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Presentations In 2006

Subject Speaker Date
Training Iraq Security Scott King 9/18
Tour of Subaru Plant Tour 9/25
Advanced Game Technology Auri Rahimzade 10/2
Electrical Accidents in the Home Stephen Garstang 10/2
Evolution of Dinosaurs George Dunn 10/16
Metabolic Syndrome Dr. Jonathan Ford 10/23
STEM Education in Indiana John Staver 10/30
Rebuilding Waste Water Plant Ed Malone 11/06
Purdue in Flight John Norberg 11/13
Central Indiana Land Trust Thomas Swinford 11/20
Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering Steve Witz 11/27
Bindley Bioscience Center Charles Buck 12/04
World Is Flat Bill Stanley 12/11

Vol 83 No 34 - September 18, 2006

Training Iraq Security

Presented By: Scott King
Assistant Chief, Pittsboro, IN Police Department

Mr. King has a bachelor’s degree in Law Enforcement from the University of Indianapolis, and worked in the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department for 14 years. He went to Iraq as a civilian employee of Dyncor, who supplies law enforcement personnel in foreign countries under contract to the U.S. Department of State. Mr. King joined Dyncor in order to help in the training of Iraqi police forces in post-war Iraq, where he spent 18 months. He used this presentation to recount some of his experiences.

After joining Dyncor, Mr. King underwent specialized training at The Crucible, a training camp in Virginia. He deployed from there to Jordan, where he helped teach skills to Iraqi security forces who were to return to work in Iraq. After a short time in Jordan, he asked to be deployed to Iraq. Headquartered in Baghdad, he nevertheless traveled around Iraq a good deal.

He was assigned to the Iraqi Highway Patrol, which is basically the Iraqi state police. Such statewide agencies are relatively rare in Iraq, where most things are managed more locally. He visited their 36 stations throughout the country, and worked with the commanders to help them develop systems for keeping track of ammunition, vehicle maintenance, personnel, etc. The Highway Patrol is growing very slowly, as recruitment is lagging behind target. The 2500 who have been recruited so far are being paid a handsome salary (by Iraqi standards) by the United States government. It’s unlikely they will ever have democratic policing, because there is so much infighting and religious and ethnic bias.

Mr. King had great praise for the American military forces in Iraq. In addition to their regular military work, they also have to train Iraqi military and police and help in rebuilding the country. They are doing a great job.

At one time Mr. King’s hotel, located just outside the 10 mile square Green Zone in Baghdad, was the target of a garbage truck bomb. There was a great deal of damage to the hotel. Mr. King was injured, and was airlifted to Landstuhl, Germany for treatment and rehabilitation.

Baghdad has the greatest population concentration. To the West and the South of Baghdad are Anbar province, where the insurgents feel most safe. In the North is where the Kurds live. The other two ethnic groups are the Shia (the majority) and the Sunni. The Kurds tend to be pro-coalition, and would like to be an independent country, but that is opposed by the others because half of Iraq’s oil reserves are in the North where the Kurds live. The Shia and the Sunni (Saddam Hussein is a Sunni) do not get along, and their relations are strained even in places like the Iraqi Highway Patrol.

Most of the insurgency is carried out by non-Iraqis from various countries in the area, such as Syria, Turkey, and northern Africa. The insurgents feel threatened by the prospect of a democratic nation in the area. They recruit insurgents by threatening the family members of likely males, and that is also how they are able to operate overtly without fear of being turned in.

Even though Iraq has rich oil reserves, they have little refining capacity. Pipelines crisscross the country to other places in the Middle East, but gasoline is difficult to get, people sometimes having to wait 2 ˝ days in the queue at the station. Oil revenues go to the Ministry of Oil, it’s not clear where it goes from there. Corruption is a way of life in Iraq.

Roadside bombs remain a deadly day-to-day threat in Iraq. The technology for making them is evolving rapidly, and there is no clear way to defend against them.

Mr. King believes we will have a presence in Iraq for a long time. In particular, he believes that there would be mass reprisals against those who were believed to have been sympathetic to the coalition. He believes a massacre would follow our departure.

Notes by Tom Spradlin

NOTE: The following statement is for test purposes only and the pictures involved are not taken from the talk above

Pictures from this talk may be seen by clicking HERE and selecting the Italian Dolomites photo set

Vol 83 No 35 - September 25, 2006

Tour of the Subaru Plant

We had a beef and noodles lunch at the Children’s Museum and then boarded a Thompson Motor Coach bus to the Subaru plant off exit 168 of I-65. Mike Mattingly, Human Resources Specialist at Subaru of Indiana Automotive SIA, 765-449-6262, gave a tour of their plant. Everyone had headphones so that they could hear his descriptions.

