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UT’s College of Engineering is preparing to welcome a record-breaking number of freshman students to campus this fall.

A total of 708—an increase of 14 percent from last year’s class and up significantly from the 452 freshmen enrolled in 2006—will begin classes this fall. The college is also seeing a surge in doctoral student enrollment, up 62 percent since 2006; an expansion of the faculty, including the hiring of nine prestigious Governor’s Chairs; an increase in the number of endowed fellowships and professorships; and the construction of two new engineering academic buildings.

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has focused on engineering and technology as an important priority during his administration. The Tennessee legislature recently approved the governor’s proposal to invest additional recurring state funding into the College of Engineering to increase the number of faculty, provide additional support staff, and ensure the college’s ability to provide an increasing number of engineering graduates within the state.

“This is exciting news, not just for UT, but for the state,” said Gov. Haslam. “We’ve placed a special emphasis on developing STEM-focused students because more and more jobs are requiring these skills. We want Tennesseans to be prepared to compete for the good-paying, high-quality jobs in these fields.”

Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek sees the college’s rapid growth as beneficial for the entire UT campus as well as Tennessee.

“Undergraduate, graduate, and faculty research efforts from the university boost the profile of the state as a center for science and engineering and also provide incentives to create new jobs in Tennessee utilizing new discoveries and

technologies,” said Cheek. “We are grateful to the governor for his support in enabling this positive momentum.”

In March of 2012, the college dedicated the Min H. Kao Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Building. The $37.5 million state-of-the-art building was named for UT alumnus Min H. Kao, the co-founder of Garmin International Inc., who committed $12.5 million to the construction of the facility in a private-public partnership with the state. The building houses the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

On October 4, 2013, the John D. Tickle Engineering Building will be dedicated. The construction of the $23.1 million facility was supported by a significant gift from John D. Tickle, chairman of Strongwell Corporation in Bristol, Virginia. The facility will provide classrooms, office, and laboratory space for the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering on the first four floors, and for the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering on the fifth floor.

Dean Wayne Davis is pleased with the college’s progress and sees an even brighter future ahead.

“Our students will be a major driving force for the economic future of our state and our nation.,” said Davis. “We are also excited about providing them with premier facilities for their research and engineering studies. We have made great strides and with the support of Governor Haslam, the state legislature, UT President DiPietro, and Chancellor Cheek, I am convinced that the best is yet to come!”

For more information, visit the College of Engineering website.

C O N T A C T:

Kim Cowart (865-974-0686,

Whitney Heins (865-974-5460,