The R&D 100 Awards acknowledge scientific achievement in engineering and technology, drawing upon thousands of possible winners from around the world to recognize just 100, total, across several categories.
Like with major entertainment awards, it can be said that it is an honor just to be a finalist.
For four faculty members from the Tickle College of Engineering, the 2021 awards represented more than that, as their respective projects brought home wins, signifying their importance to the greater world and serving as a validation of their efforts.
“These awards highlight the ways engineering can change the world for the better and improve day-to-day activities and outcomes,” said Dean Matthew Mench, the Wayne T. Davis Dean’s Chair of the college. “I applaud them for their efforts and in getting this richly-deserved recognition.”
The Min H. Kao Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science had three faulty taking part on winning teams, with Dongarra Professor Michela Taufer and her teammates at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory earning recognition for their work on a project known as Flux, while UT- Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Governor’s Chair for Power Grids Yilu Liu, Research Assistant Professor Lin Zhu, and teammates from ORNL and the Electric Power Research Institute won for GridDamper.
Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering Professor Tony Schmitz, colleagues at ORNL, where he holds a joint appointment, and those at MSC Industrial Supply Company and Manufacturing Laboratories also won for their team’s MSC MillMax.
The three projects and a brief description of them and their goals are:
- Flux—Develop a scheduling system that optimizes programming by scheduling it for particular times, helping make certain that computing operations could take place when it would result in optimal performance overall;
- GridDamper—Gain better control of the oscillations within transmission and distribution of electricity, which can greatly alter its performance and delivery;
- MillMax—Replace the traditional trial and error approach to milling with a scientifically proven method known as “Tap Testing,” to deliver proven results in minutes instead of hours.
The R&D 100 Awards date back to 1963. Nominees come from 17 different countries or regions around the world, with a round of finalists selected about a month before winners are revealed.
The company says that the winners each year are chosen as “the 100 disruptors that will change industries and make the world a better place in the coming years.”