On August 5, Dr. Kelly Tiller, President & CEO, Genera Energy Inc. was speaker. Dr Keller is a graduate of the University of Tennessee with a PhD in Agricultural Economics. She founded Genera as a spin-out commercial business from the University of Tennessee Research Foundation. This has involved construction and operation of a $60 million cellulosic ethanol pilot plant (collaboration with DuPont) and construction and commercial operation of a $10 million Biomass Innovation Park for biomass logistics and pre-processing; production and supply-chain management. The state
of Tennessee has invested in the project and it has attracted
$60 million in private investments and $30 million in federal research funds. East Tennessee is in the center of the best area in the country for growing energy crops and If cellulosic ethanol can be made efficiently and it can compete with other fuels, it can remake East Tennessee. The farmers have been pleased with switchgrass even if it is expensive to establish and they find
it to be a good crop for forage as well as it being sold to make biofuel.This is an opportunity to see a potential giant in it’s infancy. I
On August 12, Jeff Christian, Strata G described his work on energty efficient houses. He uses the HERS index (Home Energy Rating System) in comparing houses. A new house today has a HERS index number of about 100. New standards will make new homes have an index of about 65.
The ACH (air changes per hour) of homes is about 5 and an important thing to reduce air leakage
is to provide makeup outside air to the clothes dryer. It is important to control moisture in a house and to know where the moisture is coming from. An important new development is the heat pump that can vary it’s load.
Jeff Christian works with homeowners, municipalities, building energy technology companies and builders helping them move toward zero energy homes. Strata-G identifies, matures, and deploys technologies that reflect the company’s mission of energy efficiency and environmental stewardship. They have the equipment to make a very accurate energy audit for a house.
On August 19 Dr. Wayne Davis, UT Dean of Engineering described the Enginering college efforts to become a top 25 engineering department. Currently the graduate school is ranked number 37 and the undergraduate engineering program is ranked number 36. The number of students is increasing and the incoming students have an an verage high school gpa of 4.0 and an average ACT score of 30.5.
The Technical Society has donated $4000 this year to the Charles Ferris Technical Society scholarship fund for the UT engineering department.
On August 26 Graham Walford, UTK spoke about non destructive measurement and some of his experiences in making measurments. First the measurments must have errors and precision that are known accurately for the measurement to be useful. He used electric field disturbances to make non invasive measurements in unusual applications. Dr. Walford’s utilization of deep-based analytic skill across several programmatic problem areas includes the non-invasive qualitative real time analysis of materials during the manufacturing process. Infrared imaging and analysis, X-ray diagnostics, electric field perturbation techniques, sonic/ultrasonic, laser and other related sensing technologies have been used.