A German physicist friend (Perimeter Inst, founded by RIM the Blackberry people..remember, Martin had an appearance on a Blackberry commercial) was invited to SciFoo, based on her boss's presence last year. Here is the Flickr photo: on Flickr - Photo Sharing! Wrightspeed (?) there also: on Flickr - Photo Sharing! She invited me to contribute for her upcoming Science & Society conference (@Perimeter Inst) in Sept, back in the Spring. I thought this would be a good opportunity for Martin to hit TWO places in a trip back East (Midwest @UIUC to pickup Alumni Award, Canada to talk about "Energy Transfer: chemical-battery to kinetic-car). Spots are all filled up, so the best I can do is get a link. Nobel Laureate Frank Wilczek/MIT ("Asymptotic Freedom") was present, along with his wife Betsy Devine (a Princeton Engineering major, who is friends with Dave Winer..the guy behind RSS). I'm in touch with this couple, since they would be an ideal client for a Tesla Roadster. Theoretical Physics has an Identity problem with the General Public, there is no product the public can relate to. Well, enter the Roadster..there you go! Not only is the Roadster a game-breaker to change the Public Perception of EV (boxy, ugly), it could save the HEP/High Energy Physics community. You see, there was an 80 million (?) odd Fiscal 20008 shortfall from the DoE/Dept of Energy, resulting in significant layoffs at Fermilab & SLAC/Stanford Linear Acceleator. [ however, a mysterious unnamed donor threw 5 million to stave off the layoffs. There was some last minute save at the Federal level as well ] 1 of my contacts @SLAC (female theoretical physicist) is very much involved with public outreach of HEP, & even attended JD Straubel's talk last year. She told me, all the physicists in attendance were enthused & wanted a Roadster. She was also a candidate (like Nobelist Frank Wilzcek), because of her lifestyle & gender. Very nice person, too. I myself just finished an Interdisciplinary conference down in Los Angeles, SIGGRAPH 2008. Siggraph 2008/Los Angeles FLICKR photo blog Kyte photo/video blog Google was present. I made some key contacts, for an Interdisciplinary Cooperative/Collaborative R&D institute..to help emerging companies that want to dive into Alternative Energy. EV, hydrogen cars, solar power, etc. What the Tesla Motors incident is teaching everyone, is that: "In order to Push the Limits, sometimes you have to EXCEED THE LIMITS" -- Bob Varsha, Formula 1 commentator (Austrialian GP, 2003?) ..an R&D program (empirical.."real world testing" & analytical.."book knowledge") is required. The transmission breakage problem could have been avoided if an R&D program was setup, to predictively solve these problems. The Frauhofer Inst based out of Germany, is designed to do this. I made a contact at this conference, who was excited about this idea. Legends meeting [ 8/12 Tue ] - a set on Flickr He is auto-savvy, & immediately snapped off Daimler-Benz, BMS, & Volkswagen as potential clients. There are a couple of other key contacts, who have experience in infrastructure development. 1 is a U. Mass/Amherst alumni (who knew my old friend D. Lawton, from my PhD research days in early 80's..same time Martin was at our AARG/Advanced Automation Research Group lab), who sits on NSF panel review boards, & himself was involved in infrastructure creation (33 million funding). There was a Williams Formula 1 race car (mockup?), in the Lenovo booth doing driving simulations. This is another potential client for above R&D Institute, tons of $$ in this market. The top teams have annual budgets of 200 million. I'm in touch with the main Academic contact for Formula 1. NASCAR is also big, they are setting up teaching programs in many top tier universities, to prepare students for NASCAR engineering careers. Computational Fluid Dynamics (my dad's field), which is used for chassis aerodynamic design. 1 of the Mech Eng profs @Caltech is on sabbaticl at Northrop-Grumman, to explore the Aerospace-AlternativeEnergy crossover. (analagous to the Aerovironment = Aerospace + Environment paradigm, where Alan Cocconi did his pivotal work ont he GM EV1). Turns out, 1 of my dad's PhD student is very high up @Northrop-Grumman (Houston/TX), so I'm trying to go "top-down" in getting something going. If Martin is going to be at UIUC to pickup an Alumni award in Sept, it would be prudent to meet up with Dr. Joseph White (UIUC President, his background is Business). I met him last Dec, at Universal City Walk during the UIUC pep-rally. His statement to me was "We want to build a Dynasty"..in reference to the resurgence of Fighting Illini sports program (basketball team went to the Final Four a few yrs ago, & ended up in the Finals with UNC, the football team made it to the Rose Bowl 2008). Similary, he would probably want UIUC to be involved with this R&D Institute I am proposing, to get Engineering initiatives going for the future Market of Alternative Energy. Obviously, Martin's presence would add more brand-name-recognition to this Institute. This is an option for Martin, for his next Alternative Energy based project.