school’s associate dean from 1988 until 1991. He was the university’s 2003 Macebearer.

Davis’ research areas are air quality management and pollution control. He has been the principal investigator or co-PI, on approximately 85 different research grants and contracts since 1974. He is a Qualified Environmental Professional and is a member of numerous professional and academic and honorary societies, including the Air and Waste Management Association, the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Society of Engineering Educators.

The search committee for the position was chaired by UT Knoxville Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement Brad Fenwick and Bamin Khomami, professor and head of the department of chemical engineering.


Jay Mayfield (865-974-9409,

Kim Cowart (865-974-0686,