At DOT, we're concerned with a variety of transportation goals, from improving safety and enhancing mobility to creating jobs and helping America's cities, neighborhoods, and businesses thrive.
With the approaching retirement of the Baby Boom generation, the transportation community is poised to lose a tremendous number of its most talented and experienced leaders. That means DOT must also be concerned with making sure there will be skilled experts available to pursue these important goals in the years to come.
As part of our response to that question, we challenged students to solve a current transportation issue with the Secretary's “Recognizing Aviation and Aerospace Innovation in Science and Engineering” (RAISE) Award. And we are happy we did. We received a number of entries from engaged students across the country, and we selected an excellent team of young men from Connecticut as our winners.
The adaptable winglet submitted by the winning Falcon Tip team has the potential to increase the fuel-efficiency of one of commercial aviation's workhorses, the Boeing 737. In fact, their winglet offers a potential saving each year of 600 million gallons of jet fuel--that's about $2 billion--and a seven percent reduction in carbon emissions, which is the amount absorbed by about 50 million trees.
Although it's too soon to know whether last year's entrants have jumped into transportation careers with both feet, it makes sense that students who engage in solving transportation-related challenges will become even more interested in the opportunities the industry offers.
So today, I'm delighted to announce our second annual RAISE Award to recognize students who create unique scientific and engineering innovations in aviation and aerospace.
With last year's winners. From left to right: Chris, Miraj, me, Mario, and teacher Michael Humphreys
It is exactly the kind of innovative scientific and engineering achievement that our Future of Aviation Advisory Committee anticipated when it recommended we engage America's students in developing tomorrow's aviation and aerospace solutions.
The 2013 Secretary's RAISE Award is open to students at the high school, undergraduate and graduate levels. Both individuals and groups may participate. Students’ RAISE submissions will be evaluated--by an advisory committee of academic and government officials--on their originality, impact, practicality, measurability, applicability and technical merit.
For more information about the RAISE Award, including submission deadlines, rules and specific information about what applicants should include in their submission packages, please visit www.challenge.gov, the official web site for all government awards and competitions.
I encourage research supervisors, academic advisors, undergraduate and graduate faculty, and anyone else aware of students who are interested in exercising their STEM skills to spread the word about the RAISE Award to your students.
And, if you're a student, I strongly encourage you to participate in this unique event. We're looking to you for tomorrow's aviation and aerospace innovations.