A report by the Science and Technology Facilities Council of the United Kingdom was just released that emphasizes and quantifies the benefit of cryogenics to the UK economy. Here are a few statistics from the full report:
-Total direct and indirect annual contributions to UK economy is $492 million.
-Between $2.4-$5 billion generated in next 10 years.
To place this into context, the US economy is 2.5 times the size of the UK’s. If it scales, that could mean $1.5 billion/year generated in the US from a field that produces less than a handful of graduate engineers/year across the US. NASA and other organizations have said publicly that they are desperately hiring new engineers to try to train them in-house through an apprenticeship system. While that’s better than nothing, it does not meet the definition of a professional. We need more folks trained in cryogenic engineering through our research institutions and the National Academies should take action. We definitely do not need more intellectual in-breeding occurring in a field that’s desperate for a renaissance.