June 2015 Technical Society Programs

25 May

On June 29, 2015 Maria Crowe, a mathematics teacher at the Career Magnet Academy will speak on the topic “The importance of STEM education, especially as it relates to East Tennessee”. Ms. Crowe recently arranged a tour of the Career Magnet School (CMA) for the Technical Society. She coached the schools successful robot team in the FIRST competition. Maria is also a faculty representative of CMA’s advanced manufacturing pathway, that seeks to prepare CMA freshmen for advanced manufacturing opportunities in the local area.

Maria has a B.S., General Engineering, from the U.S. Naval Academy (class of ’88), and an M.S., Engineering Management, George Washington University. She spent seven years on active duty, serving in various information systems management positions.

After homeschooling three children and teaching physics and chemistry at various homeschool co-ops, Maria was hired in April 2014 to teach math at CMA.

She moved to Knoxville with her husband and children in July 2011.

On June 1, 2015. Craig Fischer will be the speaker. The title of his presentation will be “Genomes and Medicine – Ancestral, Predictive, and Therapeutic”

Genomics is an area within genetics that concerns the sequencing and analysis of an organism’s genome. The genome is the entire DNA content that is present within one cell of an organism. Experts in genomics strive to determine complete DNA sequences and perform genetic mapping to help understand disease.

Prior to 1953 genetics was almost at the Gregor Mendel stage of understanding. In 2003 the first human genome was published at a cost of billions of dollars. The technology and its implications are moving rapidly. Today the genome for a  person can be obtained for thousands of dollars but understanding the meaning of 6 billion base pairs is in its infancy.  The May 25 News Sentinel had an article telling of a woman whose DNA had a sequence that would indicate she was prone to breast cancer. After agonizing thought she elected a preemptive double mastectomy.

This is an area where technology, science, medicine and ethics will be impinging on public policies and it is an area where the Technical Society of Knoxville needs to be able to offer informed position papers.

Craig Fischer has retired as director of project research for St. Mary’s Health System. He has an MBA from UT and a  bachelors degree in biology from Rockford College in Rockford, Ill.. He spoke to the Technical Society in August 2004 on  Hospital Clinical Trials in China.

On June 8, 2015 the speaker for the Technical Society of Knoxville    will be Alexandra Brownfield, the Executive Director of Volunteer Knoxville. She will speak about her organization which has as one goal “Connecting Volunteers to Volunteer Opportunities “. The Technical Society is moving to increase its effectiveness in serving the technical community by providing opportunities for community service and this will be an opportunity to learn about an organization that is working toward a similar goal.

Volunteer Knoxville was founded in 2014 to connect volunteers to quality volunteer opportunities, build capacity for local volunteer programs and promote volunteering in the greater Knoxville region. The Volunteer Center manages a community-wide volunteer website,, and mobilizes volunteers to meet local volunteer program needs.

Alexandra Brownfield describes herself as Wife, Mother & Humanitarian and creator of #STLVolunteer (a twitter site). She previously worked for the United Way of Greater St. Louis and Saint Louis University from which she also graduated. Her technology connection comes from her high school- Decatur Area Technical Academy.

On June 15, 2015, Robert G. Campbell PE will be the speaker. He is currently completing a four year term as a member of the Tennessee State Board of Architectural and Engineering Examiners. Anyone who is practicing engineering or architecture or who is interested in these professions is welcome to take this opportunity to learn about any changes in the state regulation of the professions.

Mr. Campbell is a consulting engineer with Robert G. Campbell and Associates.

The firm was founded by his father and it describes itself as “Robert G. Campbell and Associates designs diverse projects representative of our clients, our expertise and the firms ability with precision and value”.(PDH)

On June 22, 2015, Gabriel J. Bolas PE will speak on Engineering in KUB. Mr. Bolas is Knoxville Utilities Board Manager of Environmental Programs / Assistant to Chief Operating Officer, and was previously Energy Systems Engineering Manager at Knoxville Utilities Board and Electric Systems  Engineering  Manager.

He holds a BS degree in electrical engineering and a MS degree in engineering/industrial management from the University of Tennessee.(PDH)

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