April 2014 Newsletter


Welcome to the April 2014 MCLinc Newsletter

Thank you for being a reader of the newsletter for Materials and Chemistry Laboratory, Inc. (MCLinc). Spring has finally arrived in beautiful East Tennessee. This time of year reminds us of new beginnings, of the beauty of the land we live in, and of the opportunity to be thankful for all the blessings we enjoy. We appreciate you as a supporter of MCLinc and know that without you and others like you this business would not exist.

In this issue we feature an article by Dr. Diane Ward of Roane State Community College. Dr. Ward has coordinated the introduction of Lab-in-a-Box kits into Middle School classrooms in rural schools in the area. Lab-in-a-Box grew out of the Rural Community STEM Initiative that began in 2010 as a public / private partnership to enhance STEM education in rural school systems. RSCC, in partnership with Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU), developed hands-on experiments to help teach STEM concepts and they trained Middle School teachers to use these experiments in their classrooms. A pilot program financed by contributions from many of you, provided to be successful in increasing interest and improving performance in STEM subjects. Phase II of the Lab-in-a-Box program places a kit in each Middle School classroom in the RCSI service area by adding some new schools and replenishing supplies in kits already in area classrooms. The goal is to raise $67,000 for this project by the end of May so kit construction and teacher training can be completed by the start of this next school year. Your contributions are tax-deductible since the program is administrated through the RSCC Foundation. See instructions in this Newsletter regarding where to send your check. MCLinc is pleased to be a charter member of the business partnership that started the effort in 2010 and to continue our support of the program.

Elsewhere in the newsletter read about new instrumentation at MCLinc, our “Muddy Boot” award, another Customer Appreciation event, community activities that MCLinc employees support and enjoy, and upcoming events in our business and community.

We cannot close this greeting without recognizing Tom Kirk who is retiring from the RSI Sample Management Office. Tom represents the best in professionalism in his job and has always been a pleasure to work with. Best wishes in your retirement, Tom. Please come back for a visit when you are in the area.

Thank you for being a customer and friend.


Instrument Highlight – True Density Analyzer
Contributed By: Michele Sanders, MCLinc Laboratory Manager


 solid is a powder or micro-porous material. To measure the true density of a solid, one needs the weight and volume of the dry solid. The challenging part of these measurements is obtaining the volume. One method that can be used to measure the density of a solid is liquid displacement, but when there is a limited amount of solid sample available or the sample has tiny microspheres, the accuracy of the measurement is compromised. Also, the liquid displacement method is considered a sample destructive method because the sample is not usable after measurement.

MCLinc is pleased to announce that we have acquired a Quantachrome Multipycnometer – True Density Analyzer for density measurement of a variety of solid materials. The Multipycnometer uses gas as the displacement fluid since it penetrates the finest pores of a material assuring maximum accuracy. Helium is the gas of choice for multipycnometry measurement because its small atomic dimension enables entry into crevices and pores approaching 0.2 nm. Also, measuring density by gas displacement is a non-destructive method for a sample.

The Multipycnometer offers three sizes of interchangeable sample cells for volume measurement, which gives versatility in measuring many different types of solids such as ceramics, catalysts, cements, nuclear fuels, petrochemicals, soils, fertilizers, carbon blacks, fibers, minerals, dessicants, powdered metals, ion exchange resins, silica, alumina, titania and many others. Sample size ranges from 2 to 135cc.

If you are interested in obtaining more information about true density measurement of solid materials, please contact Michele Sanders or Barry Stephenson.

Stephenson Wins Muddy Boot Award

Muddy Boot

The three recipients of the 2013 Muddy Boot Award are D.Ray Smith, Bill Biloski and Barry Stephenson.

MCLinc is very proud to announce that our President / CEO, Barry Stephenson, was one of three “Muddy Boot” recipients for his outstanding charitable work in the Oak Ridge community.

Before bestowing on Stephenson his award, presenter Jenny Freeman unsurprisingly shared some of the many community causes MCLinc has supported and continues to support throughout the Secret City — remarking that Stephenson probably “rivals (former Department of Energy-Oak Ridge manager) Gerald Boyd in the number of boards he serves on.” After
receiving his “Muddy Boot”, Stephenson stated to the crowd of 275 or so attendees that the accomplishments cited were not made by “me alone.” “So on behalf of all those who earned this award,” he said, “Thank you.”

Muddy Boot Awards have been given out by the East Tennessee Economic Council (ETEC) since 1973 to pay tribute to people who have made East Tennessee a stronger region through their work and community activities.

MCLinc Customer Appreciation Pancake Breakfast

The Crew

Thanks to all who attended the annual MCLinc Customer Appreciation Pancake Breakfast. The morning was filled with wonderful food and company as the McLinc crew prepared a delicious breakfast of pancakes, sausage, eggs, and bacon for their guests. The event provides an opportunity for the MCLinc staff to meet our customers and say “Thank You” for their business with MCLinc. In addition, the casual atmosphere at the Heritage Center provided an opportunity for attendees to visit with each other. MCLinc again invited ORUD to sell Valentines gifts at the event to support the “Have a Heart, Heat a Home” campaign. All proceeds make it possible for needy families to keep their heat on during the winter months. The Breakfast was delayed a week because of the weather, so contributions to the campaign were less than last year. MCLinc appreciates ORUD’s work on this worthwhile mission.

