August 2016 Technical Society News

30 Sep

On August 8, 2016 Barry Thacker gave an excellent presentation on the history of Coal Creek. He came dressed as a person from the past and told the story from that person’s perspective. The presentation was well done.

Inexpensive natural gas and stringent government regulations are killing the traditional economy of coal-mining communities in Tennessee. What hope of survival do residents of these communities have? We all need to be thinking of a future when there will be no fossil fuels extracted from the ground, there will be no subsistence farmers and manufacturing will be done by sophisticated robots.

As the founder of the Coal Creek Watershed Foundation, Inc., a not-for-profit watershed-restoration group. Mr. Thacker has emphasized education. To give us an idea of the importance of education he brought a former student, Kyle Leinart, who is co-founder and systems/software developer at ImmersaCAD in Knoxville, TN. Kyle was the recipient of the 2011 Nantglo Scholarship from the Coal Creek Watershed Foundation and he has used his education well and is now co-patent holder on a portable virtual reality device with One-Touch Navigation™, which enables architectural and engineering CAD drawings to be viewed in virtual reality. This is not even close to describing the device! Mr. Leinart demonstrated the device and I, secretary Bob Scott, could understand Samuel Morse’s message “ What hath God wrought?” Go to to learn more.
We sometimes fail to realize the quality of speakers we have at the Technical Society meetings. I said in the meeting announcements that Barry Thacker was a recipient of the prestigious Hoover Medal bestowed by an international consortium of engineering societies. What I didn’t say was that among other recipients have been Edgar Kaiser, Dwight Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter and Steve Wozniak.

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