Author Archives: bobscott

March 8, 2021 ZOOM Meeting of the Technical Society

The next ZOOm Meeting of the Tehnical Society of Knoxville is entitled: “November 2016 Fire in Sevier County and the short and long term Recovery.” This will be a very interesting presentation.

The ZOOM link to the meeting will be sent nearer the meeting.

The presenter will be David Carver with the Sevier County Stormwater Management Authority. David is a former police officer who joined the Stormwater Authority 15 years ago.

David’s Stormwater Instructor experience includes Tennessee Water Well Association,Tennessee Stormwater Association (TNSA)  Annual Conference, TNSA-Knoxville- Knox County Development Symposium, TNSA Board and Regional Meeting guest speaker where he has spoken on a variety of subjects including Stormwater Education, Spill Prevention and Good Housekeeping, Enforcement Policies and Procedures, Plans Review, Soils and Geology, Erosion Controls for Well Drillers, Planning Commission Stormwater Training, Appeals Board Training, Public Works and Stormwater, as well as Demolition workshops for Contracts and Disaster Recovery.  He served as Co-Chair of TNSA Education and Professional Development for six years and is Current Chairman of East Tennessee Region of TNSA for the past three years.
Given the impacts of the 2016 Fire this talk will give us good insight into how the area is recovering.

David’s educational background includes: Associate Degree in Criminal Justice- Walter State Community College, FBI trained in Law Enforcement Executives Development School, Interview and Interrogation Crisis Negotiation, Instructor Development School. Masters Degree from West End Baptist Bible College, Easley SC.
Law Enforcement Instructor in Firearms, Child Abuse, Domestic Violence, Building Searches, Self Defense Tactics, Patrol Tactics, Field Training Officer Program.

He is married and has two children, Issac and Hannah.

The meeting will start at 11:55 am on March 8.

Technical Society Members may wish to join in for general discussion of other TSK business at 11:30 am.

The link to the meeting will be sent nearer the meeting.

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Posted by on February 22, 2021 in Meetings


February 8, 2021 ZOOM Meeting of the Technical Society HTTPS:// pw TSK

The Technical Society of Knoxville speaker for the meeting on February 8, 2021 will be David Brenner, Director of Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University. He will speak on Far UV light sources that will destroy coronaviruses without harming personnel present. It can be used for indoor spaces such as schools, labs, offices and hospitals. Dr.Brenner has presented 3 TED talks on this subject and he  has published 300 papers.

The program will begin at 11:55 am. This will be a ZOOM meeting and visitors are welcome.

Does this technology have the potential to radically change our public health? Should the Technical Society respond or take action?

Germicidal ultraviolet light, typically at 254 nm, is effective but, used directly, it can be a health hazard to skin and eyes. By contrast, farUVC light (207–222 nm) efficiently kills pathogens potentially without harm to exposed human tissues.

The ZOOM link for this meeting is password is TSK (in capitals)

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Posted by on January 22, 2021 in Meetings


January 11,2021 Technical Society ZOOM meeting!

Allen Coggins will be the speaker for the Technical Society of Knoxville ZOOM meeting on January 11, 2021..

The meeting will begin at 11:55 am on January 11, 2021.

Allen Coggins is a freelance researcher and writer. The talk is titled Sylvan Facts and Factoids. It originally was presented at Wilderness Wildlife Week in 2019. It features information on 21 common trees( origins, facts, myths, medical use and pioneer and Native American uses of these trees.Includes apple, ash, basswood, American beech, dogwood, eastern hemlocks, red cedar, resbud, hackberries, haws, hickories, locust, maples, oaks, persimmon, sugar maple, tulip poplar, willows, white pine, American holly, and even the non-indigenous ginkgo.Discusses forest types in TennesseeDescribes the effects of altitude, temperature, precipitation and latitude on trees and forest types.Covers ecological forest diversity within forest systems.Accounts for the vast array and diversity of tree species in Tennessee and some adjoining states.Includes an introductionto the “Doctrine of Signatures.”Discusses the fact that trees communicate with one another through their root system and through the air to literally control and regulate the forest ecosystems.

Allen Coggins is the author of three books and is working on a fourth. Much of his career was working as an emergency management specialist with Oak Ridge Associated Universities.inn a previous life he served as Chief Naturalist for both Georgia and Tennessee State Parks.

 The Zoom link to the meeting is
Passcode: TSK

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Posted by on January 8, 2021 in Meetings


December 14, 2020 Technical Society ZOOM meeting!

State Senator Richard Briggs will be the speaker for the December 14 , 2020 Technical Society of Knoxville meeting. He has said too many people are ignoring the COVID-19 guidelines, and overlooking the larger economic impacts. This is an opportunity for understanding!

Dr.Briggs is a person who is willing and able to give an educated and unbiased discourse on this topic with his medical experience and time as a state legislator.

