September 2015 Technical Society News

05 Oct

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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