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Environmental Health & Safety Hires New Assistant Director

Portrait of EHS Assistant Director Brian PayneA long-time safety, risk, and crisis management expert has been named the new assistant director of UT Environmental Health & Safety.

Brian Payne brings almost 30 years of experience to his new role, which he began August 3. As assistant director, he will oversee the department’s training and development, and several units including Occupational Health, Lab Safety, Radiation Safety, Industrial Safety, Environmental Programs, and Fire & Life Safety.

In addition to strengthening the safety culture at UT, Payne desires to collaborate with the EHS team in creating what he dubs an EHS Center of Excellence at the Knoxville campus and eventually in the UT System. The center would focus on keeping campus safe and healthy, while also arming students with the knowledge needed for a safe and healthful work life upon graduation.

“The vision is to not only teach our Vols about protecting themselves from the risks of the workplace and being environmentally responsible, but also have them become change agents for their future workplaces as they share their knowledge there,” he said.

Payne comes to UT from The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company where he served as business continuity global program manager and developed resilience strategies for the company’s ever-changing global market.

The Alabama native earned a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Human Resource Management from Troy State University in Troy, Alabama, and a Master of Engineering from the University of Alabama-Birmingham.

Prior to Goodyear, he served 22 years in the United States Army Aviation Branch as a Blackhawk pilot with multiple combat tours.

Brian and his wife Denise are parents to three children, Emily, Spencer and Georgia.

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