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The UT Board of Trustees approved a new data science and engineering doctoral program at its meeting held on the Chattanooga campus Wednesday.

The program is a partnership between UT and Oak Ridge National Laboratory and is modeled after the doctoral program in energy science and engineering offered through the UT-ORNL Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education. The new program will be based in the Bredesen Center.

Students in the program will use big data to detect trends, conduct analysis, and predict outcomes across a wide variety of fields.

Faculty from both UT and ORNL will be paired with doctoral candidates based on their area of research interest. Russell Zaretzki, an associate professor in UT’s Haslam College of Business, will serve as director. Lee Riedinger will continue to direct the Bredesen Center.

Pending approval from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, an inaugural class of 10 students will begin this fall.

Students and faculty from UT Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business, Tickle College of Engineering, College of Arts and Sciences, and College of Communication and Information could all be involved, as well the College of Engineering at UT Chattanooga and the UT Health Science Center in Memphis.