Volume 12 Issue 5 Heather McNabb, Co-Editor February 2006
NEWSLETTER OF THE EAST TENNESSEE SECTION OF AIChE
Local section website Local section mailing address
http://www.tnengineering.net/AICHE/ PO Box 3488 Kingsport, TN 37664-3488
February AIChE Meeting
Separations Technology in Dialysis
O ur speaker, Dr. Allan Turner, obtained his B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Clemson University in
1993. He completed a summer internship with Dow Chemical in Midland Michigan between his Junior and
Senior year. He then attended The Medical University of South Carolina and received his M.D. in 1998. After
medical school he completed an internship and residency in Internal Medicine at The University of Alabama at
Birmingham (UAB) Medical Center. After residency he stayed at UAB and completed a
fellowship in nephrology. He currently practices nephrology in Greenwood S.C.
Kidneys serve to remove toxins, regulate the body’s extracellular fluid status, and
produce and regulate crucial hormones. When renal function is lost, renal
replacement therapy (RRT) is required to survive. Nephrologists currently have
several options for RRT. Dr. Turner’s presentation will describe these options and the
engineering principles that are incorporated in each. Understanding of the current
processes to replace renal function will hopefully lead to future improvements in the
process. Improving RRT will become more important as the population of patients
requiring RRT continues to grow in number and comorbidities. Engineers working with
physicians may be crucial to these future improvements.
What: February Meeting of the East Tennessee Section of AIChE
Speaker: Dr. Allan Turner,
Greenwood (SC) Internal Medicine
Topic: Separations Technology in Dialysis
Date: Friday, February 17th, 2006
Time: 11:30 am Lunch Available (Please bring your own drink)
11:45 am Program Begins
Where: Eastman Chemical Company NFS (video conference)
B-150C, Room 201C Room 305-2
Multimedia Room Conference Training Room.
RSVP: Burts Compton Melina Pahigianis
(423)-229-8526 743-9141 (x1496)
Please respond for the purposes of planning lunch!
PDH credit: We will provide a certificate for 1 PDH.
Burts Compton, 2006 Chairman
2 The Pipeline
Message from the Chair
T his past year has seen a welcome change in AIChE. Under the leadership of our own Jeff Siirola, who served
as President, the National organization succeeded in turning around a dire financial situation that threatened
AIChE’s survival. At our January program, Jeff provided a summary of the difficult decisions made by the
Institute and their positive effect on our balance sheet. Please see the summary article elsewhere in this
The Local Section also enjoyed excellent leadership in 2005. Thanks go to all of the officers and volunteers that
served the section. In particular, I’d like to recognize Heather McNabb, our outgoing Chair. In addition to
continuing the strong programming, continuing education and service programs of the Section, Heather was a
strong influence in starting a new Young Professionals Subcommittee (YPS). Credit also
goes to Lauren Moyer and Melina Pahigianis, who are leading the group. It is our hope that
the YPS will help to engage younger engineers and encourage their service to the profession.
I am excited for the opportunity to serve as Chair in 2006. I hope that we can continue to
provide you, the members, with quality programming and services. I welcome any input on
how the board can better serve you. Feel free to contact me at 423-229-8526 or via e-mail at
Burts Compton, 2006 Chairman
A Little More History of Chemistry….
A ntoine-Laurent Lavoisier (1743–1794) was in some ways the Batman of chemistry, practicing science after
hours while living the respectable life of a wealthy Parisian financier during the day. Despite working all day
in both government and private business, the French chemist was legendary for his hard work in the lab and
meticulous experimental style. With precise measurements of the masses of the reactants and products (including
those elusive gaseous products), he was able to establish the law of conservation of mass, which holds that matter
is never gained or lost during chemical reactions. He also showed that combustion was the chemical combination
of substances with oxygen; reduction, the release of oxygen from oxides. Moreover, he systematized inorganic
nomenclature, naming compounds based on their component elements for the first time. His work revolutionized
chemistry and laid the groundwork for people like John Dalton, Amadeo Avogadro, and Joseph-Louis Gay-
Lussac. He has rightfully been called the father of modern chemistry.
