Monthly Archives: March 2015

Future Technical Society Programs

April 27, 2015 David Dewhirst, Owner, Dewhirst Properties., will give his “Thoughts about downtown (and other matters).”

May 4: Progress report on making the Technical Society a coordinating organization.

May 11: Dr. Al Hazari, UT, “What can an organization like the TSK do, if any thing, that would help young children with their education?”

May 18: Don Byerly, Prof. of Geology emeritus: The last billion years- a geologic history of Tennessee.
May 25: Memorial Day – no meeting.

June 1, 2015 Craig Fischer will be the speaker. Mankind has been in the computer age only a short time but learning to read and write the genetic code has moved us to the beginning of a new age- the age of biology ( it will have a fancier name but it is upon us).

June 8:  Alexandra Brownfield, Executive Director at Volunteer Knoxville will speak.    Volunteer Knoxville is designed as a center for Knoxville and surrounding counties to match volunteers with opportunities to which they would be a good fit. Volunteer Knoxville is a Volunteer Center that works to inspire, equip and mobilize volunteers to take action that changes the world by making it easier for them to become. Her education  and early employment were at Saint Louis University.

June 15: Robert Campbell -VICE CHAIR  Tennessee Board of Architectural and Engineering Examiners (PDH?)

June 22: Gabe Bolas, Engineering manager, KUB: – engineering in KUB  (PDH)

June 29: TBA

July 6: Holiday

July 13: In the offering to TVA – energy plan (TBA; PDH?)

July 19: Mike Wakefield, EPRI – Smart grid (PDH)

July 27: Cliff Hawks, Cherokee Farms- material science (PDH)

August 24: Visit to Cherokee Farms



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Posted by on March 30, 2015 in Meetings


March 2015 TSK News

March 2, 2015 Knoxville Electric Vehicle Association (KEVA) director Leslie Grossman described the KEVA and the conversion to electric of Leslie’s Jeep! The conversion uses a 144 volt system with Lithium batteries and has a range of 30 Miles per Charge. Bob Scott told how his Ford Fusion plug in hybrid will go about 20 miles on a battery charge and the car computer will “coach” the driver in how to maximize recovery of energy during regenerative braking. Wolf Naegeli described his Nissan Leaf all electric vehicle.

Jack McElroy, the Knoxville News Sentinel editor, spoke to the Technical Society  on March 9, 2015. Mr. McElroy is concerned by the very prevalent disbelief in science that he finds in our area. He feels that the prevalence of conspiracy theories is a serious problem which is aggravated by the internet sites that reinforce preconceived ideas. He is clearly concerned that the dissemination of news is no longer a “ shared experience”. Presenting facts in the newspaper is not effective in changing minds. Also some organizations deliberately publish misinformation for their own purposes. He believes that personal testimony by knowledgable people is the best way to change minds and he suggested that the Technical Society members take advantage of their recognized knowledge and try to correct mistaken ideas. His policy is to publish all opinions in the newspaper. In spite of the challenges presented by the internet he plans to continue seven day a week publication. He anticipates remaining editor under the new ownership.

Mr. Curt Gomulinski, secretary of Tau Beta Pi will spoke on March 16. TauBetaPi has 12 paid enployees in Knoxville and an annual budget of $750,000. Engineers in the top 20 percent of their class are eligible to join TauBetaPi and there are 550,000 members in the 130 year old organization and about 300,000 are in contact. TauBetaPi has a national publication and it gives scholarships. Red Matthews, a Technical Society founding member started as secretary when the organization was just a shoebox.

March 23, 2015  James R. Hagerman, P.E  Director of Engineering , City of Knoxville described his department. He has 90 employees ( including 24 engineers). The department handles thousands of traffic signs, 1600 parking meters, traffic lights, road repair, city mapping and surveying, and several construction projects- he mentioned Cumberland Avenue, the South waterfront, Fort Dickerson and Cross Park drainage.

The March 30, 2015  meeting was an update on the reorganization of the Technical Society of Knoxville.

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Posted by on March 30, 2015 in News


March 2015 Technical Society Programs

On March 30, 2015 the Technical Society of Knoxville meeting will feature a report on the reorganization of the Technical Society as an umbrella organization for the technical community. Most local chapters of national organizations are restricted in their ability to advocate for changes in public policies and most local chapters of national organizations lack the diversity of knowledge and experience needed to provide a voice that commands public respect. The Technical Society of Knoxville has been a voice advocating for progressive changes since its inception in 1921 and its success has been impressive (see History of Technical Society of Knoxville on the web site The reorganization of the Technical Society as an umbrella organization for the technical community is in recognition of the need for greater numbers and greater diversity in educating the public on the myriad of needs and opportunities that are presented by the explosion of technology in biology and life sciences, transportation, geology , computer capability, education, energy generation and distribution, building construction, environmental protection, manufacturing- and whatever is coming next . Anyone with an interest in modern technology and a willingness to participate in the public arena is encouraged to attend the meeting and help guide the future path of this 94 year old society created “for the good it can do.”

March 23, 2015 James R. Hagerman, P.E Director of Engineering , City of Knoxville spoke. He gave an overview of city engineering problems. The City of Knoxville engineering department is involved with several interesting projects and it has a number of functions including transportation, traffic, planning, design, contract administration, stormwater, plans review, maps….they do a lot! In the past the Technical Society of Knoxville has been a help to the city in technical areas and there may be opportunities to participate in the future. Mr Hagerman also has been appointed to serve on the State eight member Environmental Advisory Board. Prior to working for the City of Knoxville Mr. Hagerman served as environmental engineer and project manager for the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Mr. Curt Gomulinski, secretary of Tau Beta Pi spoke to the Technical Society on March 16, 2015. He has stated that the Tau Beta Pi engineering society wants to “forge new partnerships with other professional societies.” This fits with the Technical Society of Knoxville, which wants to proceed along similar lines. Two former longtime secretaries of Tau Beta Pi, Robert H. Nagel and Jim Froula, have served as president of the Technical Society of Knoxville.

Jack McElroy, the Knoxville News Sentinel editor, was the guest speaker for the Technical Society of Knoxville on March 9, 2015. The title of his talk was “How Scientists and Engineers Can Contribute More to Public Dialog in the Knoxville Area”. The historic role of the Technical Society of Knoxville has been very much geared to Mr. McElroy’s topic and we are presently addressing the role of the Technical Society for the future. The News Sentinel provides a valuable service by announcing the Technical Society meetings in each Sunday’s business section.

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Posted by on March 6, 2015 in Meetings