McLinc will be hosting a Customer Appreciation Ice Cream Social, featuring homemade waffle cones, in July. Watch your e-mails for more information. We hope to see you there!

CASA BBQ and Bluegrass Bash

Bear, Kassie & Bery

Bear Stephenson, Kassie Perkins and Barry Stephenson

MCLinc Lab Manager Michele Sanders and Husband Mickey.
MCLinc was very proud to be a corporate sponsor of the 11th annual CASA BBQ and Bluegrass Bash. The event was held on February 22nd at the Junior Achievement – Hollingsworth Center in Clinton.

Wonderful music was provided by the Ridge City Ramblers. The master of ceremonies for the night was Cindy Alpert of 106.1 The River. A BBQ buffet dinner was provided by Texas Road house. Silent and live auctions included vacation packages, fine jewelry, a handmade wooden picnic table, and many other items of interest. All proceeds from this event benefited CASA, to support work to help abused or neglected children in Anderson, Blount and Scott counties who are under court protection.

If you would like to know more about CASA or how you can get involved, please follow this link for more information.

MCLinc Extern

Angela Mullins - Extern

MCLinc was very glad to have Angela Mullins, a geology major at William and Mary, extern at our lab.

Angela was able to “shadow” professionals in her field of interest (in this case, geologist Dr. Mark Colberg), to see how they apply their skills in an industrial environment, and had the opportunity to see how some of our instrumentation and experience can be applied to real-world problem solving for significant issues that have a geological component (e.g., characterization of contaminated soil or minerals). Angela to also spend some time with Michele (chemist/supervisor) and Mary (engineer/QA), to see how those individuals use their scientific training in a small business management environment.

Angela says:
“Thank you so much for the opportunity to intern at MCLinc. It was a great opportunity to learn more about how the environmental consulting industry works. I learned so much from everybody and gained new perspectives on how interdisciplinary the field is. I enjoyed being able to apply everything that I had learned in class to the real world. It really was a fantastic way to spend a week of my winter break. I feel much more prepared now that I have had the opportunity to learn from so many different people.“

MCLinc Employees Barry Stephenson (CEO/President) and Michele Sanders (Laboratory Manager) attended the Pittcon Conference in Chicago Illinois on March 2nd – 6th. Barry and Michele conducted interviews while in Chicago for an opening in the Microcopy Department at MCLinc. MCLinc is looking for a candidate that is a degreed professional with expertise in electron and optical microscopy. MCLinc would like for this person to have experience with a variety of applications such as industrial forensics, metallurgy, specialty environmental and industrial hygiene, as well as, skills in instrumentation such as SEM, TEM, and XRD.

While at the Pittcon Conference Barry and Michele had the opportunity to see new instrumentation, gain ideas for current research projects, and network with some of the 22,000 in attendance. If you are interested in applying for the position of Senior Microscopist at MCLinc, please send resume to bstephenson@mcl-inc.

Upcoming Events

“Lunch-4-Literacy” – March 18, 11:30 a.m., at the Oak Ridge High School cafeteria. “Lunch-4-Literacy” is a joint effort of Altrusa International of Oak Ridge and the Oak Ridge Breakfast Rotary Club. The purpose of the joint effort is to provide grants to help improve literacy in Oak Ridge and Anderson and Roane counties. This year’s special speaker at the event is Denise Kieman, author of “The Girls of Atomic City.” Tickets are $40 each and can be purchased at the Ferrell Shop at Jackson Square and Mr. K’s used book store in Oak Ridge. McLinc is proud to be a supporting sponsor for this event.

“Lab-in-a-Box” Campaign – Please join McLinc in our support of this campaign to raise $67,000 to supply “hands-in” science and math experiments for Middle School students in rural schools in the area. Your company can buy a kit to be sent to an area school for $7500. Sponsorships in any amount are appreciated. Write your check to RSCC Foundation and mail to Roane State Foundation, 276 Patton Lane, Harriman, TN 37748. Donations are tax-deductible.

Dragon Boat Races – May 31st 2014, on Melton Hill Lake sponsored by the Rotary Clubs of Oak Ridge. For those unfamiliar with dragon boating, it’s a boat of 20 paddlers, a drummer and 1 steering person. The object is, of course, to paddle your boat across the finish line ahead of your competitors. It is a great team sport and encompasses the elements of team spirit, synchronization, and endurance. Best of all, it is fun for a good cause. This will be the fund-raising event of the year for all three Rotary Clubs in Oak Ridge. Proceeds will benefit Rotary Community Service Projects.

Sign up today to sponsor a Dragon Boat Team here. Join McLinc as a sponsor for the event.

Tennessee Valley Corridor Summit –The 2014 Tennessee Valley Corridor Summit on the campus of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, will be held June 4-5. For more information about the TVC and the Summit, please click here.

EPRI International Low-Level Waste Conference and Exhibition with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers/EPRI Radwaste Workshop Exclusive Session 2014 – This event will be held on June 9-12 at Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando 6300 Hollywood Way, Orlando, Florida 32819 USA. To find out more information about this event click here.

13th Annual U.S. Department of Energy Small Business Forum & Expo – This event will be held on June 10-12 and will feature plenaries, educational workshops, a large exhibit hall, as well as business matchmaking sessions. For more information or to register please click here.

Materials and Chemistry Laboratory, Inc.
East Tennessee Technology Park, Building K-1006
400 Heritage Center Blvd.
Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37830


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