In addition to his chemical work, he studied respiration, agriculture, and
economics, and he helped develop the metric system. While a brilliant
scientist, skilled businessman, and competent bureaucrat, he seems to have
been somewhat naïve in some areas concerning human nature. Early in his
career, he became a major shareholder in the private corporation that collected
taxes for the French crown, a decision that would have dire consequences.
After the French Revolution, Lavoisier had many opportunities to flee the
country but chose to remain in France, seemingly unaware of the danger. He
was ultimately beheaded during the Reign of Terror. A sympathizer remarked that while it took only an instant to
sever his head, a hundred years may not produce another like it.
Chemical Hertitage Foundation
3 The Pipeline
January Meeting(s) Recap
I n January 2004, then President-elect for National AIChE, Dr. Jeff Siirola, shared with our local section
members the vision and financial challenges facing the Institute. Two years later, Jeff returns with good news
about a leaner and fiscally disciplined organization committed to its members, to the chemical engineering
profession, and to improving society through science and engineering. After 10 years of declining revenues,
investment losses, and enormous financial liabilities, the Institute had seen its net assets plummet from a high of
$20M to -$3M.
In response to these financial difficulties, AIChE increased dues and fees, cut staff by
more than two-thirds, terminated many internal programs and support services,
outsourced others including, for example, the production of the Journal and the
quarterlies (Environmental Progress, Chemical Process Safety, etc.) to John Wiley and
continuing education to ASME, shutdown the government relations office in
Washington, DC, postponed some conferences, and transferred a number of functions
to volunteers. Three-quarters of the space in 3 Park Avenue was sublet to another
organization to save an additional yearly $1.4M.
These decisions halted budget deficits and 2004 closed for the first time in 7 years with
a positive balance. Though the financial results for 2005 are still being finalized, a
modest surplus is again expected. The end of 2005 should also see a return of positive
net assets for the Institute.
Despite these difficult times, the Institute has continued to provide most of the benefits and services identified as
essential by the membership: vibrant local sections, excellent publications, industry standard scientific meetings,
career services and continuing education. In addition, some new initiatives including the long-planned Society for
Biological Engineering, the Institute for Sustainability and the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Forum have
been launched and have held their own successful conferences and symposia. At the end of 2005, a new AIChE
website was launched offering numerous enhancements for connecting with our members.
The focus moving forward in 2006 is on understanding the services that are relevant to the members, responding
to industry changes due to globalization, and identifying ways to support solutions to our growing energy
challenges. By May 2006, a new web-enabled enterprise-wide database will be launched which promises to
expedite member information updates and streamline on-line registrations and dues payments. President John
Chen, the Board of Directors, the staff, and Institute volunteers are all committed to fiscal discipline while
improving services offered to AIChE's 40,000 members.
Heather McNabb, Joey Watson
Raffle Winners Announced
C ongratuations to Chris Fugate, Paul Johnson and Roselle O'Neil. Each member
received a Platinum edition of Perry’s Handbooks which includes a CD-ROM
along with the hardcopy reference book. All three members are employed with
Nuclear Fuel Services in Erwin, TN.
Heather McNabb, Pipeline Co-editor
4 The Pipeline
Young Professionals Meeting
he first social event of the AIChE Young Professionals was held on Tuesday evening January 17th at Alta
T Cucina in Johnson City. Guests had the opportunity to meet and mingle with local section officers and meet
the 2005 National AIChE President, Jeff Siirola and his charming wife, Sharon.
Afterwards, guests enjoyed a little friendly competition in useless and obscure science and engineering trivia.
The winning team was treated to 2006 Dilbert desk calendars. Congratulations to Team "The Agitators" with
teammates Josh Keller, Richard Lorenzo, Seaborn Gray, Tony Ponzio, Joel Mendez, and Jebina Rajbhandari for
their vast knowledge of science and history!
