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New Endowment Established for Business Manager Position in MABE

William R. Hamel

William R. Hamel

Dr. William “Bill” R. Hamel and Dr. Matthew M. Mench have such a passion for the University of Tennessee’s (UT) Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering (MABE) program that they established an endowment in July to benefit the department’s business management functions in perpetuity. “Bill and I believe strongly in the continuing mission of this department,” said Mench. Dr. Hamel could not agree more, “That’s not just sentiment; Matthew and I have invested our careers in enhancing the education of our future engineers. Hopefully this will encourage others to give back to a program that continues to bless us every day.”

Dr. Hamel, longtime professor and former head of MABE, stepped down from the department head position at the end of July. He will continue to work for the College of Engineering on various research initiatives. During his time as department head, the MABE program became known for its studies in fuels cells, hybrid electric vehicles, robotics, and emerging nanobioscience just to name a few. MABE also includes faculty, graduate programs, and research located at the UT Space Institute in Tullahoma, Tennessee.

“It was an amazing nine years that seemed to go by very quickly,” Dr. Hamel said. “The success we experienced could not have been realized without an ongoing great faculty and staff, super bright students, support from the UT, Knoxville administration and from industry.”

On August 1, Dr. Hamel officially passed the baton to the new head of MABE, Dr. Mench. Dr. Mench received his BS, MS, and Ph.D. degrees, all in mechanical engineering, from The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State).  After a post-doctoral assignment, he began his career as an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical & Nuclear Engineering at Penn State. Dr. Mench joined the faculty of MABE at UT in 2010 as a professor and the Condra Chair of Excellence. Dr. Mench also has a joint faculty appointment with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and a joint courtesy faculty position with the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

“I am really excited to be taking on this role of MABE Department Head,” said Dr. Mench. “The football program uses the analogy of building their program brick by brick. Using that same analogy here, we already have a great foundation in place to continue a great department thanks to all the work Dr. Hamel did as Department Head.”

For information on how you can give to the MABE Department Head’s Endowment or establish your own legacy, email the Engineering Development Office at or call 865-974-2779.


Written By: Kathy Williams