August 26, 2013 UT and Oak Ridge National Laboratory Announce New Governor’s Chair

Research in energy performance and environmentally responsible design for buildings and communities is the focus of the newest Governor’s Chair, a joint position of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The appointment would have considerable flexibility, which means that for the first time, it may be filled by a professional service firm rather than a single individual. If a firm participates as a Governor’s Chair, it would administer projects through the UT College of Architecture and Design and ORNL.

The Greenway Group Inc., a Georgia-based consulting firm for the design and construction industry, will lead the search to fill the position.

This is UT’s 10th Governor’s Chair. UT Knoxville currently has eight of the nine positions in the statewide program.

“The Governor’s Chair program allows us to recruit leading scholars to our campus. They raise the bar on the level and quality of research being done at the university and complement our already talented and highly productive faculty,” said UT Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek. “This position will surely lead to innovative discoveries and enhance our reputation as a leader in the field of design and urban environments. This is yet another step toward our university becoming a Top 25 research institution.”

Funded by the state of Tennessee and ORNL, the Governor’s Chair program attracts top scientists to broaden and enhance the unique research partnership that exists between the state’s flagship university and the nation’s largest multi-program laboratory.

“The creation of this position is further evidence of the commitment Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee have to lending their nationally recognized expertise to advance sustainability on a local and global scale,” said Martin Keller, associate lab director, ORNL Energy and Environmental Sciences Directorate.

This Governor’s Chair will use ORNL’s Build­ing Technologies Research and Integration Center. The center aims to push new energy-efficient building products to the market.

“The new Governor’s Chair will be a catalyst for change, bringing new re­search in emerging clean energy technologies to traditional urban design practices,” said Scott Poole, dean of the UT College of Architecture and Design. “The Chair’s applied research will be a powerful contributor to urban development and economic growth of the state of Tennessee and the region. It will also be an international leader in a new form of urban design practice.”

“By 2015, 80 percent of Americans will be living in urban centers. This creates multiple environmental challenges that will be solved by a combination of cultural shifts and technological advances in the fields of architecture, engineering and the building sciences,” Poole said.

“Innovative energy practices in the United States lag behind those in many industrial and developing countries. High performance buildings in dense urban settings will be a key feature of a better, more secure energy future,” he said

To learn more about the Governor’s Chair program, visit

The full announcement may be read at

CONTACT:   Doug Parker