Monthly Archives: June 2014

July 2014 Technical Society News

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Posted by on June 2, 2014 in Meetings


July 2014 Technical Society Programs

July 7, 2014 no meeting

July 14, 2014                                                                                                          The speaker for the Technical Society on July 14 will be Stacy Clark, Research Forester, Southern Research Station, USDA Forest Service. Her program topic will be     “American chestnut restoration in the southeastern United States.”

A tree breeding program has produced hybrid American chestnut trees with putative resistance to the chestnut blight. Seedlings were grown using advanced nursery technology for planting and they were planted in commercial timber productive sites in southern Appalachian mountain forests. This study demonstrates that establishment of chestnut hybrids bred for blight resistance was successful. Results are preliminary, however.

Stacy Clark is a Research Forester with the Southern Research Station stationed on the campus of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She received her Ph.D. in Plant Science from Oklahoma State University, her M.S. in Forestry, and her B.S. in Forest Resource Management from the University of Tennessee. She has been in her present position since 2005 and her primary research interests are American chestnut restoration, artificial regeneration of oak, and dendrochronology.

I, Bob Scott, can remember seeing the whitened dead chestnut trees standing near Newfound Gap when I was a child and it is hard for anyone now alive to understand the importance of the chestnut. “ Before the species was devastated by the chestnut blight, a fungal disease, it was one of the most important forest trees throughout its range.” What would restoration of the chestnut mean and how could it happen?

On July 21, 2014 Dr Robert D. Hatcher will speak on “Earthquake Hazard in East Tennessee”.(PDH)

“The East Tennessee seismic zone is the second most active in the eastern U.S., but has not produced an earthquake larger than M =4.6 in historic times. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has supported a research project in the ETSZ since 2008 with goals of determining whether or not a large (>M = 6.5) earthquake has occurred in this region, and, if so, how frequently have earthquakes of this magnitude occurred? To date, we have found evidence of more than one M > 6.5 earthquake in the past 15,000 years. The area of greatest frequency of earthquakes today lies between Maryville and Vonore, TN, but river deposits where evidence of these earthquakes are best preserved are not well exposed in this area. We have found some evidence of prehistoric earthquake activity near Vonore, but, because of high quality exposures, have found much more evidence around Douglas Lake on the periphery of the ETSZ. We feel that there have been large earthquakes in East Tennessee in the recent prehistoric past, but have not yet determined the recurrence interval for these events.”

Dr  Hatcher’s educational background consists of degrees from Vanderbilt University (B.A., 1961, geology, chemistry, minor mathematics; M.S., 1962, geology, minor chemistry) and the University of Tennessee-Knoxville (Ph.D., 1965, structural geology, minor chemistry). His M.S. thesis research was in carbonate petrology and geochemistry and his Ph.D. research was on a large thrust system in the Appalachian Valley and Ridge.

He has served as President of the American Geological Institute in 1996, on a Nuclear Regulatory Commission Federal Advisory Committee on reactor safety from 1993-1996, and on the U.S. Geological Survey Federal Advisory Committee on the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program from 1996 until the present.

I, Bob Scott have lived in California and Alaska but the only place I have ever felt an earthquake was in East Tennessee. This is an important topic.


Joseph P. Carson Will lead the program on July 28, 2914. “Table facilitator’s summaries of discussion at June 26 STEM Ed working breakfast”. He will describe the work so far. Afterward  Joe would like for TSK members to discuss, in facilitated discussion at their tables: 1) whether TSK members and other area STEM professionals are currently an under-utilized resource to our area’s K-12 STEM Ed mission, and 2) whether TSK members support our area becoming the national model for utilizing TSK membership and other STEM professionals as such a resource.

Joe Carson is a licensed professional engineer (P.E.) and nuclear safety engineer at DOE. He is a decorated veteran who served as an officer in the nuclear navy for six years and later worked at several commercial nuclear power plants. He joined the Department of Energy (DOE) as a workplace and nuclear safety engineer in 1990.
Joe has taken engineering ethics seriously and has courageously reported DOE failures at the risk of serious retribution – which he has endured.
Joe is working through the ASME and other technical societies to use the available technical expertise in our area to support STEM (science technology engineering math) education in our public schools.

Joe has put a lot of effort into our local engineering societies and he has fought hard for engineering ethics- everyone interested in STEM education can use this opportunity to help the technical community make a difference.
On page 32 of the History of the Technical Society  it  is clearly shown that education is a long term interest of the Technical Society : “The Society continued its interest in civic improvement, while putting a new emphasis on educational projects and involvement with other professional groups.”

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Posted by on June 2, 2014 in Meetings


June 2014 Technical Society News

On June 2, 2014 Niek Schreuder, Chief Medical Physicist for Proton Therapy, explained the differences between standard (x-ray) radiation treatment and proton therapy. As a result of protons’ dose-distribution characteristics, the radiation oncologist can increase the dose to a tumor while reducing the dose to surrounding normal tissues.
 Proton therapy is expensive and insurance companies are reluctant to pay for it even though it is the superior treatment in many cases.

For the June 9 meeting Ken Barry, S&ME, described a number of tools and strategies for reducing runoff of suspended particles- primarily during construction.

On June 16 UT Professor Dr. Devon Burr described Titan – the only natural satellite known to have a dense atmosphere and the only object other than Earth for which clear evidence of stable bodies of surface liquid has been found. Titan sounds like an interesting place to visit but not a good place to live.

A team from UT described their work in building an advanced vehicle as part of a three-year competition at the June 23 meeting. The competition gives engineering students (and other students) the chance to design and build an advanced vehicle that demonstrate leading-edge automotive technologies with the goal of minimizing the environmental impact. The UT team placed low because of a mechanical failure ( a chain broke) but they had a very good design and good workmanship and they will begin participating in the next competition.

On June 30 Stefan Spanier, who leads UT’s CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid) work described his work in seeking the Higgs boson.The High Energy Physics group at the University of Tennessee has been a part of the international collaboration that built and maintains the Large Hadron Collider’s Compact Muon Solenoid detector, or CMS.

The Large Hadron Collider is an underground, 17-mile ring that straddles the French-Swiss border. Protons collide head-on surrounded by layers of particle detectors. The results of these collisions can be new particles or other phenomena. The CMS detector can observe these remnants and track their signatures. Dr. Spanier told us a lot about high energy physics which we all now understand?


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Posted by on June 2, 2014 in Meetings