The Young Professionals Subcommittee is hoping to have three additional meetings this year. If you are
interested in helping plan future events, please contact Lauren Moyer (firstname.lastname@example.org, 423-229-2208) or
Melina Pahigianis (email@example.com, 423-743-9141 x 1496)
Heather McNabb, Pipeline Co-Editor
National Engineers Week
ational Engineers’ Week is February 19-25. Volunteers are still needed to assist with classroom presentations
N at local schools. During the visits, volunteers talk with students about what engineers do and demonstrate
practical applications of math, science and engineering. To sign up or to get more information, contact Angela
Albert at 423-229-2783 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also during E-Week, The East Tennessee Engineering Associations Council (ETEAC) announces the recipients
of the ETEAC scholarships. ETEAC is an interdisciplinary engineering organization representing seven local
engineering-related professional societies. Scholarship recipients from this area are selected based on their
activities, course work, and a 250-word essay. Each year, the East Tennessee Section of AIChE donates $1500
towards the ETEAC scholarship to help some of our local high school students pursue higher learning in science
Professional Engineer Exam Review Course
T he Professional Engineering Exam for Chemical Engineers is offered twice annually: in the middle of April,
and at the end of October. In preparation for the exam, the East Tennessee Section of AIChE is offering a
review course during the months of February and March.
The class will meet one night a week for six weeks. Each week, a different subject will be reviewed. The
subjects to be covered by the course are:
Mass and Energy Balances Heat Transfer
Thermodynamics Mass Transfer
Fluid Mechanics Reaction Kinetics
Each session lasts two to three hours. The course begins around the first week in
February, and the cost is $25 per person. If you are interested in attending this course,
please contact Joe Parker at mailto:email@example.com or call (423)-229-3850
Joe Parker, Professional Development Coordinator
5 The Pipeline
March AIChE Meeting
Spacecraft Propulsion and Science Fiction Writing:
The Art of Matching Propulsion to Plot
A fter graduating with a degree in aerospace propulsion, Michael McCollum launched a varied and interesting
engineering career. Mr. McCollum has worked on the precursor to the Space Shuttle Main Engine, a nuclear
valve to replace the one that failed at Three Mile Island, several guided missiles, Space Station Freedom, and
virtually every aircraft in production today. He is currently employed at Honeywell, Tempe, Arizona, where he is
a Chief Engineer in the Pneumatic Controls Product Line. In addition to the field of engineering, Mr. McCollum
applies his knowledge to his science fiction writing. He published his first book, A Greater Infinity, in 1982, and
his eleventh novel is due out in March. He is the author of a dozen pieces of short fiction and has appeared in
magazines such as Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, Amazing, and Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine.
Mr. McCollum will provide us with a slightly humorous look at matching propulsion to plot in
science fiction stories and novels. It reviews the special problems associated with science fiction
writing, with an emphasis on the propulsion requirements for interplanetary travel and the plot
problems that result when an inappropriate propulsion system is chosen. Among the difficulties
discussed are the man-eating frogs of Neptune, and the age old problem of the spaceship pilot,
the professor, and the professor's daughter.
This will be a joint meeting with the local section of the American Chemical Society. Guests are welcome.
Date: Thursday, March 23rd, 2006
Time: 6:00 pm Social Time, 6:30 pm Dinner, 7:15 pm Presentation
Where: Eastman Cabin near Bays Mountain Park
RSVP: The local section of the American Chemical Society is arranging
catering of the meal, but simply respond to Steve Miller (423-224-
7350 or firstname.lastname@example.org ) by March 17th
PDH credit: We will provide a certificate for 1 PDH.
Steve Miller, Director
Local Section Officers, Directors, & Support Staff
Chair: Burts Compton 229-8526
Chair-Elect and Program Committee Chair: Lauren Moyer 229-2208
Secretary: Beth Young 743-9141(x1232)
Treasurer: Melina Pahigianis 743-9141(x1496)
Directors: Richard Colberg 229-3184
Lee Partin 229-5716
Steve Miller 224-7350
Local Section Webmaster: Tim Nolen 229-8287
Short-Course Coordinator: Mark Shelton 229-4753
Professional Development Coordinator: Joe Parker 229-3850
AIChE Pipeline Newsletter Editors: Rick Virost 229-4479
Heather McNabb 229-3102
ETEAC Representative: Joey Watson 229-6486