Monthly Archives: November 2015

November 2015 Technical Society Programs

November 2, 2015- no meeting

The speaker for the Technical Society of Knoxville meeting on November 9, 2015 will be Walter Wunderlich PE. His topic will be “Civil Disengagement in America.” 

Walter is an honorary member of the Technical Society who served 13 years as the society secretary/treasurer and has served as program chairman for 2015. Walter has a strong interest in civic life and service to the public and his ideas and insights will make this an interesting presentation.

Walter was educated in Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Civil Engineering and Hydraulic Engineering. He was a research engineer and staff leader at TVA working in reservoir water quality engineering and multi-purpose reservoir system optimization. He has spoken and written on Probabilistic Approaches in several areas.. 

Nominations for the Technical Society officers for 2016 will follow Walters presentation and discussion. Discussions on the Technical Society meetings for 2016 will begin at this meeting.

On November 16, 2015  Wolf Naegeli, PhD, Senior Research Scientist Emeritus, Institute for a Secure and Sustainable Environment, The University of Tennessee will give aMulti-media presentation entitled ” Electric Vehicle Technology: Past and Present” (PDH).

One hundred years ago, electric cars had a far greater market penetration than today. Dr. Naegeli will discuss the checkered past and the present state of electric propulsion technologies in transportation. He will highlight the interactions of engineering and socio-economic factors that are influencing the popularity of diverse technical concepts and their success in the marketplace.

Dr. Naegeli has MS and PhD degrees from Cornell University in natural resources policy and planning. He worked as a policy and technology analyst and as decision support systems integrator at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee. Throughout his career, he has been working to improve communication, education, and public participation in decision-making on complex environmental issues with long-term implications. Dr. Naegeli grew up in Switzerland and pursued interdisciplinary studies at the University of Zurich and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. Before coming to the United States, he held positions as Editor-in-Chief of Panda magazine and Director of Information for World Wildlife Switzerland and as WWF International’s Marketing Executive for German-speaking countries. He is a founding member (1975) of the Swiss Society for Solar Energy, the World’s first national organization dedicated to the promotion of solar energy applications. He drives a made-in-Tennessee Nissan Leaf electric car.

On  November 30, 2015 Dr. Joshua Sangoro will be the speaker. The title of his presentation will be “New electrolytes for safer batteries – Ionic liquids in electrochemical energy applications” (PDH)

He is seeking the next big step forward in the quest for sustainable, more efficient energy. Energy storage is what is holding back the use of solar and wind energy and this is the cutting edge.

Dr. Sangoro received his bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Physics from Kenyatta University in 2003 and 2007, respectively. He obtained his PhD in Experimental Physics from the University of Leipzig, Germany, in 2010. He joined the Chemical Sciences Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory as a Postdoctoral Research Associate.  Dr. Sangoro joined the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Tennessee in the fall of 2013. Dr Sangoro has authored or co-authored over 30 peer-reviewed articles and has contributed to over 40 (11 invited) technical presentations at national and international conferences within the last four years.

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Posted by on November 5, 2015 in Meetings


October 2015 Technical Society News

On October 5, 2015. Guru Venkatesan described “The U.T. Tech Carnivol.” He saw program in India for young people and he is starting a similar program at UT. 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.

The Technical Society board of directors met after the presentation. During the last three years the Technical Society has experienced low attendance at meetings and difficulty in finding people to arrange for programs. The board consensus is that we should explore moving to monthly meetings in 2016. We will consider having meetings on the second Monday of each month.

On October 19 Kasey Krouse, who is the Knoxville urban forester, described “The Knoxville Urban Forestry Program”.

The city of Knoxville is making a serious effort to implement an urban forrest. The urban trees include trees on the right of way of roads as well as the obvious public trees.The benefits for a tree canopy in a city are quite surprising and include reduced crime. He has a seven person crew and they plant 500 to 600 trees each year.

On October 26  Dean of the College of Engineering, Dr. Wayne Davis, gave an update on the UT engineering college. The number of both undergraduate and graduate students have increased to a total of 4000.

The college has a fourth of the University graduate students.

UT is a leader in solar power. They have a solar charging station on the 11th street garage and they have two Leafs.

The Dean introduced two Technical Society Ferris Scholarship recipients, student Stephanie Steren-Rutta and faculty member Chris Cherry.

Stephanie is a remarkable engineering student. She was inspired by a robot competition as a young girl in Argentina (she was born in the United States) and she is involved in the Little Systers program and she is involved in helping younger students and Spanish speaking students.

Dr. Chris Cherry is a leading figure in sustainable transportation and he said he appreciated the support from the Technical Society Ferris scholarship.

Listening to these people made me, secretary Bob Scott, realize that Helen Mason’s starting the scholarship was a very good idea. The society presented a check to Dean Davis for $1500 to add to the principle of the scholarship fund.


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Posted by on November 5, 2015 in News