Solar Car

Fueled by the sun and their hopes to shine in a first for the Islamic Republic, the 19-strong team is preparing to bring an Iranian solar car to compete in the United States for the first time, in the American Solar Challenge in July.

Ali and Hadi Partovi have quietly helped launch some of Silicon Valley's biggest startups of recent vintage. Hadi co-founded Tellme Networks, which Microsoft bought for a reported $800 million. Ali co-founded Internet advertising pioneer LinkExchange, which Microsoft bought for $265 million; he later became one of the first investors in Zappos, the online shoe retailer launched by LinkExchange co-founder Tony Hsieh. Amazon bought that one for about $850 million.

The Partovis also snapped up early stakes in Dropbox and Facebook. And while they're both still active angel investors, they've gotten increasingly involved in philanthropic work, including founding, the nonprofit encouraging kids to learn software development. The brothers recently spoke with San Jose Mercury News; you can read the full interview here.

The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) has named Professor Iraj Ershaghi, Omar B. Milligan Chair in Petroleum Engineering, and director of the Petroleum Engineering Program at the University of Southern California among its 2014 new members for his contributions to characterization of complex fractured reservoirs, and for leadership in university-industry collaboration. Of more than one million engineers in the United States, only 67 new members and 11 foreign associates were elected to the academy in 2014.