UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair for Biorefining Art Ragauskas has been named acting head of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, effective August 7. He steps into the role for two years while interim head Paul Frymier returns full time to his position as Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Engagement.
“I am honored to assume this position, to represent, champion, and empower the students, staff, and faculty of CBE as we address grand societal challenges through education, discovery, and outreach that enables strong economic, social, and environmental well-being,” Ragauskas said.
Ragauskas joined the university as a governor’s chair in 2014, a position that includes appointments in TCE, the UT Institute of Agriculture’s Department of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries, and the US Energy and Environmental Sciences Directorate, Biosciences Division, at ORNL
“I am very grateful that Dr. Ragauskas has agreed to lead CBE as acting head for the next two years, “ said Dean Matthew Mench, the Wayne T. Davis Dean’s Chair of the college. “He is a greatly respected member of his field and of the college, university and ORNL. The department will be in great hands.”
Ragauskas is a well-known figure in the world of alternative fuels, with several accolades to his name, including being chosen by the United Kingdom’s Royal Society of Chemistry to receive its 2022 Environment Prize for his role in the development and refinement of plant-based fuels.
He was also the first person to be named Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Alternative Energy Technology. Other honors include being named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, election to the Academy Board of the International Academy of Wood Science, and recipient of the 2017 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Green Process Engineering Award and the 2019 AIChE Chase Award, among others.