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UT Alumnus James B. Porter Jr. Receives Nathan W. Dougherty Award

james-porter-2015-dougherty

James B. Porter Jr.

A recent night of recognition for outstanding achievement for the College of Engineering culminated with James B. Porter Jr. receiving the Nathan W. Dougherty Award—the college’s highest honor—at the Holiday Inn World’s Fair on Thursday, April 9, 2015, during the college’s annual Faculty and Staff Awards Dinner.

College faculty, staff, and current and former Board of Advisors members were on hand to hear Porter, who earned his degree in chemical engineering at UT, accept the award while praising the college’s progress in recent years.

The college established the Dougherty Award in 1957 to pay tribute to the man who served as its dean from 1940-1956, and to honor engineers whose accomplishments have brought UT recognition.

After graduating from UT, Porter joined DuPont in 1966 and remained with the company, aside from a stint in the US Army, until retiring in 2008 as the company’s Vice President for Engineering and Operations.

In addition to his work with DuPont, Porter served on the college’s Board of Advisors—including as its president—as the chairperson for the Construction Industry Institute and the of United Negro College Fund of Delaware, and on the boards of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, FIATECH, the Mascaro Sustainability Initiative, and the Fieldbus Foundation, as well as the advisory board of AIChE’s Center for Chemical Process Safety.

He received FIATECH’s inaugural award for technology leadership in 2008, which was named in his honor, as well as the 2007 Society of Women Engineers Rodney D. Chipp Memorial Award, the 2005 Engineering and Construction Contracting Association Achievement Award, and CII’s 2004 Carroll H. Dunn Award of Excellence.

Porter currently serves as founder and president of Sustainable Operations Solutions, which helps promote safer, more efficient, more productive work environments.

A native of Knoxville, he and his wife, Deborah Grubbe, have one daughter, Alyson.


Additional award recipients at the college’s Faculty and Staff Awards Dinner included:

Outstanding Support Staff Awards:

  • Brad Kiser, Data Analyst, Engineering Research Office
  • Tonya Brewer, Account Specialist, Materials Science and Engineering

Jeff W. and Janet P. Davis Outstanding Faculty Advisor:

  • Ben Blalock, Blalock, Kennedy, Pierce Analog Electronics Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Moses E. and Mayme Brooks Distinguished Professor:

  • Stephanie TerMaath, Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering

Allen and Hoshall Engineering Faculty Professor:

  • Jens Gregor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Leon and Nancy Cole Superior Teaching Award:

  • Robert Bond, Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering

Charles Edward Ferris Faculty Award:

  • Christopher Cherry, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Teaching Fellow Awards:

  • Lawrence Heilbronn, Nuclear Engineering
  • Mingzhou Jin, Associate Head, Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • Jeffrey Reinbolt, Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering

Professional Promise in Research Awards:

  • Yanfei Gao, Materials Science and Engineering
  • Gong Gu, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
  • Lawrence Heilbronn, Nuclear Engineering
  • Fangxing Li, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Research Achievement Awards:

  • Ben Blalock, Blalock, Kennedy, Pierce Analog Electronics Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
  • Dayakar Penumadu, Fred N. Peebles Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • George Pharr, Chancellor’s Professor, Director of the Joint Institute for Advanced Materials, Materials Science and Engineering
  • John Schwartz, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Kevin Tomsovic, Director of CURENT, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
  • Lawrence Townsend, Nuclear Engineering

Translational Research Award:

  • Jie Wu, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

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