May 6, 2013 Dr. Patrice Cole discussed stormwater , what are it’s problems and how they can be minimized. Point sources have been controlled fairly well and now sediment from agricultural, construction and other surface runoff are the major large sources of water pollution. Regulatory changes are anticipated – particularly in turbidity measurement and requirements. Dr. Cole discussed working with contractors to minimize disturbing land features during construction and moving toward eliminating most surface runoff by retaining stormwater and allowing it to penetrate the surface and enter the groundwater.
May 13, 2013 Richard Evans , retired former Director of the UT Forest Resources Research and Education Center, spoke about the UT proposed natural gas and oil development research project (fracking). The University of Tennessee plans to allow hydraulic fracturing to
extract natural gas on a state-owned tract of rolling woodland and use the revenue to fund research into the environmental impact of such drilling. The University people seem to think they will have good control and they consider this as a mainly research project. We did not hear the contractor’s expectations.
The May 20, 2013 speaker was Chad Duty, Dr. Duty is a Senior Research Scientist and the Group Leader for the Deposition Science & Technology Group at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
He described the organization and history of ORNL’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF) which helps industry adopt new manufacturing technologies. The MDF does not produce commercial products. The mission of the MDF is to develop new manufacturing methods and help commercial industries employ them. The most interesting new technology is the 3D printing manufacturing. By laying down thin multiple layers of metal or plastic an object can be built up. The objects that can be made in this manner can be very complex and some objects can be made that could not be assembled if the parts were made by conventional methods. The equipment is expensive and based on a computer image of each individual layer. He had several objects that had been made by 3D printing. One object was an artificial hand. The TSK members who were present were very interested in the technology and they asked Dr. Duty to return and cover other items being made.
May 27 Memorial Day- the Technical Society did not meet .