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ORNL Researcher to share “How Bigger is Better in Additive Manufacturing” Feb. 12

brian-post-additive-manufacturing -ut-science-forumBrian Post, associate research staff in the Manufacturing Systems Research Group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, will present “How Bigger is Better in Additive Manufacturing” at the UT Science Forum Friday, February 12.

In 1960, Professor Richard Feynman stated “There’s plenty of room at the bottom.” He was referring to the great potential in miniaturization, which ushered in the age of computers, cell phones, MEMS, and micromachining. Not only was there room at the bottom, there was PLENTY of room.

Today there is great interest in additive manufacturing and how it can transform manufacturing and products. People are printing anything from fuel injectors for jet engines, heat exchangers, robotic components to cell phone covers and Yoda heads. Additive manufacturing’s strength is the ability to manufacture low volumes of complex parts. But today everything is relatively small. What happens if you can print large items – cars, trucks, boats, houses – even wind turbine blades? What happens if manufacturing can transition from a few massive factories assembling identical cars, planes, refrigerators to hundreds, even thousands of small factories printing out customized appliances, cars, boats, furniture? Bigger is better in additive manufacturing because there’s plenty of room at the top.

The UT Science Forum takes place in the Thompson-Boling Arena, Rooms C-D from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Guests are encouraged to bring their lunch or purchase it from the Arena Cafe. Each 45-minute presentation is followed by a Q&A session.

The UT Science Forum is free and open to the public.

Changing Model of Botanical Gardens Topic for Feb. 5

knoxville-botanical-gardens-jim-richardsJim Richards, Executive Director of the Knoxville Botanical Gardens & Arboretum, will present “What If? The Changing Model of Botanical Gardens” at the next UT Science Forum Friday, February 5 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

The model of Botanical Gardens is changing from what was once a place where plants were collected and showcased to a place where people come to interact with the natural world. Richards will look at that history, where we came from and where we are headed, using Knoxville Botanical Gardens as an example.

The UT Science Forum takes place in the Thompson-Boling Arena Cafe, Rooms C-D. Attendees are encouraged to bring their lunch or purchase it at the Arena. The 40-minute presentation is followed by a Q&A.

The UT Science Forum is free and open to the public.

Centers for Disease Control guest researcher to kick off Spring Science Forum

Cold water being poured into a glass.Jess Hendricks, ORISE fellow and guest lecturer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will kick off our Spring 2016 UT Science Forum lecture series Friday, Jan. 29 with her talk, “Using Mass Spectrometry to Identify Toxins and Disease,” at 12 p.m. in the Thompson-Boling Arena Cafe, Rooms C-D.

Estrogens are the primary sex hormones responsible for the development, maturation and function of the female reproductive tract. Previous studies have shown that these compounds induce biological effects in natural waters. These compounds have been found in wastewater treatment plant effluent, river water, surface water and drinking water. The pharmaceutical carbamazepine (CBZ), which is prescribed for seizures and a range of neurological disorders, has been proposed as an anthropogenic marker in water bodies. The sweetener sucralose has also been proposed as a molecular marker due to its ubiquitous nature in wastewater, wastewater influenced surface water and septic samples. For this reason sucralose and possibly CBZ serve as molecular markers of human waste and may be correlated with the concentration of estrogens in the wastewater effluent.

A high performance liquid chromatography-electrospray chemical ionization mass spectrometry method was developed for simultaneous determination of estrone (E1), estradiol (E2), 17α-ethynylestradiol (EE2), CBZ and sucralose. The wastewater influent and effluent of three cities in Tennessee were sampled over a six month period. In her talk, Hendricks will share results of the study and discuss current mass spectrometry methods in development at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The UT Science Forum is free and open to the public. Guests are encouraged to bring their lunch or purchase it from the Arena Cafe. The 40-minute presentations are followed by a Q&A.

UT Science Forum Resumes Jan. 29

schedule-postThe UT Science Forum weekly meetings will resume Friday, January 29 at 12 p.m. in the Thompson Boling Arena Cafe, Rooms C-D.

We are finalizing our spring speaker schedule and will post the entire schedule shortly. For information about previous speakers, please click here.

If you are interested in speaking to the UT Science Forum, please email Program Coordinator Mark Littmann.

The UT Science Forum is a weekly lunch lecture series that highlights current research by professors and researchers at local institutions such as UT and ORNL, as well as scientific topics presented by local community members. It is free and open to the public.

“Fascinating Biology of Birds of Prey” Wraps Up Science Forum for 2015

upstate-birds-of-preyNatalie Mong, education director for Upstate Birds of Prey, a nonprofit organization established to assist in the capture, rehabilitation and release of injured and orphaned birds of prey, will talk about “The Fascinating Biology of Birds of Prey” at our final UT Science Forum lecture for 2015 Friday, November 20.

Natalie will discuss and show pictures of some amazing traits that make raptors the masters of the sky. From their hollow bones to the cones in a falcon’s nostrils, their bodies are designed for maximum efficiency in flight, reproduction, hunting and survival.

