04/07/10 — Clean and green technologies are on the rise in Silicon Valley. Electric car startups like Tesla Motors and solar cell and biofuel innovators are snapping up commercial space, while established companies like Applied Materials are growing their clean energy divisions. “Over the past six years, clean tech's portion of venture [capital] investments has grown from merely 3 percent to more than 25 percent,” reported the San Jose Mercury News in January. The newspaper went on to pronounce clean and green technologies the next great wave of innovation in Silicon Valley. It's no surprise to five Berkeley Engineering alumni who work in the up-and-coming sector.
03/04/10 The New York Times — Thomas H. Pigford, an independent-minded nuclear engineer who was recruited by the federal government for his advice on major nuclear accidents and nuclear waste, died Saturday at his home in Oakland. Dr. Pigford was the first chairman of the nuclear engineering department at UC Berkeley. Before going to Berkeley, Dr. Pigford helped establish the nuclear engineering department at M.I.T. A chemical engineer, Dr. Pigford helped develop the process used by the government for years to harvest plutonium for bombs from irradiated reactor fuel. He was a co-author of "Nuclear Chemical Engineering," published in 1958 and considered the first text in the field.