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Frymier takes over as Interim Department Head

Paul Frymier standing in front of an engineering building. He is wearing a gray suit jacket with a button-up dress shirt and black tie.Professor Paul Frymier has begun his role as interim CBE department head while remaining Tickle College of Engineering associate dean for faculty affairs and engagement.

Frymier first came to UT in 1995 as an assistant professor. He earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in aerospace engineering from North Carolina State University in 1985 and 1987, respectively. He spent time working with the Peace Corps in Gambia before earning his doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Virginia in 1995.

“I am honored to be asked to take on this role while the department conducts a search for its next department head,” said Frymier. “There has been a lot of change in the 27 years I’ve been fortunate to be a faculty member in CBE, including my serving under three heads. We’ve grown, constantly improved, and are excited for our next phase. I’m ready to help in any way that I can.

The college also acknowledges the tremendous debt of gratitude owed to Granger and Beaman Distinguished University Professor Bamin Khomami, who concluded his time as department head at the end of July.

In the 16 years that he served in the role, the department grew in numerous ways, including the addition of changing to its current name to reflect new areas of focus, the addition of three UT–ORNL Governor’s Chairs and the establishment of other named professorships, establishment of the Eastman operations lab in the Dougherty Engineering Building, and significantly increased external research impact.

“Dr. Khomami’s tenure as department head has been extraordinary and is marked with many accomplishments along the way,” said Matthew Mench, Dean and Wayne T. Davis Dean’s Chair of the Tickle College of Engineering. “A goal of any leader is to take what you were given and make it better, and the CBE department has improved in every measurable way during his tenure.”

Frymier will split time between his offices in Dougherty and the Zeanah Engineering Complex until the successful conclusion of the ongoing department head search.