Dr. Peter Tsai

Peter Tsai is a retired research faculty member from the Department of Material Science and Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He is the architect behind the essential technology in N95 respirators, which are used on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19. Tsai invented and patented electrostatic charging, a process in which permanent charges are embedded into a fiber to enhance filter efficiency by electrostatic attraction. These filters help block 95 percent of all submicron particles found in viruses, like the novel coronavirus. He recently came out of retirement to work in conjunction with the UT Research Foundation on methods and testing that might provide a way for the masks to be safely reused, greatly improving the outlook for medical teams and first responders during the pandemic. He also helped ORNL quickly convert its carbon fiber processing facility into an N95 filtration cloth facility, allowing ORNL to help industries mass produce the N95 filter media.

Lonnie Love

Lonnie J. Love received a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering and an M.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Old Dominion University, and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Dr. Love began his career at ORNL in October 1995 as a research staff member.  He is currently a distinguished research scientist in the Energy and Transportation Science Division and group leader of the Manufacturing Systems Research Group. He has made major contributions at ORNL as a researcher, a leader, and an innovator in advanced robotics and additive manufacturing. His research has most recently focused on large-scale and high-speed advanced additive manufacturing and 3-D printing. Other research areas include nanofermentation (bacterial synthesis of nanomaterials for quantum dots), mesoscale hydraulics and blending additive manufacturing with fluid-powered systems in research and development directed toward producing lightweight, high-dexterity, and low-cost prosthetic devices.

Dr. Love has shown extensive leadership capabilities in directing multiple projects, serving as principal investigator or co-principal investigator on projects for DOE, organizations within the US Department of Defense, and private industry through a number of funding arrangements, including Work for Others and cooperative research and development agreements.

Dr. Love has 6 issued patents and 20 patents pending. He has authored or co-authored numerous publications, including 3 books, 20 journal articles, and 9 technical reports, and has made presentations at 39 national and international conferences. Among the many awards that Dr. Love has received recently are two R&D 100 Awards. He also received the 2014 Woodie Flowers Award, given by U.S. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) for effective communication in the art and science of engineering and design, for his outstanding adult mentorship during FIRST robotic competitions. Dr. Love is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.

Dr. Love dedicates numerous hours of personal time to teach and encourage students on the high school, undergraduate, and graduate college levels, fostering an interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

He was named a corporate fellow in 2015.

Jonathan Shieber

Jonathan is a Senior Editor at TechCrunch where he covers venture capital investment and technology development. Previously, Jonathan spent several years reporting on venture capital, private equity, energy and technology from New York and Shanghai for Dow Jones & Co., and the Wall Street Journal.

Randy Boyd

Randy Boyd was appointed president of the University of Tennessee by the UT Board of Trustees March 27, 2020, following a sixteen-month period as interim president. Boyd took office Nov. 22 following the retirement of UT President Joe DiPietro. As UT’s 26th president, Boyd serves as the chief executive officer of a statewide university system. The flagship campus in Knoxville includes the Space Institute in Tullahoma and the statewide Institute of Agriculture. The UT System also includes campuses in Chattanooga and Martin; the Health Science Center in Memphis; and the Institute of Public Service. The UT System manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory through its UT-Battelle partnership.

Boyd is the founder of Radio Systems Corp., a Knoxville-based business. They have more than 800 employees, offices in six countries and produce pet related products under the brand names PetSafe, Invisible Fence and SportDOG. He also serves as chairman of Boyd Sports and is the owner of the Tennessee Smokies, Johnson City Cardinals, Greeneville Reds and Elizabethton Twins.

Boyd served as chairman of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and as commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. He was a founder and co-chair of the Governor’s Rural Taskforce, which exists to help state government and industry leaders find solutions to the biggest challenges facing rural Tennessee.

Boyd also served as Gov. Bill Haslam’s special adviser for higher education. He was the architect for Tennessee Promise and Drive to 55 and was the founder and chairman of Tennessee Achieves—all initiatives aimed at increasing the number of Tennesseans with post-secondary degrees to 55 percent by 2025 and decreasing financial hardship for Tennesseans pursuing degrees.

Through his philanthropy, Boyd also supports the Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research and the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation’s Boyd Venture Challenge seed grant program for student entrepreneurs, both through the Haslam College of Business at UT Knoxville.

Boyd is the first in his family to graduate from college. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business with an emphasis on industrial management from UT Knoxville. He also earned a master’s degree in liberal studies with a focus on foreign policy from the University of Oklahoma.

Boyd and his wife, Jenny, live in Knoxville. They have two children and one grandchild.

Mayor Indya Kincannon

Mayor Kincannon campaigned on a message of creating and spreading opportunity to all parts of Knoxville. She pledged to balance smart growth with a need to protect green spaces, to promote transparent and efficient government services, and to continue Knoxville’s collaborative work with partners to increase affordable housing.

At the core of her message was a commitment to strengthening neighborhoods and encouraging vibrancy.

She was elected on Nov. 5, 2019.

Mayor Kincannon lives in North Knoxville.

From 2015-18, she worked in Mayor Madeline Rogero’s administration as Special Programs Manager.

She administered $1.6 million in Community Agency Grants to more than 65 local non-profit entities, created and managed an automated database for hundreds of appointments to boards and commissions, and served as the Mayor’s Liaison on various special issues such as education, health and Census 2020.

Mayor Kincannon’s first leadership role in Knoxville was as an education advocate.

Her parents had taught her that if you see problems in your community, you should fix them. Inspired by their example, she wanted to improve educational opportunities for children. So she ran for a seat on the Knox County Board of Education in 2004 and served for 10 years (2004-14), elected as Chairperson three consecutive years (2008-11).

Kincannon oversaw a $450 million budget for a school system of 60,000 students and more than 8,000 employees. Throughout her tenure on the school board, she was steadfast in her efforts to make sure all children had access to high-quality education, regardless of their income, race or ZIP code.

These efforts met with great success. Fulton High School’s graduation rate rose from 46 percent to over 80 percent, and she helped launch several new schools, including L&N STEM Academy, the Career Magnet Academy, and the Paul Kelley Academy.

Kincannon served as a founding Trustee for Great Schools Partnership (2008-11), as a member of Gov. Bill Haslam’s Opportunity Scholarship Taskforce (2012), and as a board member for Project Graduation Really Achieves Dreams (2004-14).

Mayor Kincannon also taught writing, history, Spanish and drama to international students in Ljubljana, Slovenia (2014-15).

She graduated Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs with a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs and Urban and Regional Planning (1999).

Prior to that, she earned her B.A. in history (1993) from Haverford College, where she captained the varsity tennis team.

She also studied Spanish colonial history (spring 1992) at the University of Barcelona, and she took teacher licensure courses at the University of Tennessee (2014).

Mayor Kincannon is the proud mom of two teenaged daughters, Dahlia and Georgia, and she’s been married since 1995 to her husband, Ben Barton, a law professor at the University of Tennessee. They have a mixed-lab rescue dog named Bobo, who keeps her company on walks and runs through Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness, where she also enjoys mountain-bike rides.