The tour was a one mile walk on an elevated catwalk around the Subaru assembly plant with some steps interspersed. We viewed shiny galvanized Subaru bodies as they were being moved on a large assembly line cradle into the painting room. Galvanized steel comes from U. S. Steel. Galvanized Iron buckets did not rust and were labeled GI buckets and eventually led to the name GI Joe. Paint shop workers cannot use certain deodorant, cologne and soap for their underwear because of paint interference concerns. A 90,000 volt, low amperage electrodeposition coating is applied as a base coat for the purged thinner based paint. PVC sealant is used instead of lead that had sealed pieces of sheet metal in older cars.

We did not see the stamping operation, but saw the large vehicle assembly areas and some Subaru storage and testing areas. They focus on the process, procedures, and standards, rather than the person if there is a problem. There are 550 robots in the assembly line. Parts such as seats are loaded into trucks in reverse order so it corresponds to their need on the assembly line. 33 vehicles per hour are assembled on the line. Workers get $24.11/ hour with perfect attendance. Many optical switches monitor problems along the assembly line. Automatic guided vehicles carry parts to other locations. Radio Frequency Identification Devices RFID were used to track each vehicle, part, employee identification badges, and for automatic parts payments. Quality was very important with employees pulling a yellow cord if a problem occurred so that a person could follow-up and correct the problem on the line. You tend to tell nine people if you had a problem with a vehicle, but only one if you liked an aspect of a vehicle, so quality is important for the product image. Hand held wireless IPAD and Palm IPODs were used to track all changes so that the next shift would know of changes from the previous shift.

The boxer engine has horizontally opposed cylinders which provides very low vibration and is like ones in the Piper airplane which was first designed in 1956. Cars are now designed like Indy race cars to crumple to absorb accident energy: not much metal will intrude into the passenger compartment in a crash. Aluminum hoods are lighter, allow better gas mileage, and do not intrude into the passenger compartment during an accident based on vehicle crash tests. We saw the all wheel drive SUV B9 Tribecas, Outbacks, and Legacys.

They have a test track where vehicles are tested at 86 to 90 miles/hour, up a steep hill, over rumble strips, all to find problems. In the plant high pressure water is used to test for air leaks. A sensor sniffs for any gasoline or antifreeze leaks on the assembled Subarus.

This plant produced Isuzu’s also, but that has been discontinued. SIA is now tooling up to produce Toyota Camry’s under contract to Toyota as well as the Subaru.

Notes by Dr. Alan D. Schmidt

Vol 83 No 36 - October 2, 2006

Technology of Advanced Game Machines

Presented By: Auri Rahimzade

Auri Rahimzade is the author of Geek My Ride, a car technology book and Hacking the PCP, about customizing the Sony Playstation Portable. Rahimzade contributes to computer education nation-wide and promotes technology awareness through articles and participation on industry standards boards. He has served as president of the Indianapolis Computer Society and runs the consulting firm: The Auri Group.

Console Gaming Systems

“Game consoles aren’t really game consoles anymore,” according to Auri Rahimzade. They are becoming something altogether different, although they still can be used to play games. Consoles manufactured by Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo are, for the most part, becoming media centers for homes. They allow audio, video and photos to be played.

Because of the increasing popularity of high definition television, game console manufacturers Sony and Microsoft are following the trend with models that support HD-TV. They allow owners to play games with the best visual results and also watch television or movies and listen to music with the highest levels of picture and audio. These consoles will support current standard television images as well as the new HD-TV.

Some new models will allow the game console to connect with other computers in the house to source material stored there. It will be possible to locate music, for example, on a computer and play it through the game console. The system can be either wired or wireless networks.

Sony and Microsoft are competing to “own” your living room, according to Rahimzade. They will continue to offer high-end components, like HD-TV. Nintendo seems to be staying with a “gaming” concept and as a result does not appear be expanding to the high end HD-TV and other features.

“Computer gaming technology drives innovation,” said Rahimzade. “To create the realistic environments and to make the game entertaining, requires technology,” he continued. The technology requires more pixels and the technology to move them around.

Games almost always outpace the development of computer hardware. A big part of the market emphasis is the requirement for game players to upgrade to the latest hardware to make use of the expanded software design works.

New advances in hardware include Nintendo’s wireless gyroscopic controls that allow the user to reproduce, for instance, hand or arm movements on the screen. A sword thrust by the user will be duplicated by the action character on the screen.

Features from Microsoft’s newest XBox allows subscribers with broadband connections to speak to other XBox gamers, worldwide, through audio hookups. Gamers can compete against one another and, presumably will be able to establish video connections.

The new games have evolved to a Phd. level according to Rahimzade: Push here dummy! They are easy to operate and play.

Data storage advances are a part of the gaming industry. High Definition DVD’s will be required to store HD movies. An HD DVD will store up to 40 Gigabytes of data per disk. These new systems use blue lasers rather than the current standard red laser. The shorter wavelength of the blue laser allows more data to be stored on each disk. There are competing formats in this area and dual read/write systems should be available soon.

