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June 11, 2023 | Tom Ballard

David Sholl named Interim Executive Director of UT-Oak Ridge Innovation Institute

While a national search is conducted, he will succeed Joan Bienvenue who will leave at the end of June to become Associate Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Texas System.

David Sholl, Director of the Transformation Decarbonization Initiative at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) for the past two years, has been named the Interim Executive Director of the University of Tennessee-Oak Ridge Innovation Institute (UT-ORII).

In his new role, which begins June 12, Sholl is succeeding Joan Bienvenue, the institute’s inaugural Executive Director, who has accepted a position as Associate Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Texas System and will be leaving at the end of June (see article here).

UT-ORII’s Executive Council, made up of UT and ORNL leadership, will conduct a national search for the institute’s permanent Executive Director. The two organizations launched UT-ORII in March 2021 to better align university and national lab capabilities in a way that will establish Tennessee as a hub for convergent research and talent development.

Sholl joined ORNL in July 2021. For the past year, he has also served part-time with the Department of Energy’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED), working on the portfolio strategy and multiyear program plan for OCED’s execution of clean energy demonstration projects. Prior to joining ORNL, Sholl chaired the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Georgia Tech.

“UT-ORII has the capacity to combine the world-class talents of researchers at the University of Tennessee and ORNL to tackle problems of genuine national need,” Sholl said. “I look forward to working with students and faculty from UT and staff from across ORNL to generate breakthroughs in these areas and train the next generation of scientific leaders.”

Thanks to generous support from the state of Tennessee, UT-ORII is accelerating recruitment of 100 researchers and mentors along with 500 graduate students who will be leaders in these and other emerging fields.

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