University of Tennessee

Aerospace and Defense Program Begins Industry Immersion in St. Louis

June 20, 2016

Forty-five students, faculty and staff from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business are convening in St. Louis, Missouri, this week for industry-based business learning.

The group from Haslam includes all 37 students in the Aerospace & Defense MBA (ADMBA) program and several of the program’s professors and staff. Participants are visiting key aerospace and defense industry employers to learn about core business processes, challenges and best practices. ADMBA director, Jim Wansley, said the seven-day, industry immersion provides the program’s mid-career, working students with invaluable practical learning and career broadening perspective.

“We are blessed to attract dozens of high-potential professionals from all over this industry to our program every year,” said Wansley. “The experiential learning in the industry immersion residence period helps reinforce and complement the teaching we do in Haslam classrooms back in Knoxville.”

Haslam professors team with aerospace and defense employers to do educate their students. “Top companies serve on the college’s Aerospace and Defense Advisory Board to assist in shaping programs and to help the college deliver high impact learning,” said Andy White, institute director and faculty lead for the trip. “This career-focused learning, which has been a part of the program since its inception, makes a huge difference for our students and for their employers.”

The class of 2016 includes students from the military acquisition community, defense contractors, aviation companies and industry suppliers. Haslam professors will teach traditional academic sessions on weekends to complement weekday industry visits. Highlights include:

  • Boeing Defense, Space and Security – The group will tour the F-15 production line and learn about the company’s strategy for optimizing innovation and harvesting intellectual property.
  • GKN Aerospace North America and LMI Aerospace – The group will visit two of the industry’s top suppliers to look at lean production techniques, operations excellence and logistics.
  • S. Transportation Command and the Air Force’s, Air Mobility Command at Scott Air Force Base – Faculty and students will learn about how the military manages transportation and logistics to support global military requirements.
  • Jet Aviation MRO – The group will visit with the St. Louis aircraft maintenance and service operation of business jet giant, Gulfstream to learn about optimizing maintenance quality and operational reliability and safety.

The program has held industry immersion residence periods around the world and the country. Past sites have included Western Europe, Australia, China, Japan and Brazil. Domestic sites have included Charleston, South Carolina, the Tennessee Valley and Seattle, Washington.

The ADMBA is the centerpiece of a portfolio of business education, short course training programs and applied research offered by Haslam’s Aerospace and Defense Business Institute. More than 300 of the industry’s top leaders have graduated from the ADMBA program since 2004. Faculty members from the college have delivered more than $58 million of applied research as well as custom course development and delivery for the Air Force in two multi-year contracts since 2006.

CONTACT: Andy White, director, Aerospace & Defense Business Institute; or (865) 974-2027.