May 25, 2010
YUMA, ARIZONA — It’s an open secret that the U.S. has lost its edge in nuclear technology — how could it be otherwise, when the last big nuke plant construction boom was in the 1960s, and it’s been 40 years since a new plant was commissioned? One of the main reasons nukes stayed on the drawing boards during eight years of a very nuke-friendly Bush Administration is that the U.S. lacks trained nuclear engineers.
All of that is precisely why we need to bring some young engineering talent into the fold, and EcoCar provides a good model. The competition kicked off in 2008, with the teams receiving identical Saturn Vue SUVs (I know, a defunct brand now.) The teams are from both technical colleges like Texas Tech, Georgia Tech and Missouri University of Science and Technology and mainstream schools such as the University of Wisconsin and Ohio State.