Skip to content

Engineering Ranks 32nd Among Publics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering in Top 30

Graphic for EECS Electrical Engineering graduate program ranked 30th among public universities 2021 US News & World ReportGraphic for EECS Computer Engineering graduate program ranked 30th among public universities 2021 US News & World ReportThe Tickle College of Engineering (TCE) ranked 32nd amongst public institutions in the US in the 2021 U.S. News and World Report graduate school rankings, which came out this morning.

The college ranking is one place lower than last year, despite the college’s rise in grad recruiter perception and the fact that more of its programs climbed rather than fell. This is four places higher in the rankings than five years ago and positions the college in the top 30th percentile of all public schools ranked.

“We are pleased that six of our graduate programs rose in the rankings,” said Janis Terpenny, Dean of the Tickle College of Engineering and Wayne T. Davis Endowed Dean’s Chair. “It is also great to see that seven of our graduate programs are in the top 35 among public institutions, but our goals and aspirations are higher still.”

Electrical engineering rose two places among publics to 30th, joining computer engineering at that ranking and placing it in the top 22nd percentile among publics.

Mechanical engineering saw the biggest climb among disciplines at UT, rising from the 44th- to the 33rd-ranked public ME program, placing it in the top 26th percentile.

Nuclear engineering came in as 7th among publics and 8th overall nationally.

Aerospace engineering held steady at 28th among publics and rose to 38th overall program in the nation.

Civil engineering joined the top-35 crowd, rising two places among public programs, placing it in the top 31st percentile.

The college’s materials science and engineering program now ranks 31st among publics.

Rounding out the rankings, industrial engineering, chemical engineering, and biomedical engineering came in at 41st, 48th, and 63rd, respectively. Biosystems engineering and soil science, which is run through the Herbert College of Agriculture, rose to 23rd among publics. Rankings for computer science graduate programs have not yet been released.

U.S. News and World Report ranks graduate programs each spring based on dean and department head votes in the fall, with undergraduate programs being ranked in the fall from spring votes.

Colleges as a whole are ranked based on a variety of factors, including peer and recruiter perception, research expenditures, doctorate degrees granted, and enrollment, while department rankings are based solely on perception scores from other department heads.

The rankings are meant to help the next round of students make decisions, so the year given for rankings is always one year ahead, meaning this round was the 2021 graduate rankings.

EECS Assistant Professor Awarded for Outstanding Dissertation

Picture of Dr. Ahmedullah Aziz

Dr. Ahmedullah Aziz

EECS Assistant Professor Ahmedullah Aziz has been selected for a 2019 EDAA Outstanding Dissertation Award by the European Design and Automation Association.  In recognition of the importance of university research to the advancement of design, automation and test, and to encourage young researchers to work in the field, the EDAA has established this award for outstanding Ph.D. dissertations.

Five award categories have been considered for 2019. Dr. Aziz’s award is in the category of “New Directions in logic, physical design and CAD for analog/mixed-signal, nano-scale and emerging technologies.”

Aziz’s research portfolio comprises of a diverse and wide domain of emerging electronics. He works on device-circuit co-design with CMOS and post-CMOS technologies to overcome daunting challenges that exist in the concurrent semiconductor industry. He explores and utilizes unique characteristics of complex materials like correlated oxides, ferroelectrics, and 2D transition metal di-chalcogenides to design novel devices and circuits for the next-generation processors and digital data storage.

EDAA is a non-profit association. Its purpose is to operate for educational, scientific and technical purposes for the benefit of the international electronics design and design automation community. The Association, in the field of design and design automation of electronic circuits and systems, promotes a series of high quality technical international conferences and workshops across Europe and cooperates actively to maintain harmonious relationships with other national and international technical societies and groups promoting the purpose of the Association. EDAA is the main sponsor of DATE, the premier Design, Automation and Test Conference and Exhibition in Europe.

EECS Has Several Honored by UTRF

During the UT Research Foundation’s annual awards in December, several groups and individuals from the Min H. Kao Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science were recognized for their efforts.

Professor Michael Berry had a maturation grant for his work with UT Health Science Center Assistant Professor Jillian McCarthy-Maeder on Vocabulary Coordinator (VocaCoord): A Speech to Text Solution to Accessing Academic Vocabulary.

