Virtually all engineers want to make a positive impact on society. Technical knowledge is necessary for achieving this goal, but not sufficient, especially in a field such as nuclear engineering, where broad economic, political and business issues are intimately entwined with the technology.
Students in nuclear science and engineering department head Richard Lester’s 'Managing Nuclear Technology' class recently got a high-level perspective on these aspects of technology leadership first hand in guest lectures by three distinguished department alumni — senior utility executive Joe Turnage SM ‘70, PhD ‘72; consultant Ray Coxe ‘82, PhD ’88; and venture capitalist Ray Rothrock SM ‘78.
The three men offered informative insights into their work, and provided clear evidence of the perseverance and creativity needed to bring good ideas to fruition. An especially helpful aspect was their sharing of spreadsheets, project management charts, presentations and other tools used to evaluate projects ranging from powerplants to infrastructure upgrades to startups.