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Each year, ETEC honors members of the Oak Ridge community with the Muddy Boot Award and Postma Young Professional Medal, which serve as a tribute to individuals who make East Tennessee a stronger region through their hard work and community activities. The awards are given once a year at the ETEC Annual Meeting. This event is usually held in early December. More information about the Annual Meeting can be found on the 'Our Events' page.


They will remain open until September 19, 2024.

In 1973, the founders of the East Tennessee Economic Council (then the Roane Anderson Economic Council) created this award to reflect the efforts of the Manhattan Project founders of Oak Ridge, who worked through adverse conditions – sometimes actual rivers of mud – to build this community. Each year thereafter, ETEC has honored those who have continued to help build and bolster the community’s economic base.

The award is given to those who go above the call of duty—like those who served the nation during the Manhattan Project—to make the community, the state of Tennessee, and the nation a better place to live and work. Over 75 people have received the award since that time. To view more information and to see all of the Muddy Boot award winners, click here.


In 2005, the ETEC Board of Directors created this award to honor young professionals who have made an impact and fostered a community culture in Oak Ridge and the region. Former ORNL Director Herman Postma epitomized this community spirit during his life; and his wife, Pat, continues the tradition of service today through her involvement in the Oak Ridge community.

This award is sponsored by Amentum, the University of Tennessee, UT-Battelle, TVA, and CROET and is given in conjunction with the Muddy Boot Award each year at the ETEC Annual Meeting & Awards Celebration. To view more information and see all of the Postma Young Professional Medal recipients, click here.

award winners

Awards Displays

In the year of the City of Oak Ridge’s 50th Anniversary, it was fitting to celebrate those individuals who have worked to build the programs and community that make Oak Ridge special. Over the years, many of these people received Muddy Boot Awards and Postma Young Professional Medals. ETEC commissioned two special displays to honor these awardees. These impressive “awards walls” were unveiled in 2009 at a reception in the lobby of the American Museum of Science and Energy (AMSE).

Today, the displays are located in the lobby of the UT Outreach Center where ETEC’s Friday morning meetings are held.

Award Winner

How to Nominate

ETEC accepts nominations for the Muddy Boot Award and the Postma Young Professional Medal once a year.

Nominations are now open again on June 28, 2024 and will close on September 19, 2024. Click here to submit a nomination. Materials required are a resume/bio of the nominee and a letter of recommendation. (Multiple letters for the same nominee are not necessary.)

The awards will be presented at the ETEC Annual Meeting & Awards Celebration to be held in early December 2024.

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