Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

Paul D. Frymier

Paul Frymier.

Paul D. Frymier

Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Engagement and Professor

Contact Information

Paul Frymier.

  • Office Address: 425 Dougherty Engineering; 119 Perkins Hall
  • Phone: 865-974-4961
  • E-mail:
Group Website


PhD, University of Virginia: Engineering and optimization of photosynthetic routes to biohydrogen; development and implementation of biosensors and sustainable energy.

Engineering of photosystems to enhance electron transport in biological photoactive systems, optimization of biological hydrogen production, reactor design for improved yield and power in microbial fuel cells.


Paul Frymier.

Paul Frymier earned his BS degree Magna Cum Laude (1985) and his MS degree (1987) in Aerospace Engineering from North Carolina State University. Following his MS degree, he served in the US Peace Corps in the Gambia, West Africa until 1989.  He earned his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Virginia in 1995.  His dissertation research included experimental studies and theoretical modeling of subsurface migration and substrate degradation by chemotactic bacteria.

In 1995, Frymier joined the University of Tennessee as an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2001. His research projects have included the development of whole cell and enzyme-based biosensors, modeling and reactor design for the bioproduction of commodity chemicals, real-time environmental toxicity monitoring, and cell migration and chemotaxis. His current research interests include the study of microbial fuel cells and biological systems based on algae and cyanobacterial photosynthetic and electron transport systems for the production of electricity and hydrogen.

Awards and Recognitions

  • University of Tennessee College of Engineering Outstanding Advisor Award, 2013
  • University of Tennessee College of Engineering Outstanding Teacher Award, 2009, 2016
  • University of Tennessee Chancellor’s Citation for Excellence in Teaching, 2009
  • University of Tennessee College of Engineering Leon and Nancy Cole Superior Teaching Award, 2007
  • University of Tennessee College of Engineering Outstanding Teacher Award for the Department of Chemical Engineering, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016
  • The University of Tennessee Department of Chemical Engineering Tom and Ruth Clark Excellence Award in Teaching, The University of Tennessee, 2004, 2010
  • University of Tennessee College of Engineering Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award for the Department of Chemical Engineering, 1999, 2010, 2012, 2016
  • University of Tennessee College of Engineering Allied Signal Outstanding Faculty Teaching and Research Award, 1997

Professional Service

  • Member of AIChE
  • Member of ASEE
  • Member of ACS


Paul Frymier.

  • Thermal and temporal stability of hydrogen from the isolated, metalized photosystems of thermophyllic cyanobacteria.
  • Improving the kinetics of electron transport in isolated photosystems and cytochromes.
  • Enhanced electricity and hydrogen production from microbial fuel cells.
  • Visit for more information.
Google Scholar


  • Clark ST, Arras MML, Sarles SA, Frymier PD, "Modeling the saturation of detergent association in mixed liposome systems," Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, 206, 2021.
  • Clark, S., Arras, M., Sarles, S., and Frymier, PD, “Lipid Shape Determination of Detergent Solubilization in Mixed-lipid Liposomes,” Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, 187, 2020. doi:10.1016/j.colsurfb.2019.110609
  • Martin, B. and Frymier P., “A Review of Hydrogen Production by Photosynthetic Organisms Using Whole-Cell and Cell-Free Systems,” Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology, in press, 2017. doi:10.1007/s12010-017-2576-3
  • Nguyen, K., Vaughn, M., Frymier, P.D., Bruce, B., “In vitro kinetics of P700+ reduction of Thermosynechococcus elongatus trimeric photosystem I complexes by recombinant cytochrome c6 using a Joliot-type LED spectrometer,” Photosynth Res, 131 (1), 79-91, 2017. doi:10.1007/s11120-016-0300-8
  • Harris, B., Cheng, X., Frymier, PD, “Structure and Function of Photosystem I – [FeFe] Hydrogenase Protein Fusions: An All-Atom Molecular Dynamics Study,” J. Phys. Chem. B, J. Phys. Chem. B, 120, 599–609, 2016. doi:10.1021/acs.jpcb.5b07812
  • Frymier, P. (2015). Sensor Technology for Water Quality Monitoring: Bioluminscent Microorganisms. IWA Publishing. doi:10.2166/9781780404196
  • Frymier, P. D., Lajoie, C. A., Kelly, C. J., Ren, S., Lin, S. -C., Tumsaroj, N., . . . Sarfo, R. (2015). Research Digest: Toxicity Screening of Influents Using Bioluminescent Reporter Technology. Water Intelligence Online, 1(0), 9781843396314. doi:10.2166/9781843396314
  • Le, R., Raeeszadeh-Sarmazdeh, M., Boder, E., Frymier, PD, “Sortase-mediated Ligation of PsaE-modified Photosystem I from Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 to a Conductive Surface for Enhanced Photocurrent Production on a Gold Electrode,” Langmuir, 31, 1180-1188, 2015. doi:10.1021/la5031284
  • Harris, B., Cheng, X., Frymier, PD, “All-Atom Molecular Dynamics of a Photosystem I/Detergent Complex,” J. Phys. Chem. B, 118 (40), 11633–11645, 2014. doi:10.1021/jp507157e
  • Le, R., Harris, B., Iwuchukwu IJ, Bruce, D, Cheng, X, Qian, S, Heller, WT, O’Neill, H, and Frymier, PD, “Analysis of the Solution Structure of Thermosynechococcus elongatus Photosystem I in n-dodecyl-β-D-maltoside Using Small-Angle Neutron Scattering and Molecular Dynamics Simulation,” Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, 550, 50-57, 2014. doi:10.1016/
  • Steifel, DA, Tonn, B., and Frymier, PD, “Toward and Infinitely Reusable, Recyclable, and Renewable Industrial Ecosystem,” Journal of Cleaner Production, 66, 392-406, 2014.