Game consoles offer huge amounts of computing power for relatively little cost. Processors are typically 64-bit; most personal computers today are still 32-bit. Most offer custom-designed operating systems. RAM up to 1 gigabyte in size is available. The systems are designed to allow the games to operate “seamlessly” and utilize all the spectacular graphics. The next generation of these computers will have IBM processors. Intel has, apparently, lost this part of the marketplace.

When and if “other” user applications such as Microsoft Office and email are available for these consoles, they may replace home computers. Until that time they will interface with digital cameras, replace DVD players, play music and, of course, play games.

Notes by James Reid

Vol 83 No 37 - October 9, 2006

Electrical Accidents in the Home

Presented By: Stephen Garstang

Scientech member Garstang is an electrical engineer from Purdue who started his career working on control panels at Allen Bradley, and then created his own control panel company. Computers killed the company, and he then became an engineering manager until he retired—for about three weeks, when he became a teacher of electrical safety and safe practices. His talk to us was a composite of two courses which he now teaches and included clear visual aids and graphic film of hazardous practices.

At the entrance of power to the home, clearances are required between electrical equipment and the ground, doors and windows, and roadways. Trees must not be used as supports for wires and equipment; you can put lights in your tree, but may not carry the wires on through the tree to the next one.

Grounding of electrical equipment is required for safety. Houses usually have a metal ground stake for grounding, and water pipes also are safely used. But it is also necessary to provide a safe passage for power back into the source of electricity, such as the transformer, when any fault in the equipment occurs. That safe passage must have enough capacity to dispose safely and very rapidly of all the power that may be interrupted by a fault. When a fault occurs, the return flow of electricity is also the force that takes out the circuit breaker and ends the danger of the fault.

In inspecting your own house, a simple testing device can be used to determine if each receptacle actually is grounded, and that should be done. For safety, panel boards must have nothing more than 6 inches deep in front of them. No permanent load greater than half the capacity of a circuit should be installed.

A common household layout brings two 120-volt phases into the house through a 200-ampere breaker. The stove and air conditioner use both phases, and the other circuits are 120V.

Universally, the black wire in a circuit is the hot, 120V side, the white wire is the neutral return to the transformer, and the green wire is the ground. The neutral wire carries amperage only—that wire has no voltage driving the circuit, but is only a passageway.

Insulating materials range from the poor insulator air, up to ceramics. Water, glass and rubber are increasingly effective intermediate insulators. Damp air is a particularly poor insulator; Mr. Garstang told us of a poor soul who created a four-foot arc between a wire and a ladder on a damp morning. Water containing salts or other ions are a very bad insulator.

Silicon and carbon are semiconductors. Good conductors run from gold up through aluminum and copper up to silver. Aluminum has the serious defects of corrosion and expansion in heat, which has resulted in numerous fires when expansion created loose connections and arcing.

Most electrical fatalities are on 120V or 240V circuits. The reason is that even very small current flows are dangerous. Even 10 milliamps will prevent the victim from letting go of the alternating current source, and only 100 milliamperes will put the victim’s heart into fibrillation. Accordingly, the ground fault circuit interrupters now used in all bathrooms and kitchens are set to break the circuit at 4-6 mill amperes. A GFCI is self-contained, and therefore a house with old-fashioned ungrounded receptacles can be made safe by replacing them with GFCI receptacles. They are required in garages and home workshops, too.

Flexible cords are a frequent source of home fires. They should be inspected every time one handles a cord, and replaced if any break in the insulation or kinky spot appears. They must not be run anywhere they cannot be seen, and must never be installed permanently anywhere.

Another household error is using screw-in plugs to convert a lamp socket into a receptacle. The danger is that a pull on the cord will strain the socket, creating a chance for an arc, or a short circuit.

Notes by Joe Jones

Vol 83 No 38 - October 16, 2006

Evolution of Dinosaurs

Presented By: George Dunn

George Dunn

George Dunn

George graduated from Indiana University with a degree in psychology. He has retired from the defense finance and accounting services. He is currently the editor and a prolific article contributor to Mind for Mensa of Central Indiana. Along with millions of other schoolchildren, he fell in love with dinosaurs at first sight about seven. He conveyed some of his extensive knowledge and insight during his talk.

His title, "Evolution of the Dinosaurs," can have at least three meanings: the genetic development of the animals we call dinosaurs, the changes in public perception of these dinosaurs as science advances and as customs change, and our own individual perceptions as we gain knowledge. The last of these being overly specific for a group discussion, he dealt with only the first two.

Other than the emergence of Life itself, no event in our planet's existence has been more significant that the advent of the Mesozoic Era. At this point, Life virtually started over, following a global catastrophe beside which the disaster, which ended the reign of the dinosaurs, was a minor event. The story from this point has essentially been the struggle of two clades of creatures for supremacy. A clade includes forms of life which share a common ancestor and features. Our fellow mammals and we are on one side and dinosaurs and birds are on the other. Like two great corporations with different business strategies, each group put out products which emphasized particular specializations. Although it risks oversimplification to characterize it just this way, one group concentrated on locomotion and the other on eating

The second kind of "evolution" involves how science and public attitudes influenced each other to shape the perception of the dinosaur. The first attribute dinosaurs possessed was gigantic size, owing to the fact that massive fossils are the most easily identified. Today we know that dinosaurs came in a wide range of sizes. During the first half of the Twentieth Century, a spirit of progress fired the public imagination and it was almost mandatory that we have an explanation that reassured us of our natural superiority to the dinosaurs. We settled on their small brains.

