Justin Stacy honored with 2009 Sissom Innovation and Creativity Award

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (June 17, 2009) — Justin Stacy, a doctoral candidate at Tennessee Tech University, recently became only the second student-recipient of the university’s Leighton E. Sissom Innovation and Creativity Award.
Stacy designed and supervised the construction and course for the 2008 Baja SAE Tennessee Tech Competition. The course design included dueling tabletop jumps, trenches at 45 degrees, rapid back and forth turns on a hillside, holes followed by jumps and a 12-foot cliff. The head of SAE International’s Collegiate Programs, Sam Barill, called the course “the toughest I have seen.”
In addition, he played a major role in the event’s overall organization and was one of a select few (and the only student) to launch and see the project to its completion.
Donna Russell of TTU’s mechanical engineering department describes Stacy as one of the “not-so-common” students who can take his innovative and creative talents, coupled with knowledge, to come up with unique solutions to engineering problems.
“In my 30 years at TTU, I can count on one hand the number of students who have left their imprint in ways that will always be remembered for their time on campus and the contributions they have made,” she said. “Justin is one of those students. His ultimate goal, as it is for all engineers, is to make the world a better place for the current generation and the ones to follow.”
Stacy’s faculty adviser, Ying Zhang, says Stacy’s innovative work reaches beyond the signature Baja event.
“Mr. Stacy’s most innovative work engaged in the studies of key scientific issues related to the development of next-generation thermal barrier coatings for energy-efficient aircraft engines,” said Zhang. “The procedures developed and the innovative coating fixtures he designed not only eliminated some processing issues, but also ensured consistent results from run to run.”
Stacy also has developed many creative fixtures for other coating processes, including platinum plating, copper plating, annealing and heat treating that have saved time and cost. His work has received high recognition from industrial collaborators; the results have led to two journal publications and one conference proceeding.
Stacy earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at TTU and holds a lot of the institutional knowledge of the Baja Team. He’s also taught mechanical engineering courses and shares his knowledge and innovation in the classroom.
The award honors Leighton E. Sissom, former dean of TTU's College of Engineering, and recognizes scholarship, methodology, invention, technique and other contributions within TTU's College of Engineering. The recipient of the award can be a faculty member, staff member or student.
The winner of the last-awarded Sissom Award was mechanical engineering graduate David Ballard.

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