KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Michael Crabtree, the President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of IdleAire Technologies Corporation, announced at the UT Tickle College of Engineering’s annual Honors Banquet on April 11th, 2006 a gift of $1 million to the university by the founders of CTI Molecular Imaging to establish a new CTI Chair in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE).
Crabtree, who received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UT, joined fellow alumni and former CTI founding partners Ronald Nutt, Kelly Milam and Dr. Terry Douglass in providing the funding for the new chair.
Crabtree was attending the Honors Banquet to accept the Nathan W. Dougherty Award, the college’s most prestigious recognition. In his comments about the gift, Crabtree said that the chair was established to attract, retain and recruit world-class professors to the ECE Department.
“CTI’s name has stood strong in the Knoxville community and PET (positron emission tomography) medical diagnostic imaging industry from 1983 until 2005,” Crabtree said. “It is our hope that this CTI Chair, together with Min Kao’s $17.5 million gift to the Min H. Kao Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, are cornerstones paving the way for a new standard of excellence for the University of Tennessee’s Tickle College of Engineering.”
This year’s surprise announcement by Crabtree was the second time that the college received a $1 million donation at the Honors Banquet. At the 2004 event, Nutt made a $1 million challenge gift to the COE.
The COE Honors Banquet, sponsored by Eastman Chemical Company, is held annually to recognize outstanding faculty, staff and students.
Keynote speaker for the event was Dr. Gregory O. Nelson, Executive Vice President, Eastman Chemical Company. Christopher Luke Stewart, a senior of the Department of Chemical Engineering, was the featured student speaker and Dr. Peter Liaw, a professor and the Ivan Racheff Chair of Excellence in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, was the faculty speaker. Ron Green, a COE alumnus and Chairman of ADVATECH LLC, was the alumnus/individual donor speaker.
College-wide awards included:
- Outstanding Support Staff Award: Jeanette L. Myers, Department of Industrial and Information Engineering
- Outstanding Faculty Advisor: Robert E. Ford, Department of Industrial and Information Engineering
- Allen & Hoshall Engineering Faculty Award: Hairong Qi, Min H. Kao Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
- Moses E. and Mayme Brooks Distinguished Professor Award: Dayakar Penumadu, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Dr. Syed K. Islam, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
- Leon and Nancy Cole Superior Teaching Award: Richard M. Bennett, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
- Charles Edward Ferris Faculty Award: Donald W. Bouldin, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
- Tickle College of Engineering 2006 Teaching Fellow Award: Edwin G. Burdette, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering