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Coble Maintains Winning Faculty Energy

Jamie Coble

Photo by Shawn Poynter.

One of Jamie Coble’s degrees is in reliability and maintainability, so it stands to reason that she has “reliably” measured another strong year in nuclear engineering. The assistant professor stacked up four prestigious awards in the last year, two of which were awarded for the first time.

Coble was named the first Southern Company Faculty Fellow in recognition of her work, and also received the inaugural Ted Quinn Early Career Award from the American Nuclear Society.

Being named the ‘first’ of any award is certainly a great honor, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility. There’s a responsibility to maintain my work at the standards for the award, but also to elevate those standards and live up to the prestige of the award.”

—Jamie Coble

Her standards also earned her UT’s Angie Warren Perkins Award, named for the university’s first dean of women, to honor outstanding campus leadership. Within the college, Coble won the 2018 Leon and Nancy Cole Superior Teaching Award for her acumen in the classroom.

“Coble is a truly outstanding young faculty member with the energy and expertise to be highly engaged in teaching, research, service, and outreach,” said Department Head Wes Hines. “It is extraordinary when we have a faculty that finds the time to be so highly engaged with outreach in addition to their heavy research, service, and teaching loads.”

The faculty fellowship alone has opened multiple doors for her over the last several months.

“I had the opportunity to meet with engineers at Southern Nuclear Company to discuss the opportunities and needs they see for applying data analytics and online monitoring in the operating fleet of reactors to help deliver the nuclear promise of affordable, clean, reliable nuclear power,” said Coble. “We worked together with researchers at Idaho National Lab and Analysis and Measurement Services Corp, as well as others at UT, to develop a proposal to DOE-NE to pursue some of the ideas that came out of those conversations.”

Southern is a strong partner with the college, providing co-op experiences for large numbers of students and jobs for alumni. Coble has also worked with officers of Southern Nuclear’s chapter of Women in Nuclear to launch a mentoring program that pairs their professionals with UT students for virtual mentoring. This continues Coble’s ongoing pursuit to inspire and motivate female engineering students.

“We hope to take some of our mentees to the Southern Company Professional Development Summit to meet their mentors face-to-face this fall,” she said.
Coble appreciates the recognition from these awards, and the ways that it can resonate with other engineering Vols.

“I hope that they signal to our students—especially our female students—that we can have a significant impact through our work in nuclear engineering,” she said.

Coble sees her own UT experience as invaluable. She watched the NE department grow as she earned her undergraduate and degrees and her doctorate (and threw in the master’s degree in reliability and maintainability engineering for good measure). She went to work at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in 2010 and returned to UT as faculty in 2013.

“The education I received was outstanding,” said Coble. “Watching the growth of the department was very exciting from the inside. It was an easy decision to come back as soon as the opportunity presented itself.”