EECS also has ties to seven patents that were issued for 2019:

  • Professor Emeritus Doug Birdwell, Professor Emeritus Mark Dean, and alumna Catherine Schuman, for three: Method and Apparatus for Constructing, Using and Reusing Components and Structures of an Artificial Neural Network; Method and Apparatus for Constructing a Dynamic Adaptive Neural Network Array (DANNA); and Method and Apparatus for Providing Real-Time Monitoring of an Artificial Neural Network
  • Birdwell and Schuman, for a fourth, Method and Apparatus for Providing Random Selection and Long-Term Potentiation and Depression in an Artificial Network
  • Governor’s Chair for Power Electronics Yilu Liu, alumnus Wenxuan Yao, and graduate student Jiecheng Zhao, for Synchrophasor Measurement Method for Power Systems
  • Liu, Yao, former Assistant Professor Wei Gao, student Haoyang Lu, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Lingwei Zhan, for Mobile Electric Field Sensor Based Phasor Measurement Unit for Monitoring an Electric Power Grid
  • Associate Professor Daniel Costinett, Min H. Kao Professor Leon Tolbert, Professor and Condra Chair of Excellence in Power Electronics Fei Wang, students Jingxin Wang and Fei Yang, and ORNL’s Sheng Zheng, for DC Current Controller for Continuously Variable Series Reactor
Picture of Dr. Fangxing "Fran" Li

EECS Professor Appointed Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Journal

Dr. Fran Li, a James McConnell Professor in EECS and an IEEE Fellow, has been named the Editor-In-Chief (EIC) of IEEE Open Access Journal of Power and Energy (OAJPE), effective January 1, 2020. The journal website can be found at

Prof. Li has been providing significant service in his professional society, IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES). For instance, he has been the Chair (since 2020) and Vice Chair (2016-2019) for the largest PES committee, Power System Operation, Planning and Economics (PSOPE). He has served as the Vice EIC for Journal of Modern Power Systems and Clean Energy (MPCE) in 2019, a Consulting Editor (2017-2019) and Editor (2011-2017) for IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy, an Editor for IEEE Transactions on Power Systems (2017-2019), and an Editor for IEEE PES Letters (2011-2019). He is the recipient of the PES Technical Committee Distinguished Service Award in 2015 and a co-recipient (as Vice Chair) of the “Technical Committee of the Year” award in 2018.

Prof. Li has also received numerous research awards including the 2018 PES Technical Committee Prize Paper award, the 2016-2017 Highly Cited Paper award from Applied Energy (IF: 8.426), and four Best Conference Papers at a number of recent IEEE PES General Meetings. He is an IEEE Fellow (Class of 2017).

Picture of Dr. Jack Dongarra

Jack Dongarra Selected to Receive the 2020 IEEE Computer Society’s Computer Pioneer Award

LOS ALAMITOS, Calif., 14 January 2020 – Dr. Jack Dongarra, who holds an appointment at the University of Tennessee, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the University of Manchester, has been named to receive the IEEE Computer Society’s 2020 Computer Pioneer Award.

The award is given for significant contributions to early concepts and developments in the electronic computer field, which have clearly advanced the state-of-the-art in computing.  Dongarra is being recognized “for leadership in the area of high-performance mathematical software.”

Dr. Dongarra specializes in numerical algorithms in linear algebra, parallel computing, use of advanced computer architectures, programming methodology, and tools for parallel computers. He was awarded the IEEE Sid Fernbach Award in 2004; in 2008, he was the recipient of the first IEEE Medal of Excellence in Scalable Computing; in 2010, he was the first recipient of the SIAM Special Interest Group on Supercomputing’s award for Career Achievement; in 2011, he was the recipient of the IEEE Charles Babbage Award; in 2013, he received the ACM/IEEE Ken Kennedy Award; and in 2019, he received the ACM/SIAM Computational Science and Engineering Prize.

He is a Fellow of the AAAS, ACM, IEEE, and SIAM and a foreign member of the Russian Academy of Science, a foreign member of the British Royal Society, and a member of the US National Academy of Engineering.

Dongarra will receive his award at the Computer Society’s annual awards dinner and presentation to be held on Wednesday evening, 27 May 2020 at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner during the IEEE Computer Society Board of Governors meeting. The award consists of a silver medal and an invitation to speak at the award presentation.

Recent recipients of the award include Laura Haas, Jitendra Malik, Barbara Liskov, Bjarne Stroustrup, Michael Flynn, Peter Kogge, Linus Torvalds, Edward Feigenbaum, and Cleve Moler. Read more about the Computer Pioneer Award, including a list of all past recipients.

About IEEE Computer Society

IEEE Computer Society, the computing industry’s unmatched source for technology information and career development, offers a comprehensive array of industry-recognized products, services, and professional opportunities. Known as the community for technology leaders, IEEE Computer Society’s vast resources include membership, publications, a renowned digital library, training programs, conferences, and top-trending technology events. Visit for more information on all products and services.