The turning of an Era: Gradual change is the rule, but periods are marked by events. Eras are marked by really significant events.

The Great Dying -- 64 mya (million years ago)

The Really Great Dying -- 225 mya, 95% of life died. Diapsid reptiles (as the crocodile) have two pair of openings in the temple of the skull and specialized in locomotion. Synapsid reptiles with one pair of holes became mammals and us, with specialized incisors, cuspids, and molars for eating

Early dinosaurs were viewed as giant chickens. Today we have a more complex picture, but by no means an exhaustive one, of the biology, ecology and behavior of the dinosaurs. No doubt a future generation will look back on some of today's teachings as woefully parochial.

Notes by Alan Schmidt

Vol 83 No 39 - October 23, 2006

Metabolic Syndrome

Presented By: Dr, Jonathan Ford

Jonathan Ford Marsh, M.D. is an internal medicine physician for Meridian Adult Medicine of the Care Group, L.L.C. 9240 North Meridian St., #160, Indianapolis, IN 46260 telephone (317) 574-2286 Marketing at 317/338-6408 He graduated from Purdue University majoring in biology, completed his M.D. in 2002 at Indiana University of Medicine, and did an internal medicine residency at St. Vincent Hospital in 2005.

COPYRIGHT 2005 The Care Group L.L.C. reprinted with permission

Metabolic Syndrome is a cluster of abnormalities in how the body processes food for energy. The major player for metabolic syndrome is insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone, which helps keep blood sugar levels in the normal ranges. Insulin resistance occurs when insulin levels begin to rise and cells in the body lose the ability to transport blood sugar out of the blood and into the cells. Insulin resistance at the cellular level causes a rise in blood sugar. While any one of the following risks can increase health concerns, when multiple risks occur together, the impact on your health is increased. For metabolic syndrome to be the diagnosis, three of the five following risks are present:

1. Excess abdominal fat described as: 37 or more inches in men, 31 or more inches in women

2. Elevated triglyceride levels of over 150 mg/dL

3. Reduced HDL or good cholesterol levels of less than 40 mg/dL for men and less than 50 for women

4. Elevated Blood pressure greater than 130/85

5. Elevated fasting blood sugar (100 mg/dL) or higher or a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.

Metabolic syndrome affects 47 million adults in the United States and nearly three times as many people have metabolic syndrome as have diabetes. It is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, stroke and diabetes and has been linked to numerous other health concerns, including dementia and cancers.


• Do you have a family history of type 2 diabetes? • Have you had gestational diabetes, pregnancy induced diabetes, or delivered a baby that weighed nine pounds or more? • Are you overweight? • Have you been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Disease? • Do you exercise less than 30-minutes a day less than three times a week?



Nutritional recommendations include a slight reduction in carbohydrates replaced by more of the mono and polyunsaturated fats. The Metabolic Syndrome Diet recommendations are often referred to as the Mediterranean Diet. Visit for more information about weight management classes in your area.


The Surgeon General Report on Physical Activity and Health recommends that every American adult should accumulate 30 minutes of more of moderate intensity cardiovascular activity over the course of most days of the week. Include activities such as walking, swimming, gardening, group fitness or raking leaves. Purchase a pedometer to track your daily steps to meet the recommended goal of 10,000 steps a day. Include strength training to build stronger muscles and connective tissue as well as increase the amount of calories you burn. You can make an appointment with a Care Group physician to discuss your risks and obtain a complete assessment by calling 317/338-6666 or 800/732-1484.

BMI(Body Mass Index)=703{Weight(lbs) / Height(in)2}

What Your BMI Score Means

Under 20 May indicate malnutrition. 20-25 Healthy weight range for most people. 25-30 Overweight: Increased risks for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea and some cancers. 30-35 Obesity class I 36-40 Obesity class II 40 or greater Extreme obesity class III

Notes by Alan Schmidt

Vol 83 No 40 - October 30, 2006

Growing STEM Education in Indiana

Presented By: Dr. John Staver
Purdue University

In the competition to attract and retain new scientific and high technology business the State of Indiana must compete on a worldwide basis.

The traditional purposes of American education are: preparation for advanced education at a college level, preparation of a workforce and teaching science and mathematics literacy for use in everyday activities.

For the last 50 years, the shape of the American workforce has changed significantly. We have moved from an industrial age to an information age. Today workers are expected to think at a higher level, think and work collaboratively and solve problems.

ISTEM is the Indiana Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics Resource Center and is a state project headquartered at Purdue University’s West Lafayette campus. (The name will probably change from “Resource Center” to “Resource Network” to give a better description of its function.)

