UT Professor John S. Schwartz was recently named director of the Tennessee Water Resources Research Center (TWRRC), one of 54 state water resources research institutes of the National Institutes of Water Resources (NIWR).
“I look forward to making the TWRRC a campus-wide water resources community and seeing what can happen when faculty work together on challenging problems,” said Schwartz, a member of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering faculty. The TWRRC is part of UT’s Institute for a Secure and Sustainable Environment, which includes several faculty members from the department in addition to members drawn from other colleges and departments.
As director, he will work primarily to meet the NIWR mission goals to assist university faculty in planning, facilitating, and conducting research; to aid in the resolution of state water resource problems; to promote technology transfer and dissemination of research results to public and private stakeholders; and to provide training for scientists and engineers through research participation.
Part of accomplishing these goals will involve making others aware of opportunities to collaborate.
“My key role is to promote the talents of faculty to the regional federal and state government agencies where these agencies seek out UT Knoxville or UT Institute of Agriculture faculty to solve water resources problems of national importance. In many cases, agencies are unaware of what research capabilities our faculty can offer.”—John Schwartz
One of his first general initiatives will be to engage faculty through increased involvement with the Watershed Faculty Consortium, formed in 2010 to build collaborative water resource activities across campus for research, education, and outreach that can be communicated, shared, and implemented.
The consortium successfully created the watershed minor on campus, supports the student organization Hydrolunteers, and organizes the annual Watershed Symposium.
Schwartz will also be involved in building stronger relationships with water resources faculty at other state universities including Tennessee Tech, the University of Memphis, and the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, as well as USGS offices nationally.
Elan Lloyd (865-974-8786, email@example.com)