EECS Professor and Research Group Receive Two NSF Awards

Picture of Dr. Michela Taufer

Michela Taufer

Michela Taufer and her research group are the recipients of two NSF awards for their High-Performance Computing (HPC) research.

The first is a $1.2 million award in conjunction with The University of Texas.  The title of their project is “ANACIN-X: Analysis and modeling of Nondeterminism and Associated Costs in eXtreme scale applications.” Read the abstract here.

The second is a $300,000 award with The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The title of this project is “EAGER: Reproducibility and Cyberinfrastructure for Computational and Data-Enabled Science.” Read the abstract here.

EECS Professor Receives Grant at the 2019 UTRF Innovation Awards

EECS professor Michael Berry and Dr. Jillian Maeder from Audiology and Speech Pathology received a 2020 Technology Maturation Grant for their VocaCoord technology, at the 2019 University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF) Innovation Awards on December 4.

The Knoxville awards ceremony, held on December 4, recognized the UT researchers whose innovations better society. 2019 honorees included researchers who patented 19 new innovations and/or secured 28 licenses, as well as a new startup company showing enormous potential, Electro-Active Technologies. Five teams of UT researchers were awarded Maturation Grants, helping to further the development of technologies with potential for commercial success. Throughout this year, UTRF received 168 invention disclosures and filed 108 patents for UT inventions.

Read more.

CURENT Faculty and Researchers Recognized at 2019 Innovation Awards

picture of CURENT faculty and researchers being recognized for issued patents at the 2019 Innovation Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, December 4picture of CURENT faculty and researchers being recognized for issued patents at the 2019 Innovation Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, December 4Several CURENT faculty and researchers were recognized for Issued Patents at the 2019 Innovation Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, December 4th, at The Foundry in Knoxville, TN. The awards are given by the University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF) to distinquish University of Tennessee researchers whose innovations better society.

The following CURENT faculty, research staff and students were honored for issued patents.

Wei Gao, Yilu Liu, Haoyang Lu, Wenxuan Yao and Lingwei Zhan for Mobile Electric Field Sensor Based Phasor Measurement Unit for Monitoring an Electric Power Grid

Yilu Liu, Wenxuan Yao and Jiecheng Zhao for Synchrophasor Measurement Method for Power Systems

Daniel Costinett, Leon Tolbert, Fei “Fred” Wang, Jingxin Wang and Sheng Zheng for DC Current Controller for Continuously Variable Series Reactor

Please join us in wishing all the people above a hearty congratulations for their achievement.

CURENT is a National Science Foundation and Department of Energy Engineering Research Center headquartered at UT. Partner institutions are Northeastern University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Tuskegee University.

Picture of Dr. Lynne Parker speaking at a White House event on Artificial Intelligence in Government

Parker Named Deputy US Chief Technology Officer

UT Professor Lynne Parker was one of two people named deputy US chief technology officers on Wednesday, joining Winter Casey in that honor.

“I am very excited and humbled by my selection for this position,” Parker said. “It’s an exciting time for emerging technology and innovation, and I look forward to helping our country in any way that I can.”

The US chief technology officer is a position within the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), where Parker was has been serving as assistant director for artificial intelligence since August 2018.

In this new role, she’ll help guide policies and efforts related to the industries of the future, which include quantum information science, advanced communications, advanced manufacturing, and the bioeconomy, in addition to continuing a strong focus on artificial intelligence.

Read more

Two EECS/CURENT Alumni and EECS/CURENT Professor Receive IEEE PES Technical Committee Prize Paper Award

Two EECS/CURENT alumni, Dr. Haoyu (Harry) Yuan, who is now a research staff member at National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and a former direct Ph.D. student of EECS/CURENT (2011-2016); Dr. Yanli Wei who is now an Advisor in Energy Deal Structuring at Southern California Edison and a former doctoral student of EECS/CURENT (2009-2013); and their former advisor Dr. Fran Li, have received the IEEE PES Technical Committee Prize Paper award. Dr. Fran Li is the corresponding author of this award-winning paper.

They were honored during the PSOPE (Power System Operation, Planning and Economics) Technical Committee main meeting at the IEEE PES General Meeting 2019, held in Atlanta during August 4-8, 2019. The paper has been selected from a total of 12 nominations from all papers published in five IEEE PES Transactions in the scope aligned with the PSOPE technical committee, which is the largest committee within PES. Here is the paper’s citation:

Haoyu Yuan, Fangxing Li, Yanli Wei, and Jinxiang Zhu, “Novel Linearized Power Flow and Linearized OPF Models for Active Distribution Networks with Application in Distribution LMP,” IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 438-448, Jan. 2018.

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.