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TULLAHOMA, Tenn. — A University of Tennessee Space Institute research professor has been named senior scientist for the International Space Station, NASA announced.

Dr. Raymond F. Askew said his job is to represent to space station program managers the interests of the non-governmental scientific community.

Space station development has seen many changes “driven both by technical issues and public policy concerns for its mission,” Askew said.

Askew said he will also help NASA determine the proper balance of space station uses — for science, technology demonstrations and commercial exploration.

Scientists and engineers are scheduled to begin assembling the space station in 1997.

The senior scientist position was created by NASA in the mid-1980s when the space station program began. Askew’s appointment is for three years.

Askew, a physicist and professor of engineering science, taught and did research at Auburn University 35 years before joining UTSI this year.