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2019-07-08 KKD NIMS12
Inside a chemical and biomolecular engineering lab at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

A new institutional partnership between UT and Japan’s National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) will send graduate students from the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education to Japan as visiting scholars to study materials science and advanced manufacturing.

NIMS, a Japanese national research institute focused on materials science, is charged with research and development and advancing expertise in the field. NIMS has collaborative agreements with several universities to provide research and training opportunities to graduate students.

“This program further develops our strong research connections to Japan,” said Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor David Manderscheid. “It is exciting to continue to build on the Bredesen Center’s interdisciplinary research strengths with an international cooperative program.”

As part of the International Cooperative Graduate Program, two UT students in the Bredesen Center will be selected to conduct research for up to a year at NIMS in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, alongside leading scientists from around the world. NIMS researchers will supervise the students as they work toward obtaining their degrees.

During a trip to Japan last month, Manderscheid and Vice Provost for International Affairs Gretchen Neisler met with NIMS officials and signed the agreement.

“This agreement represents one of 24 programs available to UT students to engage with Japanese universities and helps expand our research visibility in Japan and in Asia,” Neisler said. “NIMS has strong connectivity to its regional partners and to industries around the globe.”

The Bredesen Center is based at UT in partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Suresh Babu, Governor’s Chair for Advanced Manufacturing and director of the Bredesen Center, played a key role in connecting the institutions and advocating for a partnership.

“Dr. Babu is the driving force behind this opportunity, and we are very grateful for his work to help create this program,” Neisler said.

NIMS serves as a designated national research and development institute with the aim of making Japan the most innovation-friendly country in the world. In producing some of the world’s highest level of research and development results, NIMS brings together scientists, knowledge, and funding from industry, academia, and government.


Karen Dunlap (, 865-696-5910)