Excellent public K through 12th grade education represents the foundation of a well-educated and entrepreneurial workforce and is necessary for the development of strong economic development for the state and a high quality of life for the citizens of this state. Indiana’s foundation stands in need of improvement.

Today’s fastest growing and highest paying jobs require education beyond High School. If Indiana is to be a place of choice for business and industry then the schools across the entire state must improve.

Consistently excellent public schools across the state will provide several advantages. It will provide a workforce with problem-solving and collaborative skills necessary to the new and existing employers in Indiana. It will provide a strong base for those students that wish to pursue an advanced education.

To achieve this higher level of science at the K through 12th grade level means that science teachers at those grade levels will have to increase their level of competence. Those teachers will be required to understand science and mathematics better than they currently do. Even more, teachers will have to understand how to teach math and science in a way that is engaging.

The ISTEM network exists to help solve this problem: how to increase all students’ achievements in math and science. This is a “we” problem and it involves all of us. It is a problem that will take 3 to 5 years from the time we start just to see movement.

This will be a voluntary endeavor. Our goals are: higher student achievement in math and science and better attitudes toward science and mathematics. To do that we know that we need to help teachers understand these subjects better and teach better. We expect local involvement with much of the activity in regional districts.

To ensure effectiveness of the programs there will be a complex standards-based assessment system. The professional development of ISTEM teachers is one part of the six-point program to be discussed today. Teachers are the key element in this entire program. Studies show that improving teacher effectiveness and quality leads most directly to improving student achievement.

Studies by a Stanford University economist show that the gap between economically disadvantaged students and non-disadvantaged students disappears if disadvantaged students have effective teachers for four to five consecutive years.

The ISTEM network will offer a series of credit and non-credit courses for teachers. The first attempt will be in the area of middle school level mathematics. There are a large number of middle school teachers teaching out of their field of expertise. The courses will allow teachers teaching out of field to come back and study mathematics more intensely. The goal is to allow these teachers to be more effective in the classroom.

Effective teachers know their field and are able to motivate students. The ISTEM network will provide messages to teachers that will allow them to produce the curiosity and interest that is necessary in successful science and mathematics programs.

How to help ISTEM? Scholarships to students to attend programs that they would not otherwise get to attend. Scholarships to teachers to go back to school to improve their teaching techniques.

Vol 83 No 41 - November 6, 2006

East Bank Waste Water Treatment Plant Rehabilitation in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

Presented By: Ed Malone
Veolia Water Indianapolis

Ed Malone

Ed Malone

Mr. Malone presented the heroic efforts of his team in bringing the New Orleans East Bank Wastewater Treatment Plant back in operation in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita in August and September, 2005. His presentation was in a time line format.

Aug 27-Katrina heads for New Orleans
       Hurricane preparedness plan goes into effect.
Aug 29- Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans. Winds in excess of 120 mph. Water level crests at 16 ft over a 14 ft levee
       submerging most plant processes. Heavy damage to building facilities. West Bank Waste Water
       Treatment Plant remains in operation. Corporate Command Post set up in Houston, TX.
Aug 31-East Bank staff rescued by Helicopter. Water level at 13 ft on plant grounds.
Sept 1-8- Plant access doubtful. Surrounding neighborhoods under 12 ft of water.
Sept 8- Site dewatering begins.
Sept 17- Plant dewatering begins.
Sept 23 Hurricane Rita Hits New Orleans. Another 2 ft of water added to plant site. EPA issues order
       that WWTP to be operational within 60 days.
Sept 28-Dewatering process completed.
Sept 30-Commence site cleanup. FEMA issues Nov 26 deadline for cost estimates for pre Katrina operation.
Oct 7-15-Effluent pumps removed overhauled, reinstalled. Complete startup testing and initiate primary treatment.
Oct 16- All discharges redirected to plant headworks.
Nov 1- Entergy restores power (intermittently).
Nov 1-15-Drain, clean, service oxygen reactors. Replace effluent gates. Drain, overhaul, replace valves,
       diffusers, blowers, motors, control gates, pumps, switch gear, replace corroded piping.
Nov 16-Attempt startup of Secondary Treatment. Secondary Treatment initiated successfully one week before deadline.
Nov 18-30-Oxygen reactors placed on generator power. Hypochlorite used for disinfection. Bio-enzymes purchased to
       accelerate biomass growth. Cost estimates for plant rehabilitation submitted to FEMA.
Dec -     Sedimentation basis cleanup begins. FEMA invoicing begins. Some pumps on city power,
       some on generator power.
Jan-Mar-Continued replacement of pumps, diffusers, corroded piping. Clarifiers and oxygen reactors returned to service.
April-May- Continued replacement of mechanical equipment.
May-Aug-Electrical Switchgear, conduits replaced.

Mr. Malone was onsite from Sept, 05 till May, 06. An incredible job accomplished under nearly impossible conditions.

