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Aerial Shot of UTSI

SkillBridge Internship Program

The University of Tennessee Space Institute (UTSI) is an approved DoD SkillBridge partner. UTSI’s SkillBridge Internship program connects service members with well-known aerospace faculty and researchers to mentor and assist with the transition to civilian life. This program is designed to expand upon the service member’s military experience and enhance their skills, knowledge, and experience. Service members that participate in the SkillBridge program still receive their military compensation and benefits. Service members intern alongside UT faculty, staff, and students at no cost to the service member.

About the Space Institute

Located on a satellite campus of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK), in Tullahoma, Tennessee, the campus is adjacent to Arnold Air Force Base (AEDC), the epicenter of US aerospace ground testing.  The campus is approximately an one-hour drive from Nashville, Chattanooga, and Huntsville – which places the campus within driving distance to Redstone Arsenal and Fort Campbell.  Within the Northern Alabama – Middle Tennessee area there are also several large aerospace industry partners, such as Lockheed-Martin, Boeing, Schmiede, I3, Cubic, Dynetics, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Raytheon, Microcraft, Jacobs.

Many of the internships offered through this program either partially or fully support the research on campus.  UTSI is home to over 80,000 square feet of laboratories with world-class facilities and instrumentation.  In fact, UTSI houses many of UT’s experimental aerospace testing platforms, such as:

  • Mach 2 Blowdown Tunnel (8″ x 8″ Test-Section)
  • Mach 2.3 Blowdown Tunnel (6″ x 6″ Test-Section)
  • Mach 4 Ludwieg Tube (24″ x 24″ Test-Section)
  • Mach 7 Ludwieg Tube (18″ x 18″ Test-Section)

Internship Positions Available

The grants and contracts (G&C) coordinator will support the UTSI Office of Grants and Contracts by assisting with tasks related to proposal preparation, submittal and distribution of awards.   Duties may include entering data into the University internal tracking system, Cayuse, to ensure efficient and up-to-date information for reporting purposes.   This position will provide support, as necessary, to proposal submissions that utilize a variety of industrial or government portals (federal, state, industry). The coordinator will use the federal acquisition regulations (FAR) and the defense federal acquisition regulations (DFAR) to determine the applicability of FAR/DFAR grant/contract requirements. The coordinator will also evaluate non-research contracts for requirements utilizing the standard contract manual as developed by the UT System office.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Coordinate abstracts, statements of work, letters of commitment, and other requested information required by the RFP and/or solicitation.
  • Assist with uploading necessary documents into Cayuse.
  • Assist with submitting grants and proposals in federal, state, and other various websites, as well as university portals.
  • Use the federal acquisition regulations (FAR) and the defense federal acquisition regulations (DFAR) to determine the applicability of FAR/DFAR grant/contract requirements.
  • Evaluate non-research contracts for requirements utilizing the standard contract manual as developed by the UT System office.

Applicant will co-instruct a Master’s level or undergraduate course in aerospace or mechanical engineering in partnership with an experienced faculty member who regularly teaches the course.  The applicant will be provided with course materials and mentorship, but will also be encouraged to draw from their professional experience to enrich the content of the course.

Successful applicants with interest in the area may also be coached on the development of academic research programs and be given an opportunity to develop experience in the proposal and management of educational research programs.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Instruct two 75-minute lectures a week.
  • Advise individual students enrolled in the course during routine office hours and ad hoc appointments.
  • Grade exams and assignments related to the assigned course.
  • Suggest additional content based on professional experience to enrich course content.
  • Help plan for the development of future courses and curriculum development.
  • Develop graduate courses in their area of research to facilitate departmental growth.
  • Interested applicants will also be provided an opportunity to contribute to sponsored research programs with the goal of broadening the applicant’s experience and record of professional accomplishments in this area.

This position combines the responsibilities of facility security, as it relates to our Facility Clearance (FCL) of SECRET, and export control, International Traffic in Arms (ITAR), and controlled unclassified information (CUI) regulations and restrictions.  The Industrial Security Specialist (ISS) will be responsible for reviewing governmental regulations related to classified, export control, ITAR, and CUI information, ensuring that UTSI procedures are following these regulations.  The ISS will communicate technical and regulatory information to the UTSI leadership, faculty, students, and staff.  The ISS will collaborate with the UTSI Research contract office, as it relates to research contract proposals, and the UTSI IT office, regarding cybersecurity in industry.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Review UTSI procedures to ensure compliance with the National Industrial Security Program (NISP) and the National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual (NISPOM).
  • Review security briefing and training material, make improvements as needed.  Conduct security briefings as needed.
  • Develop and implement an informational security awareness program to be displayed on campus information TV screens.
  • Assist with the security program including, but not limited to, physical security, access control, video surveillance, and personnel security measures at the facility in preparation for the campus to go from a “non-possessing” to “possessing” Facility Clearance (FCL). 
  • Ensure the institute is in compliance with Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency regulations.
  • Develop “in person” training sessions for institute personnel that complies with federal export control regulations, i.e., International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), Export Administration Regulations (EAR), and Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) and Deemed Exports.
  • Interact with the UTSI contract office with the review of research proposals with export control / ITAR / CUI requirements. Provide the UTSI contract office with an export control determination.
  • Coordinate with UTSI IT department to ensure the designated ITAR office is properly equipped with secure and encrypted hard drives and computers.
  • Assist with the development and implementation of the UT Visitors Engaged in Research program policy and processes for the UTSI campus.

