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2023 Class of Bodenheimer Fellowship Recipients Announced

Bryson Gullet, Karan Patel, and Elizabeth Sutton are the newest students to receive Bodenheimer Fellowships in the Min H. Kao Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS).

Bryson GullettGullet will pursue a master’s degree under Professor James Plank and the TENNLab neuromorphic computing research group, which studies an emerging computing technology inspired by the structure of the brain, specifically, the deployment of neuromorphic technology in embedded systems.

“I am leading the development of a Neuromorphic Starter Kit that is aimed at supplying other researchers and enthusiasts with an affordable and accessible platform to develop real-world demonstrations of neuromorphic applications,” Gullet said. “The Bodenheimer Fellowship gives me the opportunity to pursue my master’s degree at the University of Tennessee while focusing on my coursework and research projects. The fellowship makes me feel extremely fortunate that I am able to concentrate on both academics and perpetuating the TENNLab’s research visions without having to worry as much about finances.”

Karan PatelPatel is a doctoral candidate under Assistant Professor Katie Schuman, with a current research focus on the applications of neuromorphic computing.

“The Bodenheimer fellowship will allow me to better focus on my studies so that I can pursue my PhD in Computer Engineering,” Patel said. “The fellowship helps takes the burden and stress from my family to support my educational endeavors. I am able to support myself and avoid going into debt while I continue my studies which allows me to better devote myself to my degree and research. I am extremely grateful for this award and more optimistic of my future through it.”

Elizabeth SuttonSutton will begin pursuing her master’s under Chancellor’s Professor and Interim Department Head Leon Tolbert, with a research focus on power electronics.

“I am working on a second-life battery project,” Sutton said. “This fellowship will help me pursue my education by letting me focus on classes and research.”

Fellowships are valued at $12,000 per year, per person and are combined with graduate research assistantship or graduate teaching assistantship positions for a total value of more than $48,000 per year.

The fellowships are awarded to superior or deserving EECS graduates—who often have grade point averages of more than 3.8—from UT to encourage them to stay on for graduate school at the university instead of taking their talents to another institution.

Each student may receive the fellowship for up to five semesters while pursuing their master’s degree and an additional ten semesters when pursuing their doctoral degree on a full-time basis.

About the Fellowships

The Bodenheimer Fellowships were established in honor of Emeritus Professor Robert E. Bodenheimer who taught courses at UT for nearly forty years prior to his retirement. The primary benefactor has been one of his students, Michael C. Crabtree, who received his bachelor’s in 1973 and master’s in 1975 from UT, both in electrical engineering. Crabtree was one of the founders of CTI (Siemens) Molecular Imaging, Inc.

An applicant must be a US citizen, with preference given for residents of Tennessee, and must be accepted or enrolled as a full-time student in the EECS graduate program at UT with a superior academic record and/or financial need. Applications are due each January with award offers made in March for students beginning or continuing their programs in the summer or fall or the next spring terms. The selection committee consists of Crabtree, Blalock-Kennedy-Pierce Professor Benjamin Blalock, Professor Emeritus Don Bouldin, Professor Garret Rose, Bodenheimer, and ophthalmologist Marc Bodenheimer.