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Benmark Named Nathan W. Dougherty Award Winner for 2018

Leslie Benmark Speaks to the Crowd at the Faculty and Staff Awards Dinner

Leslie Benmark speaks to the crowd at the Faculty and Staff Awards Dinner.


Leslie Benmark’s career took her from the halls of UT to the headquarters of DuPont.

Now, she returns to campus as the Tickle College of Engineering’s 2018 Nathan W. Dougherty Award winner, the highest honor given by the college.

“I am humbled and feel truly blessed for this recognition,” said Benmark. “My success in life began with my industrial engineering education here at UT. The career I’ve had, the places I’ve been, and the opportunities to serve are all proof of how far engineering can take you.”

While Benmark—who earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at UT in 1967 and ’70, respectively—was successful in the corporate world at Monsanto and DuPont, she also has several other positions and accolades of note.

She served as president of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, for the National Science Foundation, the National Research Council, and was a member of the US delegation of the Council for International Engineering Practice for Canada, Mexico, and the United States.

In 1993, she was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, the highest honor an engineer can achieve, in both industrial, manufacturing, and operational systems engineering as well as in computer science and engineering.

The award has been given annually in honor of Dougherty, who 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.”


Other award winners at the spring banquet were:

  • Moses E. and Mayme Brooks Distinguished Professor Award: Hairong Qi (EECS)
  • Leon and Nancy Cole Superior Teaching Award: Jamie Coble (NE)
  • Charles & Julie Wharton Teaching Fellow Award: Mike Berry (EECS)
  • TCE 2018 Teaching Fellows: Syed Kamrul Islam (EECS); Jon Hathaway (CEE); Jennifer Retherford (CEE); Eric Wade (MABE)
  • TCE Outstanding Faculty Service Award: Mingzhou Jin (ISE)
  • Dean’s Junior Faculty Research Excellence Award: James Coder (MABE) and David Donovan (NE)
  • TCE Professional Promise in Research Award: Eric Lukosi (NE); Garrett Rose (EECS); Andrew Sarles (MABE); Cong Trinh (CBE); Haixuan Xu (MSE)
  • TCE Research Achievement Award: Fangxing Li (EECS); John Ma (CEE); Fred Wang (EECS)
  • TCE Award for Translational Research: UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair for Power Electronics Yilu Liu (EECS)
  • Outstanding Support Staff Award: David Rogers (Innovative Computing Laboratory); Kathy Williams (MABE); Ashly Pearson (NE); Yvette Gooden (ISE).

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