My name is Pete (aka Peter, aka Piet) Versteegen. (I was born in the Netherlands and immigrated to the USA in August of 1961, August 17 to be precise). My background is technical. I'm a retired scientist/engineer (Yeh... a mixture of both). I got my Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Mechanical/Nuclear Engineering from Arizona State University. My first job was with Westinghouse Nuclear Power Division in Monroeville, PA. From there I was recruited by Nuclear Fuel Services (NFS) and moved to Rockville, MD, a new company to provide 'reload' fuel for existing nuclear reactors. After being with NFS for three years the nuclear power business came to a screeching halt. NFS decided to close doors, but was vary gracious in letting all of its employees (about 50 if I recall correctly) take their time finding new work. I subsequently moved to Science Applications, Inc (SAI), in Arlington, VA. The company renamed itself SAIC (Science Applications International, Inc.), moved eventually to Tyson's Corner where I stayed with them for 27 years before retiring in 2000. SAIC was a great experience, working on all kinds of projects from nuclear weapons effects to solar energy development and everything else in between.
My wife and I 'retired' to Garrett County permanently in 2000, having come to Deep Creek Lake for eight years prior to that. The word ‘retired’ is stated rather loosely. Basically we do not have jobs to go to on a regular, 9-to-5, daily schedule. We are, however, engaged in various consulting activities, my wife more so than I, paying and non-paying. We have become involved in local issues, volunteering for various causes and groups.
I started early on being concerned about the health of Deep Creek Lake, having just built house on the northern shores of the lake, near the four-season resort of the Wisp, and wanting to protect our investment. While not an Environmental Engineer, my experience at SAIC made me qualified to tackle any of the environmental issues facing Deep Creek Lake. I have learned a lot during my retirement by 'Googling' about many subjects that affect the health and well-being of Deep Creek Lake, and as a result, I feel that I have become one.
After joining a real estate venture that halted in 2008 because of the collapse of the real estate market, I became more seriously interested in various aspects of lake health. I have since worked on many scientific issues affecting the well-being of the lake, such as lake level monitoring, boat wake analyses, shoreline erosion, subaquatic vegetation, forecasting water releases through the hydro-electric generation facility, river water temperature predictions, and plenty of other stuff, as realized by several websites that I put together since.
My first website was
deepcreekanswers.com which was the result of discussions by group of us old retired folk gathered, and still do, for lunch every Monday at Brenda's Pizzeria, beginning in 2011. We often talk about lake issues which I then document somewhat on that website. I haven't maintained it much, but gone on the focussing on other sites. The lunch group became known as SPORE.
During this time my wife and I also did a lot of traveling and I was very much into photography. As a result I developed a website to display and share some of the better images.
pietsphotos.com is the website. Again, not too well maintained.
In 2013-2014 I became part of a Steering Committee whose task it was to develop a Deep Creek Watershed Management Plan. As part of this effort I put together a list of references to reports and other documents that were relevant to our activities. This was made available on the
I then got involved with the Marcellus Shale issue, having announced that developing Marcellus Shale in Garrett County would be counter to the interest of our prime economic engine, namely as a vacation destination for families. To be fair, I thought it would be relevant to collect all kinds of stories about Marcellus Shale, both good and bad, and make them available via a website. This became
In more recent times I saw the need to more completely document my work that I've done over the years, and make available to the world the many data items that I've collected over time. This led to my fourth website,
deepcreekscience.com. This website was then mostly about data, still under developement at the end of 2017
The present website,
senstech.com, documents in detail how I went about doing some of my work, analyses in other words, with the intent being drawing from the data on deepcreekscience.com. That's still the intent, although there is a mixture of both. AT this time, 2017, the emphasis is on issues dealing with the forthcoming renewal of the MDE Permit with Brookfield Inc., that allows the latter to operate the Deep Creek hydroelectric generator facility. Forthcoming, meaning the spring of 2019. To that end I've created this very simple website.
2. This Site
The level of detail I want to provide is hopefully all-encompassing, so that any third party can reproduce the results of my analyses. They may do it differently, but hopefully come to the same conclusions. It's a big task, and although I will provide all of the information, the question is:
How much will I show and how will I show it? I generally will talk through how I got to my result(s), most of the times in the form of words and graphs, but sometimes a few numbers and/or code fragments.
All of this involves software. I do almost everything exclusively with
R. R has been great to me. It allows me to do multidisciplinary problems within the same framework, because it often provides interfaces to libraries written in C, C++, Fortran, etc., and can interface with other APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) such as Python, GoogleVis, HighCharts, QGIS, etc. One particular important aspect is to be able to display data and results into easy-to-read graphs. Where possible, I will also provide the software I use, and my current thinking is to provide them as a zipped file(s), but pointing out small code fragments illustrating what I considered to be important.
I'm also looking at Julia to help me on some of the more computationally intensive tasks. Julia appeals to me because it resembles a tiny bit of my root language, namely FortranBut, it's on new foundations and new thinking and that's appealing to me
As I'm working on this I continue to explore various methods for presenting my work. As you traverse this website you'll encounter different presentation formats. At some point in time all will be converted to the same format, whichever I find to be the most productive and pleasing. (I looks like I've migrated everything to Markdown and Jekyll). The goal is to use Jekyll exclusively to maintain this website. This is my third attempt at using Jekyll, and I believe its going to stick because I found a very suitable template for presenting my work. There are still some details to be worked out, but overall, the information is there.
When you get around to it, I would greatly appreciate an email with your comments (email@example.com). There is a lot of stuff to be digested here.