Dr. Jon Kevin Loebbaka (’85)

Category: Alumni Professional Achievement | Awards

2023 Alumni Professional Achievement Award Winner

Dr. Jon Kevin Loebbaka, a 1985 graduate of the Tickle College of Engineering, holds a longstanding personal connection to Knoxville and the UT system. Both of Loebbaka’s parents and his father-in-law retired as professors at UT Martin. His wife, Kathy, is also a graduate of the Tickle College of Engineering. Their children, Kendall and D.J., were born in Knoxville.

Loebbaka initiated his career through a variety of engineering, maintenance, and operating roles for companies such as ALCOA, ALCAN, Indalex, Castech, and Easco. As COO of the Universal Alloy Corporation, Loebbaka held P&L, sales, and operating responsibilities for UAC’s European and Asian aerospace facilities. Loebbaka, now semi-retired, is a senior advisor to UAC Aerospace. Loebbaka additionally negotiated $2.3 billion in aerospace OEM and Tier 1 contracts for UAC Europe and UAC Vietnam. UAC’s work statement included fuselage detailed parts and complete floor structures for commercial aircrafts, including the A350, A330, A320, A220, 787, 767, and 737. 

Several awards and accolades supplement Loebbaka’s career, including UT’s 1983 Chancellor Award for Extraordinary Contributions to Campus Life. In 2015, UAC was awarded both the Airbus and Boeing Top Supplier Awards in the same year, an unequaled feat in the industry. In addition to titles including Airbus SQIP Award for the implementation of AS9145, PFG Supplier of the Year, and Sonaca Supplier of the Year, Loebbaka was named an honorary citizen of Dumbrăvița, Romania, for promoting socio-economic and community health. Loebbaka’s extensive professional experiences and education, initiated by a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from UT, supplement his many published papers and conference presentations.

The Loebbakas founded the UT Loebbaka Engineering Endowment of Excellence. Having resided in Romania and Vietnam for a decade, they established the International School of Transylvania in Baia Mare, Romania; the school focuses on English language competency and STEM preparation in grades K-12 and provides summer educational camps for the community’s children. 

In his free time, Loebbaka is a musician, able to play the guitar, mandolin, piano, banjo, ukulele, and violin. He has performed across Europe and the US. His band opened for Foreigner at the Temecula Balloon and Wine Festival. Loebbaka additionally enjoys fishing for walleye and muskie in Canada, fly fishing for trout in Montana, and coaching youth sports, including football, baseball, and basketball. He and his wife divide their time between their primary homes in Ball Ground, Georgia, and Morson, Ontario, Canada, and frequently visit their children and granddaughters.