Alexander, Frist Announce $20 Million for the Joint Institute for Advanced Materials at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville

Posted on July 29, 2005

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Bill Frist (R-TN) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) today announced that the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) highway reauthorization bill includes $20 million to provide capital funding for a new Joint Institute for Advanced Materials, which will be located on the campus of the University of Tennessee (UT) in Knoxville, and operated by UT and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. “Our roads, bridges, tunnels and rails carry citizens and cargo to all corners of Tennessee and the world,” said Frist. “And we must continue developing new transportation technologies that will effectively support the needs of our growing economy. I’m pleased that UT is committed to researching innovative ways of confronting future infrastructure challenges, and confident this funding will help keep UT-Knoxville at the forefront of transportation research.” “As our country and economy continue to grow, so does our need to find ways to improve our infrastructure,” said Alexander. “This funding will help the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory continue to research more effective ways to improve our existing roads, highways, and railways. I am pleased to see this investment in Tennessee and our nation.” The Joint Institute for Advanced Materials will be a center for multi-disciplinary materials research, drawing upon the unique resources of Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee in transportation, engineering, energy, high-performance computing, and the physical sciences. More than $60 million in transportation related research is conducted jointly between the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory each year, and funding for the new center will firmly establish Tennessee as a leader in this important research area. The institute will integrate a broad range of transportation research capabilities, including sensor technologies, asphalt materials, carbon fiber research, fuel cells, nanotechnology, and other automotive research efforts. Tennessee has committed to provide significant matching funds for the project in support of the unique collaborative relationship between UT-Knoxville and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The University of Tennessee is also committed to raise additional private funds to support the new center.