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MSE Faculty, Students Celebrated at Honors Banquet

One MSE faculty member and one MSE student group were recognized at the 2024 Academic Honors Banquet.

Every spring, UT celebrates academic and professional honors. The awards highlight individuals embodying the Volunteer spirit through extraordinary research and creative activity, impactful contributions to campus life, and leadership and service to the university and beyond.

This year’s MSE honorees were:

  • Professor David Harper was named the Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year

The Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year award honors a faculty member who has shown outstanding commitment to mentoring undergraduate research students. Harper earned his bachelor’s in physics from West Virginia University and his master’s and PhD in civil engineering from Washington State University. He joined the UT faculty in 2004. Harper is a professor in the School of Natural Resources and Center for Renewable Carbon with joint appointments in Materials Science and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

David Harper accepting his award as Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year

  • SLOPE received the Extraordinary Community Service Award

SLOPE is a 3-D printing outreach club that goes to local school’s STEM nights and East Tennessee Children’s Hospital to demonstrate how 3D printing works and get kids interested in STEM. The group also attends the Honor Air event and gives veterans 3D printed coins to remember their trip. One of the main goals of the organization is to teach students the importance of STEM through demonstration of 3D printing to get them interested and help them in their future.


Rhiannon Potkey (865-974-0683,