Natalie will bring some of her birds so everyone can see the differences between the wings of daytime and nighttime raptors and the differences in talons based on hunting and survival needs. Toward the close of the presentation, Natalie will present live birds for everyone to view, including Zena, a Red Tail Hawk; AJ, an American Kestrel; Wilson, an Eastern Screech Owl; and a surprise bird…can you guess?

The UT Science Forum is free and open to the public. The 45-minute presentation will begin at 12 p.m. in the Scripps Convergence Lab, 4th Floor of the Communications and Information Sciences Building in Circle Park on the University of Tennessee campus.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their lunch, but please note, there will not be food available to purchase on site because of our change in location.

If you have any questions, please click here to email Amanda.

Climate Change and Fundamental Science Modeling Topic for Friday, Nov. 13

climate-modelingDr. Melissa R. Allen, post-doctoral researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, will present “Climate Variability and Change: What Fundamental Science and Modeling Tell Us” at the next UT Science Forum Friday, November 13.

Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe famously stated in 2005 that climate change is “the biggest hoax ever pulled on the entire human population,” and that the climate change debate should be based not on “religion,” but on fundamental principles of science.  The consensus among world scientists as of the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Fourth Assessment report was that global warming is occurring unequivocally and that the warming is caused by human activity. That report and the subsequent 2014 Fifth Assessment Report support this consensus with a multitude of fundamental studies. Dr. Allen will share some of the scientific principles and methods that inform those studies and discuss the capabilities and limitations of what they tell us about earth’s future.

The 40-minute presentation is followed by an audience Q&A at the UT Thompson-Boling Arena Cafe, Rooms C-D. Audience members are encouraged to bring their lunch or purchase it from the Cafe.

The UT Science Forum is free and open to the public.

Please note: This will be our last meeting in the Arena Cafe for the year. Our final meeting this semester (Friday, Nov. 20) will take place in the UT Visitors Center.

“Where Do We Put All the Renewable Energy?” Topic for Nov. 6

where-put-renewable-energyDr. Matthew Mench, Condra Chair of Excellence professor and head of mechanical, aerospace, & biomedical engineering, will speak on “Where Do We Put All the Renewable Energy?” at the next UT Science Forum Friday, Nov. 6.

As the worldwide use of clean energy increases, the need to store it for efficient use is growing. Wind and solar energy generation does not often match consumer demand cycles, so some form of massive energy storage is needed. This talk will describe the pressing need for grid-level energy storage, as well as some of the challenges and options for achieving the massive levels of storage needed. In particular, the redox flow battery will be described and discussed.

The UT Science Forum begins at 12 p.m. in the Thompson-Boling Arena Cafe, Rooms C-D. Each 45-minute presentation is followed by an audience Q&A. Attendees are encouraged to bring their lunch or purchase it from the Arena Cafe. The forum is free and open to the public.

Design Thinking and Creativity on Tap for Friday, Oct. 30

design-thinkingDr. David Matthews, associate dean of facilities and technology and professor/chair of interior design will speak on “Design Thinking and Creative Process: How designers approach wicked problems” at the next UT Science Forum Friday, October 30.

As stated by Herbert Simons, “Everyone designs who devises courses of action aimed at changing existing situations into preferred ones.” This presentation will outline a universal, multi-disciplanary, design process that outlines how designers change existing conditions into preferred outcomes. Rooted in the traditions of architecture, Design Thinking is emerging as a tool of innovation and exploration for all disciplines where future outcomes are at stake.

The UT Science Forum begins at 12 p.m. in the Thompson-Boling Arena Cafe, Rooms C-D. Each 40-minute presentation is followed by a Q&A session. Guests are encouraged to bring their lunch or purchase it from the Arena.

The Forum is free and open to the public.

Restoring Urban Streams Topic for Friday, Oct. 23

urban-streams-whats-naturalDr. John Schwartz, associate professor of civil & environmental engineering, will speak on “Restoring Urban Streams: What Is ‘Natural’?” at the next UT Science Forum, Friday, Oct. 23.

Streams in urban watersheds are affected by rain running off streets and parking lots. Storms cause higher and longer flows in streams, leading to more erosion in places. Urban stream channels have been straightened, shifted for development, and armored with concrete or rip-rap rock to limit erosion. These changes greatly impact aquatic life and water quality. What can be done? And what is “natural” in streams that can’t be returned to a former “pristine” condition? We’ll explore the current practice and challenges of creek restoration and University of Tennessee research to restore urban streams.

The UT Science Forum begins at 12 p.m. in the Thompson-Boling Arena Cafe, Rooms C-D. The 40-minute presentation is followed by a Q&A session. Attendees are encouraged to bring their lunch or purchase it from the Cafe.

The Science Forum is free and open to the public.

No Meeting Oct. 16 – UT Fall Break

fall-break-2015We will not meet Friday, October 16 because UT will be closed for Fall Break.

We will resume our regular weekly schedule Friday, Oct. 23 with Dr. John Schwartz, associate professor of civil & environmental engineering, who will speak on “Restoring Urban Streams: What Is ‘Natural’?”

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