On June 6, Jonathon Burr, TDEC spoke on the topic “Overview of Technical and Regulatory Issues Related to Hydraulic Fracturing for Natural Gas Production in Tennessee.” The US has large reserves of natural gas, which until recently have not been economical to recover. Hydraulic fracturing (hydro-fracking) has allowed this gas to be recovered. Fracking is the process of forcing materials under high pressure into gas bearing formations to allow the gas to more easily escape. This activity has been exempted from the Safe Drinking Water Act. There have been environmental problems associated with hydro fracking in the Marcellus shale in New York and Pennsylvania.
On June 13, Michael Pannell and Brent C. Wood, PE of S&ME described their work on the new Cleveland Municipal Airport. To construct the new airport 2,283 feet of Little Chatata Creek, a 303(d) listed impaired stream, required realignment, along with 940 feet of a smaller, unnamed tributary. In addition, approximately 10.5 acres of proposed wetland impact also required mitigation. National Flood Insurance Program considerations, location of an archeological site, karst geology, feedback from residents, and special requirements for minimizing wildlife attractants near flight operations required several innovative features and careful analysis for the stream realignment.
On June 20, the faculty sponsor, an industry mentor and seven students
of Hardin Valley Academy’s FIRST Robotics Team brought their robot to the meeting. In their rookie year competing in the FIRST Robotics Championships, the Hardin Valley Academy team was the highest placed rookie team at the Smokey Mountain Regional Competition and earned a berth in the National Championship meet. They described the competition and what they learned from their experience.
June 27: Dr. Teja Kuruganti of ORNL spoke on wireless communication. Dr. Kuruganti is R&D staff member of the Modeling and Simulation Group in the Computational Sciences and Engineering Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. His research interests include wireless sensor networks for harsh environments, modeling and simulation of wireless propagation in harsh environments, modeling control systems that operate over communication networks, and collaborative signal and information processing in sensor networks. The requirements for reliable signal transmission and the advantages of wireless data transmission were emphasized.