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Dr. Jacqueline A. Johnson


Dr. Johnson completed her doctorate in solid state physics in the research area of magnetic phase transitions at the University of Liverpool in 1985. She transitioned to working on glass materials after being approached by Pilkington Glass to solve technical problems. She was a Professor in Liverpool until 1995 when she joined Argonne National Laboratory in the United States, where she was introduced to solving the structure of amorphous materials using neutron scattering. After a 2-year period in administration she returned to research to develop a new mammography system using a glass-ceramic plate. In 2007, Dr. Johnson returned to academia at the University of Tennessee Space Institute and continues to synthesize and characterize glasses, glass ceramics and nanomaterials pertaining to medical devices, non-destructive evaluation and image enhancement.




Dr. Charles  E. Johnson


Charles Johnson did his D. Phil. at Oxford in 1955 on nuclear orientation using magnetic hyperfine fields. After a Fulbright fellowship at Berkeley he was among the pioneers of Mössbauer spectroscopy and worked at Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Liverpool. He has published over 300 papers on measurements of magnetic materials, biological molecules and inorganic complexes with applications to alloys, biomedicine, mineralogy, chemistry, archaeology and glasses.





Dr. R. Lee Leonard

Research Assistant Professor

Dr. Leonard received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Tennessee Knoxville (UTK) in the summer of 2015 and became a faculty member of the UTK Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering later that year. Dr. Leonard also holds an M.S. degree in Materials Science and Engineering (2010) from UTK and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (1995) from Tennessee Technological University. He is a member of the American Ceramic Society and has served as a reviewer for the National Science Foundation on multiple occasions. Prior to joining UTSI in early 2009, Dr. Leonard worked for twelve years as a project and tooling engineer in the high pressure aluminum die casting industry.
Dr. Saeed Kamali

Adjunct Professor



Since 2015 Dr. Saeed Kamali has been performing his research at the University of Tennessee Space Institute. His PhD was in experimental condensed matter Physics from Uppsala University, Sweden. He studied aspects of Material Science, especially on magnetism in nano-structured materials such as superlattices and nano-crystallines using various characterization techniques with emphasis on Mössbauer spectroscopy. For Post-Doctoral studies, he joined the Spintronic Division at the Department of Microelectronics and Applied Physics at The Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. Subsequently, he received a high prestige Japanese grant from Japan Society for the Promotion of Science to work at Japanese synchrotron facility, SPring-8, for two years. During 2009-2015 he continued his research at University of California Davis. He is heavily involved in synchrotron radiation research as well. He is also serving as a Physics instructor at Middle Tennessee State University.



Current Students

Ms. Julie King

Ph.D. Candidate

Julie King was born in Mount Airy, NC and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Mathematics from King University in Bristol, TN in 2012. She obtained her Master of Science degree in biomedical engineering in 2015 and Graduate Certificate in engineering management in 2016 from UTSI. Julie is currently a doctoral candidate and graduate research assistant in biomedical engineering for Dr. Johnson. Her research is currently focused on synthesis and characterization of iron nanoparticles




Mr. Adam Evans

Ph.D. Candidate

Adam Evans was born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee and graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2013 with a degree in Biomedical Engineering through the Chancellor’s Honors Program. He arrived at UTSI in the fall of 2014 and completed his Master’s in Biomedical Engineering in August 2016 on fluorochlorozirconate glass ceramics for computed radiography. He has previous research experience with pulsed laser deposition of SiO-doped diamond-like carbon thin films for hydrophilic coatings. Presently, Adam’s Ph.D. research comprises the synthesis and characterization of iron nanoparticles and their application as an MRI contrast agent.




Mr. Charles “Chad” Bond

Ph.D. Student

Chad Bond was raised in Tullahoma, Tennessee and graduated from University of the Cumberlands in May 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. He obtained a Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering in August 2018. Chad is currently pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Engineering. His research uses pulsed laser deposition to synthesize thin film glass ceramics that have applications in medical imaging, photovoltaics, and LEDs.






Mr. Austin Thomas

Masters Student


Austin Thomas is a first-year graduate student at the University of Tennessee Space Institute. He earned his Bachelors degree at The University of Tennessee Knoxville in the field of Materials Science and Engineering. He is now pursuing a PhD in the field of Biomedical Engineering. Austin is a Tennessee native, having grown up in Knoxville. His current research is the development and testing of iron-based cathodes for use in sodium ion batteries.