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August 2018 Technical Society Meeting

Dr Stephen Smith will discuss the proposed TVA power rate changes on August 13, 2018.

Dr Smith has been involved with energy policy for many years and he is in an excellent position to inform the Technical Society about TVA proposals to change their electrical energy rates.

Historically, the Technical Society has assisted in educating the public on important issues but we have not published an educational paper in many years. The people of the entire earth must cooperate to stop increasing the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere and making energy available from sources that do not produce carbon dioxide is a crucial part of the solution. TVA began as an organization that would solve problems caused by deforestation in a huge region and it needs to   expand its vision and work to solve the problem caused by excessive use of fossil fuels- which it has participated in- and use its great impact to accelerate the implementation of solar energy production along with any other creative ways of reducing the dumping of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Is this a time for the Technical Society to act and do we have the people who will make the effort to educate the public about the need for action? Please attend the Monday meeting if you can.

The Technical Society may need to assist in educating the public on this issue.

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Posted by on July 14, 2018 in Meetings


Technical Society meeting for July 2018

July 9: Dr.William R. Hamel, Professor, Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering, University of Tennessee will be the speaker. His research areas have been

  • Bio-robotic systems
  • Biologically-inspired engineering
  • Nano bio systems
  • Applied research in robotics and remote handling for military, space, and nuclear environments
  • Human-robot interactions
  • Robot manipulator design and controls
  • Digital real-time control
  • Mechatronics

We can expect to learn some fascinating and important things!

Robots can already clean your floors. Alexa is capable of voice interaction, music playback, making to-do lists, setting alarms, streaming podcasts, playing audiobooks, and providing weather, traffic, sports, and other real-time information, such as news. Driverless cars are on the road. Who knows what is on the horizon or even what is possible. Our lives are being impacted NOW and this is an opportunity to look clearly toward the future.

Visitors are welcome

Future programs

August 13:to be announced

September 10:to be announced

October 15:to be announced

November 19:to be announced

December 10:: Prof Mark Dean, Min H. Kao Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Tickle College of Engineering, UTK: “Computers that operate more like human brains (wording tentative)”

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Posted by on June 14, 2018 in Meetings


Wayne Davis Speaking at Technical Society June 11, 2018

The Technical Society of Knoxville will meet at the Crowne Plaza on June 11, 2018.

Dr. Wayne Davis will give a presentation and update on the Tickle College of Engineering, the growth of students including diversity, and the progress made in improving the infrastructure. He will also talk about the exciting new engineering complex for which design is in progress and for which construction will begin this coming fall.

 For this general-interest meeting we would like an estimate of the attendance and ask that you send an email to  or call  690-0705 if you plan to attend.

Dr. Davis was appointed Interim Chancellor of the University of Tennessee Knoxville (UTK)  campus on May 3, 2018. For the past ten years he has been serving as the Dean of the Tickle College of Engineering at UTK (so named in 2016 in honor of great benefactor and alumnus John D. Tickle). Dr. Davis also is the inaugural holder of the Wayne T. Davis Endowed Deans Chair, which was created by four engineering alumni in 2013.

From a very young age, Wayne Davis worked and saved for college. He supported himself as a work-study student to earn an AB in Physics from Pfeiffer College. After also earning a Master’s in Physics from Clemson University, he received an assistantship from UTK to proceed with his studies for MS/PhD degrees in Environmental/Civil Engineering.

As Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UT, Dr. Davis has specialized in research and teaching on air quality management and pollution control. His articles and books in this field and his leadership in the advancement of engineering education have been highly acclaimed and have brought him many national and international recognitions and awards, including the Lyman Ripperton Outstanding Professor Award of the international Air and Waste Management Association (AWMA) and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Institute of Professional and Environmental Practice (Pittsburgh PA) in 2007.

Dr. Davis served as the VP for Councils and as Chair of the Engineering Research Council 2010-2012 of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). He served as Secretary/Treasurer of the Global Engineering Deans Council in 2016-2017. He is also active in several other professional associations and he is a fellow of AWMA and ASEE. Dr. Davis is a long time member of the Technical Society of Knoxville.

Obviously, his teaching and his research on monitoring and control of sulfur dioxide, ozone/precursors, and particulate matter in the Southeast and the Smoky Mountains have been of great importance and interest locally. He was a recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Research and Creative Achievement in 1994, and he was UT Macebearer in 2003.


