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Monthly Archives: August 2013

September 2013 TSK News

MCBETH NEWTON SPROUSE died in August 2013. Mac was a member of Church Street United Methodist Church; graduated from Clemson University, a military school at that time, received a direct officer’s commission in the United States Army Signal Corps, and during WW II led the combat field radar from Normandy Beach to Berlin. He

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served the armies of the liberation across Europe. After returning to Knoxville at the end of the WWII, he began a career with TVA and retired after 42 years as the director of engineering and design. Upon his retirement from TVA, Mac became a faithful member of the Technical Society and his presence at our meetings will be missed very much.

Grant Goodge, senior analyst at

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STG INC. was speaker on September 9, 2013. He described the United States Climate Reference Network measuring equipment past and present. The U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN) consists of 114 stations in the continental United States for the express purpose of detecting the national signal of climate change. The vision of the USCRN program is to maintain a sustainable high-quality climate observation network that 50 years from now can with the highest degree of confidence answer the question: How has the climate of the nation changed over the past 50 years? In the past weather data measurement and recording was haphazard and there is still not enough money and emphasis on getting data that will improve weather prediction in the future. The federal sequester has hurt the program and without money, some of the rain gages will have to be capped. Many of the people who monitor the stations are volunteers- who take their responsibilities very seriously. Some of the sample stations measure ground moisture so drought conditions can be recognized. Some stations measure the

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economically important western snowfall. It is an important program that needs more public support. East Tennessee has a lot of people who do not realize and/or accept the critical nature of the atmospheric changes now taking place and the potential for disruptions to the climate that the world is facing and the information gathered by this network will be crucial in educating everyone about the changes that are occurring.
On September 16 Congressman John James “Jimmy” Duncan, Jr. U.S. Representative for Tennessee’s 2nd congressional district spoke to the Technical Society. Congressman Duncan listed four points that he feels are important.

1. Constituent service.

2. Non interventionist foreign policy. He does not want to see young people getting killed. He wants to spend our money at home.

3. Too much debt. He has spoken out in favor of infrastructure repair.

4. Environmental extremism. He cited an example of a project that took 14 years to complete because of environmental concerns.

He feels that the number of STEM immigrants should be limited and the technology jobs should go to US graduates. “We have the best educated waiters in the world”. He thinks companies should not be able to bring in foreign graduates at lower wages than they pay US graduates. He does favor bringing in highly qualified foreign graduates. He thinks TVA is not well enough run to justify big executive bonuses.

Congressman Duncan writes his own newsletters and he tries to make them relevant and inexpensive- the ideas in the newsletters are his.
On September 23, 2013 Ken Barry, PE described a number of proposal for a manned trip to Mars. People have been thinking about such a journey for many years and they have thought up a number of space vehicles and a number of flight paths. Ken is a water resources/civil engineer with S&ME, Inc. who has a long interest in Mars and he gave us a very good presentation. I think Ken is ready to go to Mars but I am not sure many other Technical Society members will volunteer, however, one proposal is to send older people since they will have a short life expectancy anyhow and the exposure to radiation in space will not shorten their lives very much (so some of our older members might want to think about going).
Dr. David J. Bjornstad spoke on September 30. He described the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy. The Baker Center provides a number of interesting and useful programs and presentations that are open to the public and are very worthwhile. It is an important resource and information is available on the website. http://bakercenter.utk.edu

Their email address is bakercenter@utk.edu

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2013 in Meetings

 

September 2013 programs

September 2 Labor Day – do not meet

September 9 –The Technical Society of Knoxville will have Grant Goodge, senior analyst at STG INC. as speaker on September 9, 2013. He will continue his description of the United States Climate Reference Network measuring equipment past and present. The U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN) consists of 114 stations developed, deployed, managed, and maintained by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the continental United States for the express purpose of detecting the national signal of climate change. The vision of the USCRN program is to maintain a sustainable high-quality climate observation network that 50 years from now can with the highest degree of confidence answer the question: How has the climate of the nation changed over the past 50 years? In the past weather data measurement and recording was haphazard and there is

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still not enough money and emphasis on getting data that will improve weather prediction in the future.
East Tennessee has a lot of people who do not realize and/or accept the critical nature of the atmospheric changes now taking place and the potential for disruptions to the climate that the world is facing. Everyone needs to learn about this issue and educate the people around them.

September 16– The speaker will be Congressman John James “Jimmy” Duncan, Jr. U.S. Representative for Tennessee’s 2nd congressional district.
Congressman Duncan graduated from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 1969 with a Bachelor of Journalism degree and subsequently received a Juris Doctor degree from George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C. He was an attorney in private practice until he became a state court judge in Knox County where he served from 1981 to 1988.
He was first elected to Congress in 1988. He has served on the following committees:
* Committee on Natural Resources
Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands
* Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
Subcommittee on Aviation
Subcommittee on Highways and Transit (Chairman)
Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment
* United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

September 23 The meeting on September 23, 2013 will have Ken Barry, PE as speaker. The title of his talk will be “Many Ways To Mars- 50 Years of Planning for Human’s Trip to Mars”. Ken is a water resources/civil engineer with S&ME, Inc. who has a long interest in Mars. Ken gave us a very good presentation on Mars and the space program at the time

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when the current Mars rover landed. A manned landing on Mars will probably be an international venture and it may help to bring understanding if all the people of the world are working toward a common goal. Should the members of the Technical Society push for a manned trip to Mars? Come to the meeting and form an enlightened opinion.

September 30–The speaker will be Dr. David J. Bjornstad a Distinguished R&D staff member at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Senior Fellow for Energy and Environmental Policy at the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, and Research Professor of Economics at the University of Tennessee. His professional interests center on policy studies to foster technological change that stimulates energy efficiency and environmental integrity through sustainable business practices and lifestyles.
Dr. Bjornstad’s current work at ORNL deals with understanding how science and technology research organizations could better make available their technical findings to downstream users and ultimately to the market, with special reference to the role of intellectual property rights. He is also preparing “need for power” and “benefit-cost” analyses for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Environmental Impact Statement process. At the Baker Center, Bjornstad is helping to develop an interdisciplinary energy and environmental research program. Earlier in his career, Bjornstad served as Economics staff director for former Secretary of Energy, James Watkins’ Energy Advisory Board.

He has a Ph.D., in economics from The Maxwell School, Syracuse University, 1973
October 7 to be announced

October 14 Columbus Day – will not meet

October 21 Harold Dodds, UT Nuclear Engineering

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2013 in Meetings