University of Tennessee

Experts Discuss Role of Analytics and Technology in Aerospace and Defense Panel

April 21, 2016

An aerospace and defense panel discussion at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business convened Thursday, April 14, to discuss the management of technology and innovation.

Aerospace and Defense MBA program students were in Knoxville for one of their on-campus sessions attended.

Retired United States Air Force Maj. Gen. Richard Webber opened the panel discussion by sharing insight into the historical development of today’s national security landscape and looked forward toward priorities that will shape the defense industry of the future.

“Data analytics, especially with all the sensors we have out there now, are increasingly important,” Webber said. “Looking into how we merge these many systems is crucial. Then there is the question of how to operate networks of that magnitude and protect them against vulnerabilities.”

Jody Singer, deputy director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, spoke about the importance of communicating the value of technological innovations to move them from a research setting into the market.

“There are a lot of times when we’ll have good technology and good ideas, but we’re finding more and more – particularly in the world of NASA – that we have to be able to tell a story about that technology to sell it,” Singer said.

Alex Miller, founder of the college’s Aerospace and Defense MBA program, said the high caliber of the invited panelists is a testament to Haslam’s reputation for quality within the aerospace and defense industries.

“These panelists have deep experience representing the perspective of the operator of technology, as well as the perspective of the supplier from both industry and government,” Miller said. “These panelists represent the sorts of organizations and companies we serve in Haslam’s Executive MBA program for Aerospace and Defense.”

Other panelists included Robert Mitchell, former vice president of Northrop Grumman Aerospace, and Ray Sellers, assistant program executive officer with the U.S. Army for aviation engineering and technology.