The March 3, 2014 program will have Dr. Jess C. Gehin of ORNL as speaker. He will speak about The Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors (CASL). This is an organization with the purpose of providing advanced modeling and simulation (M&S) solutions for commercial nuclear reactors.
The economic viability of nuclear power is crucially dependent on the public confidence and trust in the industry and this is an opportunity to understand what is being done in this very important area.
CASL’s vision is to predict, with confidence, the performance of nuclear reactors through comprehensive, science-based modeling and simulation technology that is deployed and applied broadly throughout the nuclear energy industry to enhance safety, reliability, and economics.
CASL’s mission is to provide coupled, higher-fidelity, usable modeling and simulation capabilities needed to
address light water reactor operational and safety performance-defining phenomena.
CASL’s foundational technology products include CASL solutions and CASL ModSim Technologies. CASL’s ModSim technology, the Virtual Environment for Reactor Applications (VERA), provides higher-fidelity results than the current industry approach by incorporating coupled physics and science-based models, state-of-the-art numerical methods, modern computational science, integrated uncertainty quantification (UQ) and validation against data from operating pressurized water reactors (PWRs), single-effect experiments, and integral tests.
CASL will address, through new insights afforded by its ModSim technology, key nuclear energy industry challenges to furthering power uprates, higher fuel burnup, and lifetime extension while providing higher confidence in enhanced nuclear safety and this cleaner energy source.
The March 10 meeting of the Technical Society will have a speaker who is an expert in an important and growing field. Gary Lownsdale, chief technology office at Plasan Carbon Composites has had a career-long interest in plastics and composites and has made significant contributions to the field in the last four-and-a-half decades, including work at Chrysler, Ford, Schlegel, GE Plastics (now SABIC Innovative Plastics), Hercules Aerospace, Trans2, Mastercraft Boats and now Plasan Carbon Composites. Since he joined the company, Plasan has been awarded contracts to produce CFRP body panels for the 2008 Corvette ZR1 and 2008 Dodge Viper ACR supercars as well as numerous components on the recently introduced new-generation Viper sportscar. As North America’s largest automotive supplier of carbon composite body panels, the company has been able to drop the effective cycle time to produce these parts from 90 minutes to 17 minutes under Lownsdale’s leadership. Additionally, Plasan has co-developed a new patent-pending out-of-autoclave molding process and pressure press with partner, Globe Machine Manufacturing Co. For the first time, this work allows carbon composites to be produced fast enough for use on medium-volume production vehicles. Lownsdale, who became vice- president-Technology and is now chief technology officer has also established new R&D centers in Bennington, Vt. and Wixom, Mich. He is heavily involved in the Oak Ridge Carbon Fiber Consortium where Plasan and nearly 50 other companies are focused on driving down the cost of carbon fiber composites so that they can be used in mass market vehicles. “If you doubt his passion for
cars, you need to visit his 17,000 square foot building in Greenback where he stores 24 mostly English sports cars….”(PDH)
March 17 the speaker will be Amy Howard. The topic will be ” The UT Solar House—A Prototype of Zero-Energy Living.”
In the 2011 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, the College of Architecture and Design and the Institute for Smart Structures focused on the integration of aesthetics, technology, and energy efficient construction through the concept of Living Light. This concept not only relates to the sun, daylight and energy; it is a way of life that actively engages each participant in a learning experience to promote sustainable living. More than 200 UT students and faculty across nine academic disciplines designed the house for the Solar Decathlon. UT placed eighth overall in the decathlon and claimed high-standing marks in several categories, including first in energy production, third in engineering, third in
hot-water production, third in energy-efficient appliances, and fifth in architecture.
Amy Howard is the Director of Development for the UT College of Architecture and Design and is a licensed architect.
The March 24 program has been postponed to March 31.
March 31, 2014 Becky Ashe, Principal of the L&N STEM Academy and STEM Coordinator for the PK-12 Knox County School system as well, will be the speaker. Her school is
also the lead platform school in the STEMspark East TN STEM Innovation Hub, part of the TN STEM Innovation Network.
She will discuss progress and plans at the L&N STEM Academy as well as a system wide assessment of STEM exposure in all schools and one effort on particular to take an experiment from a Knox County Student to the International Space Station this September.
When the school opened she made the following opening statements:
“Whether it’s the one who comes in who wants to be a licensed pipe fitter at a nuclear plant or the one who wants to be the computer scientist programming what’s going to go on in the nuclear reactor, we hope every student leaves prepared to do what they want to do after high school,”
“We’re seen as a laboratory school. We research best practices to identify what we’re going to use in the school, and we study what we do and its effect before disseminating it across as broad a field as possible, especially throughout the STEM community.”
Becky Ashe spoke to the Technical Society on March 21, 2011, prior to the new Knox County STEM Academy opening in the Fall of 2011, and on October 10, 2011 (Columbus Day) the Technical Society toured the new STEM academy and ate at the school for lunch. It is a very impressive school and the equipment is outstanding.
The STEM Academy is now in it’s third year of operation and much has transpired. This is an opportunity for anyone interested in STEM education to learn about what is occurring and to participate in helping the Technical Society be a positive force in this important area of education.
Becky Ashe , a graduate of UTK (BS & MS) and LMU (EdS), was a biology/chemistry teacher at West High for 13 years during which time she did research on endangered bird species in the Haleakalah Rain Forest on Maui, HI and was a teacher at sea for NOAA in Prince William Sound, AK. She then went on to be a science specialist and supervisor for the system before serving as Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction for three years, during which time she led first the feasibility study and then the design group that put together the L&N STEM Academy. Her hobbies include reading and travel.