Michael Allen joined the college as an academic support specialist in the fall of 2015. He works closely with Engineering Fundamentals (EF) faculty to orchestrate and set up labs for the freshman program, notably in the Innovation and Collaboration Studio (ICS) in Perkins Hall.
“During the project times, I monitor and instruct students on proper machine usage and assist with design in the ICS,” said Allen. “I also work with staff, faculty, and students outside of project time on an array of other projects.”
Beyond specific EF project sessions, he enjoys finding creative ways to solve problems. He expresses creativity in a variety of ways, and not just with the array of 3D printers on-hand in the ICS.
“Some of my hobbies are restoring antique muscle cars, wood working , bonsai trees, drawing, painting, and sculpting,” he said. “I also sculpt cheese into objects for parties or gatherings.”
Allen was born in Cleveland, Tennessee, and grew up here in Knoxville. He worked in area industry before joining the college.
“I have an associate’s degree in electronics engineering technology,” said Allen. “I was a field service technician for 20 years for a local equipment company.”
Allen’s wife of 20 years, Samantha, is the business manager for the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. They have three children: Brandon, Hunter, and Michaela; and a very active pet.
“I have a German Shepherd that tests my patience daily,” added Allen. “Just kidding—it’s not every day.”