Staff

Ray Knowis

Program Manager

Mr. Knowis joined the staff at the University of the Tennessee Space Institute in 2018 as a Program Manager focusing on the Hypersonics Programs within the Horizon Group. Working closely with Dr. John Schmisseur, he has program oversight responsibility for personnel resources allocation, contract reporting and budget compliance. Prior to joining the staff, Ray was the sole proprietor of Management Consulting Services, the Senior Vice President for an aerospace firm, Micro Craft, Inc., and as Corporate Vice President of Programs, Mr. Knowis served as the Executive Program Manager on all major contracts. Mr. Knowis earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Vanderbilt University in 1976 and his M.S. in Engineering Management from the University of Tennessee in 1995. He has held memberships in SME, ASME and AIAA serving on the Ground Test Technical Committee and the Test Articles Working Group. He is an AIAA Associate Fellow.

Kirk Davenport

Research Associate II

Kirk Davenport joined the staff of the University of the Tennessee Space Institute in July of 2018. In his role as Research Associate, he provides engineering and research support for both current and future Hypersonic facilities at the University of Tennessee Space Institute.

Before working with the Horizon group Mr. Davenport helped to design and commission wind tunnels,  test facilities and facility support systems for government, academic and commercial clients at Jacobs Technology. Prior to his time there, Kirk worked at Varian Medical Systems where he developed process documentation and test systems for prototype x-ray tube manufacturing. Kirk has also supported the University of Tennessee Space Institute previously in his career during two separate internships with the institute.

Mr. Davenport received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Utah where he served on the Undergraduate Student Advisory Committee and as a Tau Beta Pi officer. He has held membership in ASME and the Society for Science and the Public.