Vol 83 No 42 - November 13, 2006

Wings of Their Dreams - Purdue in Flight

Presented By: John Norberg

Our speaker was John Norberg, who has been a journalist for 30 years, and is now a senior writer for Purdue University. Among other things, he writes speeches for Purdue President Jischke. He is the author of four books having to do with Purdue, and today’s talk was based on his book Wings of Dreams, which is about fliers and other aviation pioneers with ties with Purdue, and with Indiana generally.

In the beginning, there were the Wright brothers, as well as Octave Chanute, who did landmark work in flying at Miller Beach, near Gary, in the late nineteenth century. It is amazing to think that the time from Kitty Hawk to the moon was only 66 years, 1903 to 1969. Orville Wright personally knew Charles Lindbergh, and Lindbergh personally knew Neil Armstrong. Orville Wright flew in a jet plane.

Purdue is the site of the first university airport, and had the fifth aeronautical engineering program. A Purdue graduate was aboard 37% of the American space flights, and no less than 22 of our astronauts have been Purdue graduates.

Mr. Norberg gave us quick sketches of the lives of many Purdue-related people. Like Don Williams, Lafayette’s astronaut, who remembered driving an old tractor through farm fields as a boy, and thinking that flying a plane would be more fun. “As it turned out,” he said, “it was.”

Dick Covey rode the first flight after Challenger, was co-chairman of the flight oversight committee after Columbia and gave the go-ahead to fly the shuttle again.

Jerry Ross has flown more space missions than anyone in this world. He said about the moment of liftoff, “It’s exhilarating, and pretty scary. You know, you’re about to be pushed off the surface of the earth—and everything was built by the lowest bidder!”

Janice Voss became interested in space as a girl in the 6th grade, and is still an active astronaut.

David Wolf, Indianapolis’s astronaut, was an early 1970’s engineer with Texas Instruments.

The official first airmail was flown in a balloon from downtown Lafayette in 1859 by John Wise. True, he got only as far as Crawfordsville, and the mail was sent on to NYC by train!

The Wright brothers grew up in Indiana, and chains from Indianapolis drove their self-designed propellers.

Cliff Turpin, ME ’08 from Purdue, flew the Wright exhibition planes, and worked on the development of the Wright engines and control devices. He was an aviation superstar, demonstrating flying to hundreds of thousands of people.

Flight came to Purdue at an air show on Stewart Field in 1911. Lincoln Beachey was the featured pilot. In 1919, George Haskins landed at Stewart Field during gala week, carrying a petition to the trustees requesting the creation of an aeronautical program in the University, and it began receiving students in 1921. Haskins later became head of that program and, late in his long life, he watched a graduate of Purdue aeronautical walk on the moon.

Purdue graduate Frederick Martin was a major and a pilot in 1924, and he was chosen to command a four-plane flight which would attempt to fly around the world, two days before Lindbergh. Two of the planes made it, in 175 days. Martin himself crashed in a blizzard in Alaska. In 1941, Martin was in command of all air services at Pearl Harbor when the attack came, but he had previously written a report to Washington in which he had predicted such an attack in detail. The report was ignored by his superiors.

The above is a mere sampling of Mr. Norberg’s extremely fast-moving, fact-filled talk, which he presented with good humor and complete authority.

Vol 83 No 43 - November 20, 2006

Central Indiana Land Trust

Presented By: Thomas Swinford
Central Indiana Land Trust

Mr. Swinford is a Regional Ecologist with the Division of Nature Preserves, Indiana Department of Natural Resources and a board member of the Central Indiana Land Trust (CILTI). He provided the club with a brief history of the natural resources of Indiana and how these resources were formed. He also introduced the work of the Central Indiana Land Trust. The CILTI mission statement “Through land protection, stewardship and education, the Central Indiana Land Trust Incorporated preserves biological diversity and enhances life in our communities for present and future generations” along with their WEB site and news letter “The Acorn” gives a good overview of the organization. The CILTI serves 10 counties in central Indiana that include the ring counties around Indianapolis and Putnam and Park counties.

Mr. Swinford then described the major land mass areas of the CILTI area that were formed by the melt waters from the glacier period. Native Indians inhabited this area as early as 14,000 years ago.

The first area call the Till plane is composed of flat woods that is wet in the spring. Due to agriculture most of the native forest has been removed (over 90% of Indiana was forest) and now contains postage stamp wood lots that are homes to the wood frog and neotropical birds that are in decline.

The second area known as the stream corridors that includes ravines that can be seen in Hendricks County, and Park County. These corridors are known for the Indiana Beech tree that can be over 400 years old. Ginseng can also be found in these areas of Indiana and is still harvested and brings over $235/lb. The Red Headed wood pecker is also found in these areas, but is declining.

The third area is called the flood plains. These areas hold the black walnut trees and many streams that flood the plain area. An indicator of the health of the area and stream can be seen by the population of the small mouth bass (Indian trout). Another good indicator of the health of the stream can be seen in the population of mussels. Some of us may remember that mussels were used for buttons.

