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TTU News


Tennessee Tech University will recognize top engineering faculty, staff and alumni during Engineers Week, Feb. 17-20.

During the awards banquet Feb. 20, the College of Engineering will award its annual Kinslow Award to assistant chemical engineering professor Cynthia Rice.

Rice holds a joint appointment between the Center for Manufacturing Research and chemical engineering. Her research and teaching focus is as an electro-analytical chemist working on fuel cells for transportation and portable power applications.

Rice earned her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at SUNY Potsdam and her doctorate at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Before coming to Tennessee Tech, Rice worked as a staff research engineer at United Technologies Research Center. She worked as a post-doctoral researcher at Los Alamos National Lab and U of I’s chemical engineering department.

Rice has authored 22 journal articles and two book chapters. She holds seven patents in the field of fuel cells for transportation and portable power applications. She received the Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award in 2009.

Rice is a well-respected speaker and her journal articles have been cited more than 600 times in international publications.

The college’s Outstanding Staff Award will go to Becky Asher, an administrative assistant in the chemical engineering department.

In 2006, Asher began a temporary assignment in TTU’s Office of Academic Affairs, then in the Office of Extended Education and Interdisciplinary Studies Office.

She took a permanent position in chemical engineering in 2007.  In 2010, Asher received the University Outstanding Staff award and was a member of the team that won the 2012 Leighton E. Sissom Innovation and Creativity Award. 

A Cookeville native, Asher has been married for 33 for years. The couple has two sons, one daughter-in-law and two granddaughters. Her oldest son, Tyler, works for State Farm and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree at TTU. Tyler’s wife, Candace, is an elementary school teacher and alumna of TTU. Asher’s youngest son, Kevin, is a firefighter for the Putnam County Fire Department. 

Asher enjoys working with the chemical engineering students and across university units. She especially enjoys her department’s collaborative approach within the College of Engineering and other departments, including business, chemistry, education and nursing. She feels the faculty and staff work together well to assist students in achieving their ultimate goal, a degree in chemical engineering.

The college’s Sissom Award will go to Adam L. Anderson, an assistant professor in TTU’s electrical and computer engineering department.

Anderson earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering at Brigham Young University and his doctorate at University of California, San Diego.

Anderson won the wildcard event and placed second in the preliminaries in the DARPA Challenge event. He will compete again in the finals in March.

Anderson’s research interests include biomedical devices and massive MIMO systems, as applicable to big data networks and communications systems. His wife, Brita, is a graduate student in chemical engineering at TTU. They have six children, all between the ages 2-12.