Skip to main content

Former NASA astrophysics director and UT alumnus Frank Martin will deliver a keynote address about team building at the UT Teaching and Learning Innovation Symposium on Wednesday, November 2. The symposium and Martin’s visit are sponsored by the Tennessee Teaching and Learning Center, Experience Learning, and UT Libraries.

Martin’s talk, “Team Building and the NASA 4D system,” will begin at 3:45 p.m. in Hodges Library. It is free and open to the public.

Martin’s career with NASA and Lockheed Martin included science mission operations on Apollo 16 and Apollo 17 and responsibility for servicing missions to the Hubble Space Telescope. He is a former recipient of NASA’s Outstanding Leadership Medal.

Martin is now a NASA consultant with a focus on humans in space, as well as a consultant on team development. Since the 1990s, he has delivered more than 100 workshops on the 4D system originally designed for NASA team building.

The 4D system focuses on eight behaviors:

  • Mutual respect and open communication
  • Willful collaboration
  • Authentic relationships absent the anger of exclusion
  • Trustworthiness and efficient work performance
  • Discovering and prioritizing unacknowledged elephants in the room
  • Being fully committed to finding solutions
  • Detecting and steering clear of drama
  • Clarifying roles, accountability, and authority to gain efficiency

Martin received his doctorate in physics from UT in 1971.

“Dr. Martin is ­very enthused about coming to UT for the first time as a guest, to speak with faculty and students on a variety of topics from forming teams and learning to work with teams to working on complex projects with research teams,” said Taimi Olsen, director of the TennTLC. “I think he will be an excellent source of information and inspiration to our faculty and students who are and will be involved with Experience Learning teamwork.”

Martin also will visit with students in various leadership classes, and he’ll talk to engineering and geology students about NASA projects. He will also lead a faculty training on the 4D system on Wednesday morning. For more information about attending that session, email

Learn more about the symposium here.