UCOR donates $250,000 to UT engineering fellowship

UCOR at University of Tennessee

From left to right are UCOR’s Bob Smith, Leo Sain, Cathy Hickey, Veronica O’Hearn, and Ken Rueter with University of Tennessee assistant professor Jason Hayward in Hayward’s lab. (Photo submitted by UT)

UCOR, a federal cleanup contractor in Oak Ridge, is donating $250,000 to set up an engineering faculty fellowship at the University of Tennessee.

The first award recipient is Jason Hayward, an assistant professor in UT’s Department of Nuclear Engineering, a university press release said.

Leo Sain, UCOR’s president and project manager, announced the fellowship on Friday, June 29, at the East Tennessee Economic Council meeting in Oak Ridge.

The press release said UCOR established the fellowship because it is “committed to doing its part to ensure continued excellence in education in the nuclear field.”

“By establishing this endowed faculty award at UT, we hope to give students the opportunity to study under the best professors in nuclear education in the College of Engineering,” Sain said. “Quality education in the nuclear field is absolutely critical to the pipeline of future nuclear workers for UCOR and companies similar to ours.”

UT said Hayward is a top recipient of external research awards in the department, the ninth-ranked graduate program in the nation.

Since arriving at UT in 2008, Hayward has been awarded more than $7 million in research funding, the release said. His group has used that money to focus on research in areas of detector science and development of gamma ray and neutron imaging for applications in nuclear security, neutron scattering science, and medical imaging.

Hayward holds a joint faculty position with Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He received his doctorate in nuclear engineering and radiological sciences at the University of Michigan in 2007.

“Faculty like Dr. Hayward make valuable contributions to the world with their research and provide an outstanding educational experience for our talented students,” UT Knoxville Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek said.

UCOR, a partnership between URS and CH2M Hill, is the U.S. Department of Energy’s cleanup contractor for the Oak Ridge Reservation.

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