Barry Bruce, a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology, is a leading expert in sustainable energy research; his work focuses on adapting the biological machinery in plants to produce electricity and biofuels. Dr. Bruce is a highly recognized researcher and educator. He was recently recognized as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2014. In 2007, Forbes recognized Dr. Bruce as one of \u201cTen Revolutionaries That May Change the World\u201d. This was an international recognition that is based on his seminal work on applied photosynthesis. Dr. Bruce has developed a system that taps into photosynthetic processes to produce efficient and inexpensive energy. He collaborated with researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Ecole Polytechnique Federale in Switzerland to develop a process that improves the efficiency of generating electric power using molecular structures extracted from plants. The biosolar breakthrough has the potential to make "green" electricity dramatically cheaper and easier. He has been featured in the New York Times, NPR, the Boston Globe, Discover, ABC news and many technical publications. He has published nearly 100 publications and has been invited to speak in over 15 different countries. UTK recently honored him with the Senior Faculty Research and Creative Achievement award, which is the highest award, offered to a scientist in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Dr. Bruce is a co-principal investigator and one of three scientific state wide thrust leaders of a NSF $20 million grant. It is the largest NSF grant ever awarded in Tennessee. The project, \u201cTennessee Solar Conversion and Storage Using Outreach, Research and Education\u201d or TN: SCORE, will help create a collaborative culture among the state\u2019s universities and community colleges, to promote the state\u2019s science and engineering capabilities, enhance research competitiveness, and stimulate economic development. Dr. Bruce is also a co-founder and associate director of the Sustainable Energy and Education Research Center (SEERC) and a co-principal investigator in the Sustainable Technology through Advanced Interdisciplinary Research (STAIR) program, one of the two NSF Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) programs at UT Knoxville. He is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Microbiology and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.