The meeting will begin at 11:55 am on December 14, 2020.

password “TSK” in capital letters

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Posted by on November 10, 2020 in Meetings


November 9, 2020 Technical Society ZOOM meeting! “TSK”

On November 9, 2020 the Technical Society of Knoxville will have a ZOOM meeting with Dr. Dustin Crouch speaking about Bionic Limbs PDH). The meeting will begin at 11:55 am

The link for the program is password (in capital letters) is “TSK”

Dr. Crouch is an Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville

It is an indication of the changes taking place in technology when what was once a Mechanical Engineering department is now involved in aeronautics and biology and is called the Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering department.

Dr. Crouch has a PhD and BME from Virginia Tech – Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering & Sciences and a BS and AE from North Carolina State University.

He has worked as a Design Engineer at the Rotating Parts Center of Excellence of GE Aircraft Engines and he has been a Research Scientist in a Neuromuscular Rehabilitation Engineering Lab. A variety of interests and studies!He is a member of the American Society of Biomechanics (ASB), IEEE-Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS), and the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES). He was recognized with the 2020 Louis and Ann Hoffman Endowed Excellence in Research Award.

December 14: ZOOM meeting: Senator Dr. Richar\d Briggs: On the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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Posted by on October 14, 2020 in Meetings


October 12, 2020 Technical Society ZOOM meeting! “TSK”

On October 12, 2020 the speaker will be Terrell Hendren P.E.

One of the strengths of the Technical Society has been the informal contact between members at the lunch meetings. Obviously this is gone with the virus. But we will try to have an informal discussion using zoom before the official start of the Technical Society meeting. Members may sign into the meeting at 11:30 for an informal discussion prior to the start of the official meeting at 11:55 am.

Terrell Hendren P.E.,Environmental Consultant, will be the speaker.

He is with the Division of Water Resources of the TN Department of Environment & Conservation. He will speak on the safety of low head dams.

the ZOOM number is

A passcode will be needed “TSK” (I hope this is not a challenge) IT HAS TO BE CAPITAL LETTERS ID: 899 4729 0521
Passcode: TSK

Low head dams are deadly- REALLY DEADLY- for swimmers and boaters when there is enough water flowing over them to create backflow and turbulence.

The Division of Water Resources describes dam failures on their website. Hundreds of dam failures have occurred throughout U.S. history. These failures have caused immense property and environmental damages and have taken thousands of lives. As the nation’s dams age and population increases, the potential for deadly dam failures grows.

National Dam Safety Awareness Day occurs each year on May 31 to commemorate the failure of the South Fork Dam in Johnstown, Pennsylvania on May 31, 1889.

Future Technical Society programs:

November 9, 2020: ZOOM meeting: Dr. Dustin Crouch, Prof., UT: On bionic limbs.

December 14, 2020: Senator Dr. Richard Briggs: On the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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Posted by on September 17, 2020 in Meetings


September 14, 2020 Technical Society ZOOM meeting!

 Mr. Gabriel Bolas, CEO, Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB), will speak to the Technical Society of Knoxville in a ZOOM meeting on September 14 on the KUB cost structure, specifically on the justification for the fixed costs on electrical and water rates, and other possibly interesting  activities of KUB. PDH by arrangement.

The ZOOM link is

Mr. Bolas has worked at KUB for 26+years and he is now the CEO. He was educated at the University of Tennessee with a BS degree in electrical engineering and a MS degree in Electrical/ Industrial Management.

Utilities are having to cope increasingly with customers generating a part of their own electricity. It may be in the best interest of KUB customers to generate only a part of their electrical needs themselves and rely on KUB for continuity. KUB has to balance the best interests of the customers and the KUB organization.

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Posted by on August 24, 2020 in Meetings


August 10, 2020 Technical Society ZOOM meeting!

Dr. James E Beavers will be the Technical Society of Knoxville zoom meeting speaker on August 10, 2020. The title of his presentation will be: “November 30, 1973, Knoxville Area Earthquake and Future Earthquakes.”

Go to

Jim Beavers is an internationally recognized authority on earthquakes and earthquake resistant structures. He gave the Technical Society an excellent program on structures subjected to earthquakes in June 2017. The description of his 2017 talk included “Seismic activity is more common in east Tennessee than most of us realize and anyone interested in our safety and building ( public and private) integrity is invited to attend.

James Earl Beavers currently works at James E Beavers Consultants and has been a university professor, private consultant, corporate manager, author, and editor during his 50 year career. He is currently writing the book: Earthquakes and Earthquake Engineering – the central and eastern United States. His current research is vulnerability of countries and their people to earthquakes. The current aspects of that research is with Professor John Nichols at Texas A&M University on the subject of life losses during earthquakes around the world.

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Posted by on July 22, 2020 in Meetings


July 2020 Technical Society ZOOM meeting!

When the power grid goes down, that is not the time to be reading by candlelight and trying to decide what to do.

The technical Society speaker on July 13, 2020 will be Dr. Leon Tolbert who will speak on the Reconfigurable Power Grid Emulator . The meeting will be on ZOOM starting at 11:55 AM.

