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SimCenter History

Originally established in 2002, the SimCenter at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga has taken a significant step forward by expanding to become a national center in the critical technology area of computational modeling and simulation.  The SimCenter now has over twenty full-time Faculty and Staff, most of whom have extensive prior research and teaching experience in computational engineering. Many also have extensive career experience in industry and/or government.

The SimCenter has established a national reputation for excellence in solving real-world engineering problems in diverse fields such as hydrodynamics, aerodynamics, propulsion, heat transfer, electromagnetics, and computational design optimization.  The National SimCenter will leverage its expertise in these areas to expand and broaden its research and education programs to promising new areas important to U.S. technology leadership and including national issues such as sustainable energy, environment, healthcare and defense.

Chattanooga’s leadership sees the National SimCenter as the focal point for a new University-based technology community which will make Chattanooga a significant part of the Tennessee Valley Technology Corridor.  The National SimCenter will contribute to this vision through external partnerships that strengthen the high-technology intellectual base of Chattanooga and that stimulate and support ongoing economic development initiatives.

Dr. David L. Whitfield, Professor Emeritus, was the Founding SimCenter Director and Associate Dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science before retiring in July 2013.  Before coming to UTC, he founded and directed the ERC SimCenter at Mississippi State University (MSU) and was a William L. Giles Distinguished Professor of Aerospace Engineering. He was also one of three co-founders of the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center (NSF/ERC) for Computational Field Simulation at MSU (1990-2001). Despite his retirement, Dr. Whitfield remains very active in both research and educational activities of the SimCenter.

Dr. Henry McDonald holds the UTC Chair of Excellence in Computational Engineering.  In 2002 he completed two three-year terms as the Director of NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field in California, where he established the NASA Center of Excellence in Information Technology. He is also a member of the National Academy of Engineering and has received numerous other honors and awards.

Dr. Timothy W. Swafford, Professor of Computational Engineering is responsible for the UTC Computational Engineering Program and is currently Interim SimCenter Director. He was formerly Deputy Director, Applied Technology Department for Sverdrup/AEDC Group at Arnold Air Force Base, Tennessee.

Dr. W. Roger Briley, Professor Emeritus of Computational Engineering, is responsible for integration of education and research for the SimCenter. He was formerly Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Hearin Eminent Scholar in Engineering at MSU. Dr. Briley also retired in July 2013 and he too remains very active conducting SimCenter-related research and teaching graduate courses in computational engineering.

Dr. Lafayette K. Taylor, Professor of Computational Engineering, is responsible for SimCenter Research Project Integration. He was formerly Research Professor of Computational Engineering at Mississippi State University.

The SimCenter and Graduate School of Computational Engineering are both part of the UTC College of Engineering and Computer Science.

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