Monthly Archives: October 2015

September 2015 Technical Society News

On September 14, 2015 Allen Coggins was the Technical Society of Knoxville speaker. The topic of his presentation was “Some Intriguing Sylvan Factoids – some little known facts about Tennessee woodlands.” Allen has indeed assembled an interesting collection of factoids. Tennessee is indeed an unusual place.

Allen is a naturalist who studied Biology and Natural History at Middle Tennessee State University. He worked as a natural hazards planner with the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA)(he did not plan the disasters-just what to do if they occurred) and developed a history of state disasters for the Tennessee Emergency Management Plan. Since retiring he has become an author and has published several books- including his new book on intriguing sylvan factoids.

Allen served as president of the Technical Society of Knoxville in 2005.

On September 21, 2015,  Soren Sorensen gave his talk entitled“What Everything Is Made Of.”

 Dr. Soren Sorensen is a  Professor at University of Tennessee and  head of the UT Department of Physics and Astronomy. He talked about the search for the composition of matter that has continued for centuries and is now down to understanding quarks (that is quarks- not quirks). And maybe understanding string theory.

On September 28, 2015 Robert G. Farrell and Holly B. Oswald of TVA reported on the current status of TVA policy decisions regarding what to do about the more than 1,800 non-navigable structures on 16 TVA reservoirs. Unlike traditional watercraft, floating houses are primarily designed and used for habitation, creating unique safety, regulatory  and environmental issues that must be considered. The most likely option seems to be prohibiting new ones and grandfathering the existing ones with removal after some time period. Robert G. Farrell retired from the TVA Office of Environment and Research (OE&R) and he has been brought back to work on the floating houses.

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Posted by on October 5, 2015 in News


October 2015 Technical Society Programs


On October 5, 2015. Guru Venkatesan will talk about “The U.T. Tech Carnivol.”

Students with a penchant for tinkering have an opportunity to shine thanks toTech Carnivol, a new event to be held during Engineer’s Day on October 22.
Tech Carnivol is an engineering festival designed and organized by UT students to help spotlight STEM education and its impact beyond engineering. It will feature competitions in robotics, business, coding, and computer security, and is open to all UT students as well as area high school students. The event will be “a Bonnaroo for science and engineering, with all sorts of fascinating and engaging events happening around you.”
Guru Venkatesan is a graduate research assistant in biomedical engineering and Tech Carnivol president.
Andy Sarles, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and faculty advisor to Tech Carnivol said the goal is to bring together and engage students from various schools and colleges in a fun-filled series of science- and engineering-related competitions. The festival will serve as a platform to the young and talented brains to showcase their skills while also serving to inspire and motivate high school students to hone in on their own education interests.

After the U.T. Tech Carnivol presentation there will be a member discussion to plan for 2016.

October 12: Columbus Day – no meeting.

October 19: Kasey Krouse “The Knoxville Urban Forestry Program”.

People come from around the world each year to visit the forests of East Tennessee. These forests are known for species diversification and brilliant tree specimens. The trees of East Tennessee help identify the region as thriving in natural resources and rich from the benefits those trees provide. East Tennessee is where northern deciduous forests meet the southern temperate forests, and various precipitation patterns occur over a range of altitudes which makes the City of Knoxville a perfect environmental canvas for a distinguishing urban forest.  The city of Knoxville is making a serious effort to implement an urban forrest and this is an opportunity to learn about it.

On October 26 we will meet one of the Technical Society Ferris scholarship recipients. Dean of the College of Engineering Dr. Wayne Davis will introduce Ferris Scholarship recipient Stephanie Steren-Rutta.


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Posted by on October 5, 2015 in Meetings


October through December Programs

October 5: Guru Venkatesan: The U.T. Tech Carnivol.
October 12: Columbus Day – no meeting.
October 19: Kasey Krouse: The Knoxville Urban Forestry Program.
October 26: Ferris Scholarship recipient  Stephanie Steren-Rutta and Dean of the College of Engineering Dr. Wayne Davis
November 2: No meeting (venue is unavailable)
November 9: TBA
November 16: TBA
November 23: TBA
November 30: Prof. Dr. Joshua Sangoro: “New electrolytes for safer batteries – Ionic liquids in electrochemical energy applications.”
December 7: Jeff Munsey, geophysicist, Dam Safety Engineering Services Group, TVA: TVA dams on karstic foundations.
December 14: Harvey Abouelata: Solar and biofuel energy projects in the Knoxville area (tentative).
End of 2015 weekly programs.
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Posted by on October 5, 2015 in Meetings