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UT Space Institute to Host First Two Finalists for Executive Director

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Colonel Keith Bearden and MArk Whorton photos

Finalists are being selected in the search for a new director of the UT Space Institute in Tullahoma and will lead public forums for faculty and staff in the next few weeks.

The first two are United States Air Force Colonel Keith L. Bearden, a deputy director at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, and Mark S. Whorton, president and chief technologist at Teledyne Optech.

UT Knoxville, UT Space Institute and UT System employees are encouraged to submit feedback via this online form.

Col. Bearden (CV) will make his presentation on Monday at 4:00 p.m. (EDT)/3:00 p.m. (CDT) in Room H-111 of the UT Space Institute, located at 411 B.H. Goethert Parkway in Tullahoma.

  • Earned his doctorate in mechanical engineering from Colorado State University in 2000, after earning his bachelor’s and Master’s in mechanical and aerospace engineering, respectively, from the Air Force
  • Has spent eight years at Wright Patterson on a wide variety of aeronautical projects
  • Served as a squadron commander at Robins Air Force Base;
  • Taught engineering as an assistant professor at the US Air Force Academy
  • Has led or served as a key member of efforts to streamline and identify common goals of the US Air Force, Navy, Army, and Department of Defense.

Whorton (CV) will make his presentation May 16 at 4:00 p.m. (EDT)/3:00 p.m. (CDT) in Room H-111 of the UT Space Institute.

  • Earned his doctorate in aerospace engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1997, after graduating with honors from the University of Alabama in 1987 and also earning his Master’s there in 1989, both in aerospace engineering
  • Has worked at Teledyne Optech since 2009, becoming its president in 2015
  • Worked at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in a variety of roles and on a number of projects
  • Taught as assistant professor at Tennessee State University
  • Is a Fellow and Board of Directors member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Those unable to attend the presentations in person will be able to view an archived webcast and provide feedback.

More information about the finalists is available on the UT Knoxville Office of the Chancellor website.

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Category: Headlines