​UTIA Biosystems Engineering Professor Wins AgResearch Impact Award​

Dr. Doug Hayes, UT AgResearch

Dr. Doug Hayes (center) , a Professor in Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science, is the recipient of the UT AgResearch Impact Award.​ Also pictured are UTIA Chancellor Tim Cross (right) and Bill Brown, dean of UT AgResearch. Photo courtesy UTIA.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture recently presented several awards to top faculty, staff, researchers and extension experts. More than two dozen people were recognized at UTIA’s annual Awards and Promotions luncheon held on the UTIA campus in Knoxville July 28, 2017. Many of the awards are gifts made possible by past faculty, alumni and friends of the Institute.

Dr. Doug Hayes, a Professor in Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science, is the recipient of the UT AgResearch Impact Award. The honor is presented to a faculty member whose efforts have a profound effect on improving the efficiency, sustainability and economic viability of the food and fiber industry of rural Tennessee.

“It is a great honor to receive the AgResearch Impact award,” Hayes says. “This award reflects how my work has been blessed by outstanding collaborators and students, and the support I have received from BESS, AgResearch and UTIA. I share this award with my collaborators and colleagues, since this award is more about teamwork than the efforts of an individual.”

Hayes leads a UT AgResearch program where he studies interfacial behaviors in both biological and agricultural systems. He also coordinates a $4.5 million dollar project funded by the USDA that involves 20 people from three different universities – researching the long-term impacts of biodegradable plastic mulch use. Hayes is looking into how the mulch might impact sustainable production of fruits and vegetables and the soil where we grow those products. 

Hayes also collaborated with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory to investigate micro- and nano-plastics in the soil. This research highlighted any potential harm that might come to organisms in the marine environment, and involves highly technical small-angle neutron scattering as a means to protect our soils. Hayes has also done research involving sugar esters – which are used in the production of foods and personal care products.

UTIA Chancellor Dr. Tim Cross hosted the award winners, and praised them for their work. “The people at the UT Institute of Agriculture word hard every day to deliver real life solutions to our many stakeholders,” Cross says. “Recognition of the outstanding work by our award winners inspires all of us to strive for excellence and make a difference in the lives of Tennesseans.”

Through its mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions. ag.tennessee.edu.



Charles Denney, 865-382-8058 (mobile), cmdenney@utk.edu

Doug Hayes, 865-974-7991, dhayes1@tennessee.edu