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.