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.