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Tolbert Honored by SEC with 2020 Faculty Achievement Award

Leon Tolbert, Min H. Kao Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, has been named winner of the 2020 SEC Faculty Achievement Award for UT Knoxville, the SEC announced on April 15.

Leon Tolbert

Faculty winners receive a $5,000 honorarium from the SEC and will become their campus nominee for the SEC Professor of the Year Award, which will be announced in late April.

“The holder of nine patents, Dr. Tolbert is an accomplished researcher and leader who is implementing his academic findings in the area of power electronics and electric machinery design in the field every day,” said David Manderscheid, Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor. “He has received countless awards and is a tireless champion of diversity, excellence, and the field of electrical engineering locally, nationally, and globally.”

To receive an SEC achievement award the faculty member must have achieved the rank of full professor; have a record of extraordinary teaching, particularly at the undergraduate level; and have a record of research that is recognized nationally and/or internationally.

Tolbert is a registered professional engineer in the state of Tennessee and a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He joined Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 1991 and has worked on several projects there for the US Department of Energy.

Tolbert is a founding member and thrust leader for CURENT, the National Science Foundation/Department of Energy research center established to develop technologies for the future electric grid.

He has received several awards from his peers, such as the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, and at UT, including the Chancellor’s Citation for Professional Promise in Research and Creative Achievement, twice.