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UT launches aerospace and defense business institute

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville's, Haslam College of Business, in partnership with the UT Office of Research, has launched a new institute to better organize and build aerospace- and defense-related research, education and training.

The UT Aerospace and Defense Business Institute will coordinate the college's services to students and employers throughout the industry.

The Haslam College of Business regularly provides business education and consultation work to every branch of the United States military, NASA, and major aerospace and defense companies in addition to its work with smaller suppliers and service corporations in the industry. The UT Aerospace and Defense Master of Business Administration program—which will be housed under the new institute—has graduated more than 250 top leaders from the military and private companies since its inception in 2004.

The college's connections to aerospace and defense include research, teaching and support performed in conjunction with government partnerships. The Haslam College of Business has been awarded contracts totaling more than $58 million by the U.S. Air Force for applied research, curriculum development, instruction and application support. Since winning the contract in 2006, the college's professors have conducted research and delivered courses to improve Air Force business strategies and models with contractors, and defined best practices in aviation and missile maintenance.

"This new institute will bring the Aerospace and Defense MBA, government partnerships and the college's executive and nondegree offerings in areas such as operations excellence, supply chain management and business leadership, under one umbrella," said Steve Mangum, dean and Stokely Foundation Leadership Chair of the Haslam College of Business. "Our faculty and staff apply their expertise to real problems to create leaders who make a difference in business and industry. The Aerospace and Defense Business Institute will continue this tradition of excellence."

Andy White, former director of the Aerospace and Defense MBA program, will serve as director of the institute. Before his work at the Haslam College of Business, he spent 20 years as an officer in the U.S. Air Force. James Cody, a retired Air Force colonel, directs work on the college's Air Force contract and oversees delivery of defense-tailored nondegree programs and supporting research and service efforts.

The Aerospace and Defense Business Institute will support defense systems from beginning to end—from conception of new projects to training and deployment—by providing a full spectrum of research, development and product support.

"We expect the institute to help us sustain and expand work with this industry for the good of our nation, UT and the state of Tennessee," said Dan Stewart, UT's associate vice president for research and a former executive director of Air Force Materiel Command. "In time, we believe the institute will also foster more interdisciplinary research and service in every aspect of the aerospace and defense business sector. UT's ability to do that sets us apart. Our clients and partners in this industry recognize that and value it."

Press release issued by University of Tennessee, Haslam College on January 22, 2015


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