Replay Zoom Meeting:

Dr. Tolbert conducts research in utility applications of power electronics including microgrids, interface with renewable energy sources, medium voltage multilevel converters incorporating silicon carbide power devices, and electric vehicles.  

This presentation will describe a power electronics based hardware testbed that can emulate an electric grid’s generation, loads, storage, and transmission network and perform several real-time scenarios while incorporating real measurement, control, communication, estimation, and actuation in the system.  The system can be used to represent faults, future grids with high levels of renewable penetration, and a multi-terminal HVDC overlay.  

The testbed has been used to represent a future North American grid model that has high penetration levels of renewables (>80%) and also for representing a distribution-level microgrid that has a flexible boundary and multiple points of grid connection.  The tool has been useful in developing control, protection, and measurements needed for the future electric grid.

Also, a brief introduction will be provided about the NSF/DOE Engineering Research Center headquartered at The University of Tennessee called CURENT (Center for Ultrawide-area Resilient Electric Energy Transmission Network).  The goals of CURENT are to develop controls and technology that enable the integration of a high penetration level of renewables into the electric transmission network and to enable wide area monitoring, control, and actuation of the U.S. electric grid.  

Leon M. Tolbert received the Bachelor’s, M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech. He worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN, from 1991 until 1999 on electric distribution and power quality projects. He joined the University of Tennessee in 1999, and he is currently the Min H. Kao Professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He is a founding member for the NSF/DOE Engineering Research Center, CURENT (Center for Ultra-wide-area Resilient Electric Energy Transmission Networks). He is also an adjunct participant with the Power Electronics and Electric Machinery Research Center, ORNL. 

Join Zoom Meeting:

Leon M. Tolbert received his Bachelor’s of Electrical Engineering with highest honors in 1989, his M.S. in Electrical Engineering in 1991, and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering in 1999 from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta.He joined the Engineering Divisio of Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 1991 and worked on several electrical distribution and power quality projects at the three U.S. Department of Energy plants in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. In 1997, he became a Research Engineer in the Power Electronics and Electric Machinery Research Center (PEEMRC) at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Some of his projects included thermal and efficiency modeling for hybrid electric vehicles, development of multilevel inverter PWM methods, and testing methods to approximate electric machine efficiency.In 1999, he was appointed as an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The University of Tennessee in Knoxville where he is presently the Min H. Kao Professor in the Min H. Kao Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He served as the Department Head from 2013 through 2018. He does research in the areas of power electronics, application of WBG (SiC and GaN) power devices, multilevel converters, electric vehicles, interface with renewable and distributed energy resources, and reactive power compensation and active filters. He is a founding member and thrust leader for CURENT, the NSF/DOE Engineering Research Center established at UT in 2011. He is also a faculty member in the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education (CIRE) .Dr. Tolbert is also an adjunct participant at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the Power Electronics and Electric Machinery Research Center. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in the state of Tennessee, a Fellow of the IEEE, and a member of the IEEE Industry Applications SocietyIEEE Power Electronics SocietyIEEE Power and Energy Society, and IEEE Industrial Electronics Society. He was the Review Chair for the Industry Power Converter Committee of the IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications from 2014-2017. He was an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics from 2007 – 2012, and was elected to be an At-Large Member of the IEEE Power Electronics Society Advisory Committee for 2010 – 2012. He was the Membership Chair for the IEEE Power Electronics Society from 2011-2012. He was the chairman of the Education Activities Committee of the IEEE Power Electronics Society from 2003-2007. He is the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER Award and the 2001 IEEE Industry Applications Society Outstanding Young Member Award. He has had six prize papers: second prize in 1992, first prize in 2006, and second prize in 2013 from the IEEE Industry Applications Society Annual Meeting, and a prize paper in 2009 from the IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics. He has received the following awards at The University of Tennessee: the Charles Ferris Faculty Award in 2019, Moses A. and Mayme Brooks Distinguished Professor Award in 2010, Engineering Research Fellow Award in 2003, 2007, 2012, 2013, and 2017; Chancellor’s Citation for Research and Creative Achievement in 2016, Chancellor’s Multidisciplinary Research Award in 2012, and Chancellor’s Citation for Professional Promise in Research and Creative Achievement in 2003.

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Posted by on June 12, 2020 in Meetings


June 2020 Technical Society Meeting

On June 8, 2020 the Technical Society of Knoxville will have its next ZOOM meeting. James Tente, Knoxville Building and Plans Review Chief: International Energy Conservation Code (IECC)  will speak on the reduction of residential energy consumption through the Passive House.  

The ZOOM information for the June 8, 2020 meeting is below:

Future programs (as circumstances dictate).

July 13: Prof. Dr. Tolbert  on Electrical Grid (tentative)

August 10: Dr. Jim Beaver on Earthquakes (tentative)

September 14

October 5: 

November 9

December 14: Meeting geared to 100. Birthday of the TSK. 

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Posted by on May 15, 2020 in Meetings