University of Tennessee
Materials Science & Engineering Department

Marlena Alexander's Flyover
Knoxville, TN, September 29, 2023

Marlena Alexander is an award winning undergraduate researcher in her junior year in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. Not only does she have experience developing new high-performance electronic materials, but she also happens to be a Senior Airman in the 134th Aerial Refueling Wing at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base. Marlena works as an Environmental and Electrical Systems Specialist in the maintenance squadron.

The Air Force gives out special opportunities for Airmen who show exceptional performance in their duties called incentive flights, which typically involve flying in the cockpit of a jet. Marlena participated in an incentive flight in an F-16 Fighting Falcon from McEntire Air Force Base in South Carolina. The fighter jets came to Knoxville for Saturday's football game for the flyover of Neyland Stadium before the Volunteers took on the South Carolina Gamecocks.

Marlena participated in the practice run on the Friday before the game, when they went through their routine for Saturday night.

While in the air, the pilots performed some extra maneuvers to give Marlena a taste of what G forces feel like and to "test her limits".

Marlena's commitment both to academic excellence and to serving her country exemplies the very best of the Volunteer Spirit. We are fortunate to have students of her caliber in the Materials Science & Engineering community at the University of Tennessee.

More photos on the Keffer research group site.