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UT's Institute for Advanced Materials and Manufacturing, located in UT Research Park at Cherokee Farm.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, formally announces the launch of the Institute for Advanced Materials and Manufacturing. The institute represents UT’s increasingly interdisciplinary approach to tackling real-world problems for the benefit of Tennesseans and beyond.

Through the colocation of academic, industry, and government teams, the institute aims to advance understanding of materials and facilitate the translation of new knowledge into solutions, products, and services that benefit global society.

The launch event, hosted at the institute’s headquarters in the 200-acre UT Research Park at Cherokee Farm, included opening remarks by Vice Chancellor for Research Deborah Crawford and a presentation by Jon Phipps, the institute’s interim director.

“IAMM represents the future of fundamental and applied research at UT, with efforts spanning the disciplines of chemistry, computer science, engineering, physics, design, architecture, agriculture, and more,” said Crawford. “And our partnerships with industry, who can colocate with our faculty and students in our mixed-use facilities, power the engine that drives economic opportunity in Tennessee and far beyond.”

Dr. Bin Hu works with students inside the 1st floor common area of the IAMM building.
Dr. Bin Hu works with students inside the 1st floor common area of the IAMM building.

The institute is designed to create the inclusive community and infrastructure needed for more than 160 UT faculty and students pursuing a wide range of fundamental and applied research. Their work is supported by 140,000 square feet of state-of-the-art laboratory and collaboration spaces, with more facilities to be added in the next few years. Additional work connected to the institute is happening throughout UT, including the UT Institute of Agriculture and the UT Space Institute, taking advantage of the university’s varied facilities and capabilities.

“What differentiates UT’s Institute for Advanced Materials and Manufacturing from other initiatives,” explained Phipps, “is that we are a cross-cutting and multidisciplinary unit bringing together faculty from across the University of Tennessee’s flagship research university in a meaningful way, amplifying the impact we have collectively in these fields. We’re also working closely with our community and technical college partners to provide workforce development opportunities that meet the needs of our industry and community partners.

“Our goals with the institute are to create a broad tapestry of researchers not constrained by a physical location while creating opportunities for collaborations with industry partners, national labs, and other universities, colleges, and K–12 partners,” said Phipps.

Adrian Del Maestro discusses formulas with a student on his office window in the IAMM building.
Adrian Del Maestro discusses formulas with a student on his office window in the IAMM building.

Brad Day, associate vice chancellor for research and innovation initiatives, elaborated on the distinction, saying, “IAMM represents a paradigm shift, a change in the culture of how our students learn, how our faculty conduct research, and how we interact with our industry and community partners. It’s a discovery center for UT students to take an active critical part in research whose outcomes will impact future generations. This sets the bar really high for higher education research and learning.”

“UT is a place where learning and research meet innovation, with trusted partners who bring unique resources and opportunities for collaboration, future jobs for students, and a shared vision to innovate and advance knowledge,” said Crawford. “Through the institute, UT is set on burnishing its reputation as an academic leader in materials and manufacturing at the global level.”


Chris Schmitz (865-974-8304,