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Colorado Visitors Briefed on UTSI’s Numerous Short Course Opportunities

Air Force representatives from Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs were briefed recently on a multitude of University of Tennessee Space Institute courses that might fit into their Space Professional Development Training Program.

Maj. Melissa Sandberg and Mike Reinhard from the Colorado program and Lt. Col. Kim Nelson of Arnold Engineering Development Center were told that UTSI’s credit and non-credit courses could be tailored to meet their needs.

Reinhard and Sandberg were discussing with AEDC military personnel how the training program might impact their career paths and visited UTSI on Oct. 24 to hear specifics of the Space Institute’s short course program.

Donald C. Daniel, UT associate vice president and chief operating officer of UTSI, described the Institute’s dual missions as a graduate school and research center and emphasized the “support network” existing between AEDC and the Institute.

Becky Stines, director of continuing education at UTSI, explained that 20 or more courses – on and off-site — are offered yearly, co-sponsored by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the Society of Flight Test Engineers.

“We have world-class researchers and educators among our faculty,” Stines said, noting that the Institute has offered a wide variety of courses for more than three decades. She stressed that specific courses can be offered on site in Colorado.

Professor Frank Collins discussed his new course scheduled for April on “Ground-Based Low Earth Orbit Simulation.” Emphasizing that “you can’t test one thing only,” Collins said, “There is a synergism. In this course we will examine synergistic atmospheric effects on space craft performance as well as simulation of atmospheric effects in ground-based facilities, which is difficult to do. What the course is all about is applied quantum mechanics.”

Gary A. Flandro, Boling Chair Professor of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, described numerous courses for professional development of space flight, emphasizing that many of the courses are “mission oriented.” The courses – ranging from elements of spacecraft design to solving problems of combustion instability in liquid rockets – can be tailored to meet specific demands, he said.

Although the courses are designed for an intensive one-week presentation, “they can last a week or a full semester according to your needs,” Flandro said. “The depth of presentation can be adjusted to fit the needs of students.”

Greg Sedrick, professor of Industrial and Information Engineering and chair of the Engineering Management Program, described courses designed to “bridge the technology-to-business gap.” While scientists and engineers are not “always known for their people skills,” Sedrick said it is important not only to manage resources but also to “lead people.”

Discussing the Engineering Management “distance learning” program, he said UTSI’s program is delivered “throughout Tennessee, the United States, and all over the world,” sometimes reaching students at sea. UTSI also is program manager for the National Science Foundation’s EPSCOR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) in Tennessee, Sedrick pointed out.

UTSI’s wide variety of available credit and short courses can be “tailored to your needs,” the professor said.