Also worthwhile is a FREE SHOWING of

Dream Big: Engineering Our World

— TWO DAYS ONLY Fri., June 8th and Sat., June 9th 10 a.m. Cinemark Tinseltown USA 755 W. Main Street Oak Ridge, TN 37830 Seats limited. First come, first served. Afterward, come see the booth at the Secret City Festival.  For more information on the film, which is a celebration of engineering, see

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Posted by on May 29, 2018 in Meetings


Technical Society meeting for May 2018

 University of Tennessee Nuclear Engineering Program and New Facility Concepts”

The University of Tennessee is a unique and valuable asset to Tennessee and this is an opportunity to see some of what is occurring. On Monday , May 14, 2018 Dr. Wes Hines plans to discuss the transformation of the nuclear engineering department and a new facility being planned for the new building.   The new facility is a Fast Neutron Source and will give UT unique capabilities that no one else in the US has. He will give a discussion of its need, design and licensing.

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Posted by on April 24, 2018 in Meetings


April 9, 2018 Technical Society of Knoxville Meeting

Arthur Morgan’s TVA-TSK Legacy

On April 9,2018 Barry Thacker will be the speaker at the Technical Society of Knoxville meeting. Parking in the Crowne Plaza garage is free. The meeting will end at 1:00pm. Visitors are welcome.

Tennesseans remember Arthur Morgan as the first Chairman and Chief Engineer of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), not to mention the founder of the City of Norris.  Morgan hit the ground running when he accepted the TVA job in 1933 by recruiting associates from his Morgan Engineering Company—Albert Fry, Harry Wiersema, Barton Jones, Carl Bock, Charles Locher, Ross Riegel, Ned Sayford, James Bowman, Emerson Chandler, and Sherman Woodward—for technical leadership positions at TVA. 

 Many of Morgan’s associates became long-time Technical Society of Knoxville members with Fry and Wiersema serving as TSK presidents.  According to TSK member Ned Sayford, Dr. Morgan called him when the TVA Act passed to say, “You are now the TVA engineering department—come on over,” which Sayford did at once.

Barry Thacker, PE, is a principal engineer at Schnabel Engineering, in Knoxville, TN.  He is also the founder of the Coal Creek Watershed Foundation, Inc., a not-for-profit watershed-restoration group.  Mr. Thacker holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Engineering degrees in civil engineering from the University of Louisville.  He is a recipient of the prestigious Hoover Medal bestowed by an international consortium of engineering societies, the joint ASCE/GBA Professional Practice Ethics and Leadership Award, and the Governor’s Outstanding Tennessean Award.  McGraw-Hill’s Engineering News-Record magazine named Barry one of construction’s top-25 newsmakers in 2013.

Mr. Thacker recently taught eighth-graders at Norris Middle School about the legacy of their city’s founder, which he will present at the Technical Society meeting on Monday, 9 April 2018. 



Future Technical Society of Knoxville programs:

May 14: Prof. Wes Hines, Nuclear Engineering Department, UT: “Nuclear Engineering at UT.”

June 11: Dr. Wayne Davis, UT, Dean, Tickle College of Engineering, UT: “The engineering college, where it stands and where it is going.”  

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Posted by on March 21, 2018 in Meetings


March 12, 2018 Meeting of the Technical Society of Knoxville

The federal government has been implementing policies to make government operations more sustainable. The resources devoted to making ORNL a model of sustainable operation have been significant and much of what has been done and learned may be of value to other organizations. Certainly ORNL started existence as the antithesis of sustainability in the frantic dash to develop the atom bomb and the change in the culture would be as great a challenge as the technical and financial challenges.

The Technical Society of Knoxville speaker at the March 12, 2018 meeting will be Bryce Hudey ( co-lead for Sustainable ORNL) The title of his presentation will be Technical Accomplishments of “Sustainable ORNL”. One of our Technical Society members attended the ORNL presentation at the October ASCE meeting and thought that this would be an interesting topic also for the Technical Society of Knoxville.

Bryce Hudey was awarded the 2017 Sustainability Champion for exemplary leadership with ORNL’s first “Battle of the Buildings”

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Posted by on March 7, 2018 in Meetings


February 12, 2018 Meeting of the Technical Society of Knoxville

Dr. Matthew N. Murray will be the Technical Society speaker on February 12, 2018. He will discuss the growing national debt.  This will be an informal discussion/lecture on a very relevant topic with an opportunity for interaction with the audience. (If you are there you can present your questions to a renown economist.)

Dr. Murray is Professor of Economics at  the University of Tennessee. He is Associate Director of the Boyd Center for Business & Economic Research and Director of the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy.

