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Close up shot of lab equipment and pipettes at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) on October 23, 2019.

Five faculty members and researchers affiliated with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, are included on the 2020 list of Highly Cited Researchers from Clarivate. Four of the five are part of the exceptional long-term partnership between UT and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Each year, Clarivate recognizes influential researchers in their respective academic fields—those who have multiple highly cited publications over the past decade. Names are pulled from publications that rank in the top 1 percent by citations for a field (or fields) and publication year in the Web of Science citation index.

Those recognized in 2020 include:

  • Sheng Dai, professor of chemistry at UT and group leader of nanomaterials chemistry at ORNL, whose work focuses on the synthesis and characterization of functional materials for energy-related applications
  • David Mandrus, the Jerry and Kay Henry Endowed Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at UT and joint faculty appointee at ORNL, whose work focuses on growth, discovery, and materials physics of new electronic and magnetic materials
  • Steven M. Wise, professor of mathematics at UT, whose work focuses on multiphase flows, moving boundary problems, nonlinear integro-partial differential equations, numerical methods, and fast solvers for a variety of problems
  • Colleen Iverson, faculty member in the UT-ORNL Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education and ORNL senior staff scientist, who works at the root-soil interface to investigate how atmospheric and climatic change alters below-ground carbon and nutrient cycling
  • Richard Norby, faculty member in the Bredesen Center and ORNL team leader in environmental sciences, who studies the effects of increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide on terrestrial ecosystems
Image of Deborah Crawford
Deborah Crawford

“Top-tier research universities play pivotal roles in advancing knowledge through the research and scholarship of world-class faculty,” said Deborah Crawford, vice chancellor for research. “The presence of UT faculty on this list is a reflection of the quality and impact of the institution’s contributions to science and technology.”

More than 6,000 researchers in 21 fields of science and social sciences, as well as cross-field categories, were tallied and selected for the 2020 list based on the number of highly cited papers produced between 2009 and 2019.

“The knowledge frontier is advanced by communities of researchers who, working separately and together, make contributions to their fields,” said UT’s Provost, Dr. John Zomchick.  “UT students have the opportunity to do research with, learn from, and be mentored by world-leading faculty researchers working at the forefront of their fields.”


Erin Chapin (865-974-2187,

Heather Peters (865-974-8674,