The Program Manager will be responsible for customer growth, service delivery, and project management and oversight for one of four business areas inside the University of Tennessee Space Institute- Huntsville Research office.  The focus of this position is to develop relationships with government, industry, and academia to drive growth, create research opportunities and execute projects to support the University of Tennessee and its customers.  The manager will use their knowledge of customers, industry, and competition to identify and pursue opportunities for growth for the University of Tennessee in the Huntsville Alabama region.  They will also work with team members within UT to manage communication and coordination needs of projects and administer the fiscal, administrative and data management responsibilities.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Project oversight and management in one of the following four areas:
    • U.S. Army (AvMC, AMC, SMD, Redstone Military Community, etc)
    • NASA
    • Civilian Military Contract Entities
    • Civilian Space Entities
  • Establish and promote multi-disciplinary, multi-investigator teams across organizations and disciplines for the purpose of competing successfully for large scale projects, research centers, and training program opportunities.
  • Establish, develop, and sustain working relationships and serve as a key contact for federal agencies and corporations in Huntsville including Program Managers, Advisory Panels, Chief Technology Officers (CTOs), etc.
  • Use situational awareness to fully understand the specific research priorities and personnel needs of potential sponsors and partners in the Huntsville region.
  • Prepare and present university research capabilities to potential sponsors and partners.
  • Facilitate connections between university investigators and potential customers including arranging for meetings, conference calls, workshops, presentations, demonstrations, collaborations, and proposer’s days participation.
  • Work with staff and provide input to develop marketing materials, research agreements, and contract agreements, as necessary.
  • Maintain a current inventory of prospects and projects.
  • Attend and participate in agency sponsored meetings and conferences.
  • Coordinate and manage the logistics of outreach activities, to include but not limited to personnel exchanges between sponsor and university personnel (undergraduates, graduate students, post docs, staff, and faculty).
  • Coordinates with university and partner organization to prepare proposals, business plans, proposal work statements, operational budgets, and specifications.
  • Strong judgment and decision-making abilities.
  • The ability to multi-task, manage multiple projects, and work well in a high-intensity environment with strict attention to detail and deadlines.

The technical specialist will be responsible for supporting the research and/or machine shop operations on site at the UTSI campus, located in Tullahoma, TN.  This position will provide general knowledge of the operations, machining, facilities, laboratories, and support equipment on campus with an opportunity to focus on one support area if desired.  The technical specialist will work with the UT team to manage and prioritize the support of the advanced aerospace research laboratories and facilities, in the form of maintenance, fabrication, design, and the safe operation of research apparatuses.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Fabricates, installs, operates, maintains, inspects, and repairs specialized equipment per regulations, codes, and professional practices.
  • Troubleshoots and diagnoses a broad range of scientific instrumentation and equipment.
  • Fabricates and assembles components as specified.
  • Selects materials and components needed for completion of designs, fabrications, and repairs.
  • Reads, interprets, and uses blueprints and schematics, instructions, manuals, or shop drawings to understand specifications of work.
  • Performs maintenance and repair on malfunctioning equipment to include modification, replacement of parts, adjustment, and calibration.

Internship applications are accepted throughout the year for most positions.

If interested in one of the positions available, please fill out this form.

For those interested in the Instructor/Faculty Member internship, start dates are January 1, June 1, and August 1 to coincide with the start of the academic semesters. 

If you have any questions about the program, please reach out to:

Sarah Fried

DISCLAIMER OF ENDORSEMENT: The information provided in this page is for informational purposes only and neither constitutes nor implies any endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of any entity, product, service, or organization by the Department of Defense SkillBridge program or any part of the Department of Defense.

The University of Tennessee is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA institution in the provision of its education and employment programs and services. All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment without regard to, and will not be discriminated against on the basis of, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, or covered veteran status.