The Riparian corridors hold the major rivers of the area, which include the White River. Mr. Swinford showed many pictures of Indiana wildlife that included the box turtle and flowers. Over 36 different species of orchid’s can be found in Indiana.While Hawaii has 100’s of orchid, none are native to the islands. The riparian corridors are fed by the wet prairies that he called “fens” and are also known as Bogs.

We have very few parries in Indiana, and are shaped by stress and fires. Prairies have 90% of their biomass below the soil level, while wooded areas only have 50% biomass in the soil.

Mr. Swinford gave an excellent overview of the natural resources of central Indiana, and the need of organizations such as the CILTI to help maintain the few natural areas that are still in existence.

Notes by Hank Wolfla

Vol 83 No 44 - November 27, 2006

An Overview of the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering

Presented By: Dr. Steve Witz

Dr. Witz became the first director of the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering at Purdue University in Jan. 2006. He served in senior roles in health and hospital administration for 26 years, including tours at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinic and the St. Patrick Hospital and Health Science Center in Missoula, Montana. He has taught at the University of Minnesota, the University of Utah, and Brigham Young University. He has a Ph.D. in Hospital and Healthcare Administration.

The Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering (RCHE) has been in existence for about a year and a half. It is distinct from the IU Regenstrief Institute, but they collaborate. The mission of the RCHE is “to catalyze transformation of healthcare delivery by applying principles of engineering, management, and science.” They are interested in using tools of engineering, including supply chain management and systems analysis, to study and influence how health care is delivered to the consumer. In fact, a study of healthcare delivery is destined to be a “Signature Area” of the Purdue School of Engineering in the near future.

They hope to transform healthcare delivery by interdisciplinary research and implementation, through engagements with partners, and through professional education. They currently have 28 projects arranged in 3 core areas: efficiency and effectiveness; safety and quality; and security and interoperability.

Under efficiency and effectiveness, they hope to reduce healthcare unit costs, to improve outcomes, and to study whether healthcare utilization is appropriate. They are using modeling and simulation to study operations in hospitals, for example in the operating room, to estimate the consequences of various staffing choices. They are studying ambulatory clinic patient flow to attempt to find ways efficiency of such clinics. They administer individual risk appraisals to attempt to find ways to encourage people to take responsibility for lowering their own health risks.

Under safety and quality of healthcare, they are working with multiple partners within the framework of the Indiana Center for Patient Safety to study trends in factors related to patient safety.

In the area of interoperability and security, the RCHE is working toward a target articulated by President Bush, namely a target of having 100% of our health records electronically stored by 2014. The RCHE is developing means to ensure that the resulting databases will be secure and confidential. They are also studying the interface between computers and health care workers, seeking ways to improve that interaction.

The RCHE also participates in a Healthcare Technical Assistance Program, designed to address short-term, acute issues. They are prepared to offer performance improvement training, facility planning, information technology, and patient flow and scheduling consultation. This activity provides a market for implementation of their research findings.

In May the RCHE sponsored a conference called “Next Generation Design,” attended by a group of CEOs interested in healthcare delivery. Their goals are access to basic health care for all, consumer choice and responsibility, and personalized, coordinated continuum of care. The second of these goals is currently receiving the most emphasis, and researchers are studying how people interact with the health care system. They are finding that consumers are not very sophisticated in this interaction.

Notes by Hank Wolfla

Vol 83 No 45 - December 4, 2006

An Overview of the Bindley Bioscience Center at Purdue University

Presented By: Dr. Charles Buck
Director of Operations

Dr. Buck is a molecular biologist with training from the University of Idaho and Cornell University. He has had academic appointments at Cornell, the University of Utah, the Medical University of South Carolina, and Emory University. He served 4 years as Chief Scientific Officer of Oridis Biotech in Grav, Austria, before assuming his current position.

The Bindley Bioscience Center (BBC) has been in existence for 14 months now, and it is one of 10 “centers” that form the Discovery Park at Purdue University. It provides flexible laboratory space for interdisciplinary studies of life sciences and bioengineering. Employees don’t “own” lab space or equipment, instead it is all shared. The building is organized by function and capability, and has 18000 sq. ft.

Generally, they work in 4 areas. These are biomolecular technologies, cytomics and imaging, bionanotechnology, and computational life sciences and iinformatics. The 4th of these functions provides services to the first three.

They perform a wide range of services. For example, they prepare grant proposals in response to requests for applications (RFAs). They engage corporations who need access to expertise, partners, etc. They provide innovative methods for using their facilities, and they organize centers of discipline for the kinds of projects they undertake. Also, they interact extensively with the other 9 centers of Discovery Park.

The center has a staff of experts who can work on a variety of different projects. In addition, they call upon the expertise of Purdue faculty, who enjoy working on BBC projects. The ownership of the intellectual property arising from the different projects varies from project to project, and that is negotiated separately each time. Some of the centers have facilities for doing projects in secret.

