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Heath Honored with 2019 Nathan W. Dougherty Award

Ralph Heath stands behind a podium, speaking to a crowd.

Ralph Heath speaks at the 2019 Faculty and Staff Awards Dinner. Photo by Steven Bridges.

Ralph D. Heath has a long track record of success, collaboration, and philanthropy, rising to the presidency of Lockheed Martin from 2005–12 before he retired after more than 37 years in engineering and industry. As a result of his strong record of accomplishment, Heath has been named the Nathan W. Dougherty Award winner for 2019, the highest honor given by the University of Tennessee Tickle College of Engineering.

I am both humbled and appreciative of this recognition. To be placed up there beside past winners such as Bill Snyder, Nancy Cole, and Mark Dean is a real honor. I’m very grateful for this.”

—Ralph Heath

Heath is a firm supporter and alumnus of both the Tickle College of Engineering and Haslam College of Business, having earned his bachelor’s in electrical engineering in 1970 and MBA in 1975.

His academic and industry experiences led Heath to contribute to the growth of both colleges by creating the Heath Integrated Business and Engineering program and establishing its initial endowment.

He cited certain areas of overlap between the two colleges as his inspiration to foster collaboration, pointing out that future graduates of the program that bears his name will enter the work force with “the necessary technical skills, systems thinking, and business savvy to add real and sustaining value to organizations.”

In addition to serving in various roles at Lockheed Martin, Heath serves on the Boards of Advisors for the Tickle College of Engineering, Haslam College of Business, and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, and is an American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Fellow.

Dougherty, the award’s namesake, served as dean of the college from 1940 to 1956 and was a captain of UT’s football and basketball teams as a student athlete in the early 1900s. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1967.

Recognizing Dougherty’s success in engineering and education, the award singles out those who have “brought honor and distinction to the college through their achievements or who have made significant contributions to the engineering profession in Tennessee through their professional activities” and has been given annually since 1957.

Additional Award Winners

  • Special Recognition for Service: Masood Parang (Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs)
  • Outstanding Support Staff Award: Carla Lawrence (MSE), Michael Allen (Jerry E. Stoneking engage Engineering Fundamentals program), Tracy Rafferty (Innovative Computing Laboratory), and Ben Call (ISE)
  • Moses E. and Mayme Brooks Distinguished Professor Award: Joshua Fu (CEE)
  • Leon and Nancy Cole Superior Teaching Award: Han Choo (MSE)
  • Charles E. Ferris Award: Leon Tolbert (EECS)
  • 2019 TCE Teaching Fellows Awards, jointly funded by the Charles and Julie Wharton, Frank C. Smartt, Weston Fulton, and McKamey endowments: Fran Li (EECS), Lee Han (CEE), Jackie Johnson (MABE), Matthew Young (MABE), and Cong Trinh (CBE)
  • TCE Outstanding Faculty Service Award: David Keffer (MSE)
  • Dean’s Junior Faculty Research Excellence Award: Mariya Zhuravleva (MSE) and Jim Coder (MABE)
  • TCE Professional Promise in Research Award: David Donovan (NE), Joshua Sangoro (CBE), Kai Sun (EECS), Stephanie TerMaath (MABE), Timothy Truster (CEE), and Mariya Zhuravleva (MSE)
  • TCE Research Achievement Award: Bin Hu (MSE), Baoshan Huang (CEE), Peter Liaw (MSE), and Kevin Tomsovic (EECS)
  • TCE Award for Translational Research: Chuck Melcher (MSE)


David Goddard (865-974-0683,