NASA Mars Research, Eclipse Images, & County Engineer (August 2017)

In an article from The Washington Post, NASA’s support of new research aimed at aiding astronauts survival on a mission to Mars is profiled. Tests are being done on how to produce nutritional supplements from yeast strains.

Mark A. Blenner, Ph.D. (NY X ’04), an assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Clemson University, presented early findings this week. “Having a biological system that astronauts can awaken from a dormant state to start producing what they need, when they need it, is the motivation for our project,” Dr. Blenner explained.


Many Tau Bates took the time to view the August 21 eclipse. Many took pictures and some shared them with the Association. Below is an image of Peter L. Kern, P.E. (NY L ’62), with his 65-year-old telescope. His wife is the director of the Western Pocono Community Library and their event was featured in the Times News of Pennsylvania.

Peter Kern

Eclipse in totality from Tom Parrish, TN B ’75, in Tullahoma, TN.










Greg M. Ilkka, P.E. (MI B ’86), is in negotiations with Steele County (MN) to become the County engineer. Currently, Ilkka is the principal analyst for Scott County (MN). Previously, he was public works director and city engineer for Prior Lake and the county engineer for LeSueur County.

He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from Michigan Technological University. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps out of college and was mobilized to Kuwait in 2005. Click here to read the article for more biographical information.


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