Pellissippi State Community College has recognized Curt Maxey of Curt Maxey Technologies as its Distinguished Alumni Award winner for 2020.
The award, sponsored this year by FirstBank, is given to an individual in recognition of significant professional achievement, service to the community and support of the college and the Pellissippi State Foundation.
Maxey, who retired from Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 2015, was the first in his family to go to college. He worked his way through school, first as a janitor for restaurants and later as an electronics technician, graduating with his associate of engineering technology in 1979.
“When I stepped onto Pellissippi State’s ‘State Tech’ campus on Liberty Street in 1976, I was a fun-loving young man fresh out of high school with a life-long passion for science, but little sense of academic direction,” Maxey said. “I could not have foreseen what that education would enable me to achieve as I worked with industry, joined a national laboratory, completed my engineering degree and worked on programs of international significance.
“At this stage of my life and career, I am pleased to be a very ordinary man who has been privileged to make some extraordinary contributions. There is no question that I am where I am in 2020 because Pellissippi State was where it was in 1976.”
Maxey started his career at Philips Consumer Electronics, where he met his wife, Helene, before moving on to ORNL while finishing his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. As a longtime research and development staff engineer, Maxey was awarded 15 patents and earned multiple awards of national and international significance, including three R&D100 awards, DOE’s Outstanding Mentor Award, ORNL’s Inventor of The Year and multiple technology transfer awards. Maxey also served as the lead technical consultant for the West Tennessee Solar Farm near Memphis.
Since his retirement, Maxey has started a consulting business, where he works with clients in the chemical processing, nuclear power, automotive, advanced materials and textiles industries.
Learn more about Pellissippi State alumni here.
Lesli Bales-Sherrod does marketing and writing for Pellissippi State Community College.