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Mark Whorton, new executive director of the UT Space Institute.
Mark Whorton, new executive director of the UT Space Institute.

Mark Whorton has been named the new executive director of the UT Space Institute in Tullahoma.

He will begin on July 18.

Whorton currently is the chief technologist of Teledyne Brown Engineering in Huntsville, Alabama, and president of Teledyne Optech Inc. in Kiln, Mississippi. His expertise is in modeling, designing, and analyzing control systems for aerospace vehicles.

“Mark brings strong qualifications from his work in government, private industry, and higher education,” said Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek. “We’re pleased to have him on board in this leadership role.”

Whorton previously was an adjunct professor at Tennessee State University’s Center of Excellence in Information Systems, where he worked on next-generation large-scale ground-based telescopes. He also was a manager at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, where he led teams designing navigation, guidance, and control systems for manned and unmanned space vehicles.

“UTSI has a proud legacy of significant contributions to our state and our nation, and it is an honor to have the opportunity to join the UTSI team,” Whorton said. “We have great people and world-class facilities and I am excited about the opportunities ahead of us to build on that foundation with excellence in research and graduate education.”

Whorton has a doctorate in aerospace engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in aerospace engineering from the University of Alabama.

The UT Space Institute is a graduate education and research institution adjacent to the US Air Force Arnold Engineering Development Center. UTSI was established in 1964 and is internationally recognized for graduate study and research in engineering, physics, mathematics, and aviation systems.


Charles Primm (865-974-5180,