Dr. Murray’s work in the Boyd Center includes maintenance of the state econometric forecasting model that supports the annual Economic Report to the Governor and the quarterly Tennessee Business and Economic Outlook.  He has worked closely with state and local governments on a wide range of public policy issues including economic development incentives, economic/fiscal impact analysis, tax policy analysis, education finance reform, and transportation infrastructure finance.

His formal education is Ph.D., Economics, Syracuse University, M.A., Syracuse University and B.A., University of Northern Iowa.

His vita is REALLY impressive:    

Future Technical Society meetings:

March 12: Melissa Voss Lapsa and Bryce Hudey, ORNL: Sustainable Campus Initiative

April 9: Prof. Wes Hines, Head, Dept. of Nuclear Engineering, UT: On nuclear research.

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Posted by on January 23, 2018 in Meetings


January 8, 2018 meeting of the Technical Society of Knoxville

The Technical Society of Knoxville will meet at 11:55 am on January 8, 2018 at the Crowne Plaza. The program speaker will be Dr. Vince Cianciolo, a physicist at ORNL. The title of his presentation will be “How was matter created in the universe?”

Visitors are welcome.

We East Tennesseans sometimes do not appreciate the Spallation Neutron Source and the outstanding people it attracts to our area. Dr. Cianciolo has had leadership roles in major experiments covering a wide range of fundamental nuclear physics. He currently is part of a team (~ 50 scientists at ~ 20 institutions) making a measurement of the nEDM (neutron electric dipole moment) that is a factor of 100 more precise than the current best measurement. For scale – if the neutron were the size of the earth the goal would be to determine the difference between the polar and equatorial diameters to a precision of 40 nanometers.

He has been a research staff member at Oak Ridge National Laboratory from 1997 to present and nEDM (neutron electric dipole moment) Project Manager 2009-present . He has project management responsibilities for the experiment to improve measurement of neutron electric dipole moment by two orders of magnitude. He carried out R&D and analysis of neutron scattering in non-metallic vacuum window materials, activation of experimental components, backgrounds due to ambient gamma rays, optimization of operating magnetic field and temperature, techniques for blind analysis of experimental data, development of specialized electrodes and optimization of cryogenic light collection.
Dr. Cianciolo received the Lockheed Martin Technical Achievement Award in 1999 and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2001.He has a B.S in Physics from the University of Michigan and a PhD from MIT.

The January 8, 2018 Technical Society of Knoxville meeting will be the annual meeting. A new president for 2018 will be elected. Luther Alcorn has been nominated for president.

Future Technical Society meetings:

February 12: Prof. Matt Murray: The growing National Debt.

March 12: Melissa Voss Lapsa and Bryce Hudey, ORNL: Sustainable Campus Initiative

April 9: Prof. Wes Hines, Head, Dept. of Nuclear Engineering, UT: On nuclear research.

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Posted by on January 1, 2018 in Meetings


December 11, 2017 meeting of the Technical Society of Knoxville

Chad Boetger, Vice President and Director of Design for  BarberMcMurry architects will be the speaker for the  December 11, 2017 meeting of the Technical Society of Knoxville. The title of his presentation will be “Trends in Modern Residential Design from a First Hand Point of View”.(PDH)

 This presentation will explore the challenges and opportunities inherent in modern residential design; explained from the first hand experiences of an architect designing & building a home for himself and his family.  Issues of life style, home size, materiality, energy efficiency, and construction cost and how those choices impacted the design of a modern residence overlooking the Holston River will be explored. 

A 1997 graduate of the University of Tennessee School of Architecture and Design, Chad’s work focuses on providing modern and functional design solutions to a wide variety of project types.  Chad has served has an invited design critic to the UT School of Architecture, CBID Vice Chair, Chair of the City of Knoxville Downtown Design Review Board, The East Tennessee Community Design Center Board, the East Tennessee American Institute of Architects Board, and has won numerous design awards.


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Posted by on December 3, 2017 in Meetings


November 13, 2017 meeting of the Technical Society of Knoxville

The November 13, 2017 meeting of the Technical Society of Knoxville will feature Wolf Naegeli, PhD, Senior Research Scientist Emeritus with the UT Institute for a Secure and Sustainable Environment speaking on a subject that is important and very relevant- and a subject he really knows about. After driving a Nissan Leaf for three years, he now has a BMW i3, the World’s greenest electric car.

The title of his presentation will be “The ICE Age Is Ending: Time to Buy an Electric Car” (PDH)

The automotive marketplace is going to change rapidly in the coming years. Dr. Naegeli will explain what buyers need to consider before making a purchase decision. He also will discuss probable socioeconomic and environmental implications of the impending technological revolution.

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Posted by on November 11, 2017 in Meetings