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UTSI Chief Invites Public to ‘Cherished’ Lecture; Sees ‘New Excitements’ for Institute’s Future

The upcoming Quick Goethert Lecture at The University of Tennessee Space Institute is one of its “most cherished traditions,” John E. Caruthers says, and is occurring amidst a “new excitement” about UTSI’s future.

The UT associate vice president and UTSI’s chief operating officer is urging the general public to join students, staff and faculty for the free lecture at 4 p.m. Thursday (Oct. 20), saying, “This lecture is the most celebrated event of all at UTSI, having attracted top national and international scientists and aerospace leaders over the years.”

The fact that UTSI Professor Gary A. Flandro is delivering this lecture makes it even more special, Caruthers said, adding, “This is only the second time in our history that one of our own professors has been selected to deliver the lecture.”

The public also is invited to watch a “fly-in” of gliders at Tullahoma Airport from 10 a.m. till noon the day of the lecture. At least four “birds” will be featured and special guests will include world-glider champion Dick Butler of Manchester, Leo Benetti-Longhini, holder of a world distance record in his Silent self-launching glider, and Gerhard Waibel, world-renowned sailplane designer for the Schleicher glider manufacturer in Germany.

Caruthers cited “a new excitement” about the future of the Institute as an added cause for the surrounding communities to join in the celebration. “Much progress has been made at UTSI during the past year,” Caruthers said. “I feel a new excitement taking hold. Jack Britt, Executive Vice President, has told me that there is growing optimism and enthusiasm at Knoxville for the Institute. The chair of our Support Council, William Kimzey, reported to his executive committee that he has seen great progress at UTSI in the last six months.

“Even Governor Bredesen has asked how he might help. Our cafeteria is open and buzzing again with the talk of the Institute’s business among faculty, administrators, staff, and students – and the food has never been better. We invite the public to come help us honor one of our own and celebrate with the optimism of new beginnings during one of our most cherished traditions.”

Well over 100 have made reservations to attend the banquet that follows the lecture in UTSI’s cafeteria. (No reservations are needed to attend the lecture in the auditorium.)

Professor Ing Wolfgang Alles, Flight Dynamics Chair at The Technical University of Aachen, who is representing Aachen for the event, will be joined by two Aachen exchange students at UTSI – Daniel Banuti and Jens Niewoehner.

Flandro, who has held the Boling Chair of Excellence in Space Propulsion at UTSI since 1991, is a professor in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering. A glider enthusiast, his glider will be on hand for the fly-in.

“Flandro is most famous for his design of the “Grand Tour” mission of the epic Voyager mission to the outer planets,” Caruthers said. “He continues to be known for his visionary scientific innovations. His lecture is titled ‘Space Flight: New Pathways.’ I know that Gary has worked hard to be sure that the lecture is interesting and entertaining to the general public.”

This is the 28th Quick-Goethert Lecture, which was established in 1974 by the Technical University of Aachen and UT in honor of the late B.H. Goethert, first UTSI director, and the late Ing A.W. Quick from Aachen. Flandro will present the lecture in Aachen next year. In the lecture, he plans to highlight the former Manchester’s contributions not only to the Space Institute but to aeronautics.