At any given time, BBC is working on about 25 projects, and the speaker gave summaries of 2 of them.

The BCC has become a member of CPTAC (Clinical Proteology Technology Assessment Consortium), along with several other leading universities and other centers. This is an attempt to understand the proteins associated with various cancers, and the ultimate aim would be the ability to “personalize” cancer treatments. In order to do this, one needs to be able to identify and quantify proteins and peptides. Since it’s rare that a cancer would be associated with a single protein, it is essential instead to search for constellations of proteins that might be related to the disease. The task is also rendered difficult by the heterogeneity among individuals.

To this end, the BBC is working on a “protocol” for treating samples of proteins in a way that will allow the detection of some of those present in very small quantities, despite the overwhelming presence of the more common proteins. They have also developed ways to improve the ionization of peptides, which facilitates their detection in mass spectroscopy. Finally, they have worked on ways to increase significantly the throughput of immunoassay, permitting the study of a greater number of proteins.

The second project was called the Phi29 DNA-Packaging Motor for Nanomedicine. Phi29 is a bacterial virus whose wall has one of the strongest motors (per ATP hydrolysis) known for moving molecules across a barrier. Scientists at the BBC are trying to modify and imbed these motors in the walls of liposomes. The motor would be used to load the liposome with perhaps a drug, then the liposome would be “sent” to the appropriate site where the motor would then “unload” it.

Purdue and the BBC have gained in reputation so that venture capitalists are no longer willing to invest just on the West and East coasts. Bids coming from Purdue and the BCC get serious consideration.

Notes by Tom Spradlin

Vol 83 No 46 - December 11, 2006

The World is Flat

Presented By: Bill Stanley
Secretary, Scientech Club

Bill Stanley

Bill Stanley

Bill is a chemical engineer by training, and today he gave us an overview of the bestseller by Tom Friedman, The World is Flat. Friedman is a foreign affairs columnist for The New York Times, and a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner. In the current book, he draws many sweeping conclusions, but Bill has a few reservations; Friedman reports many conversations with powerful people like heads of foreign call centers, but does not seem to have talked to any call center workers. Their view may be different.

The heart of the book is the Ten Flatteners, key recent events which have caused the globalization of work and its transfer to the people who can do it best, wherever they are.

I. The Berlin Wall came down, eliminating the effective division of the world. Communist countries, especially India, became almost instantly more efficient. At almost the same time, the information revolution exploded, providing the IBM PC as a common tool and Windows as a common means of computing, and enabling unprecedented communication everywhere.

II. The Web and the browser provided the next step. The common coding system, unique addresses (URL), and rules with which to link computers that make up the Web enable free communication. The invention of browsers let anyone retrieve or post information on the Web, and then the expansion of communication really began.

III. Communication protocols then were invented to allow interoperability between kinds of computers. The SMTP email system allowed mail to travel without borders, and similar languages were devised to transfer other kinds of documents and data, with or without assistance of people. Now projects can be carried out by teams of engineers, writers, illustrators in several different countries, transferring their product in minutes between the teams.

IV. Web-based communities now work cooperatively. The encyclopedia Wikipedia is a great example; the articles in it are written, edited, and improved by individuals who write and post their work as they please, and the result of successive contributions is a great encyclopedia.

V. Outsourcing of work to those who can do it most economically exploded when all the computers in the US had to be updated in the Y2K crisis. Trained Indians were available, and did much of the work from India over the Web. Since then every industry has searched for foreign nationals who can save them money by doing work over nearly free computer connections.

VI. Off-shoring exploded when China joined the WTO. Whole factories or whole companies move to China, and other efficient countries including Ireland, to save money and make goods more efficiently. Quality and productivity are also obtained, because China is concentrating on training of young people in large numbers.

VII. Supply-chaining is the coordination of supply and demand by replacing inventory with information. WalMart is the king of supply-chaining. It has linked all its facilities by satellite communication so that each store feeds its sales and needs back home, where additional goods are ordered just in time. Meanwhile, it presses its suppliers for constantly lower costs, and refines its flow of merchandise to reduce all possible friction.

VIII. Insourcing became possible when the flat world let small companies have a world-wide view. They could see and seek opportunities for adding functions to their operations. UPS now repairs computers for Toshiba, dispatches pizza drivers for Papa John, warehouses shoes for Nike, and pulls packages for US Customs

IX. In-forming is the ability of an individual to obtain information without any help by using a computer and the Web. Google has tremendously increased that ability lately, and now intends to put every book, image and map in the world on the Web for the asking. It processes a billion searches a day, in 100 languages.

X. Mobile connections have put the whole thing on steroids. One can download a movie to a pocket-sized device; transmit a trillion digits per second; talk nearly free to anywhere over the internet; and we share 5 billion song tracks a year.

Dell Computer has tied the whole thing together. It makes and sells 150,000 computers a day, each one to order, and doesn’t inventory any parts. The whole operation is done nearly overnight.

Notes by Joe Jones