Leonard Koch

Right below Walter Zinn’s name on the chalkboard of people present at the first production of nuclear power is Leonard Koch. The associate project engineer for EBR-I, Koch first worked on bomber engines during World War II, and later projects for automotive companies. Designing engines peaked his interest in nuclear power: perhaps he could build atomic-powered cars. Being of a hands-on, rather than theoretical, nature, Koch entered the nuclear world when they were looking for people with his kind of expertise. Koch remembered in a 2001 interview that he “didn’t even know” what he was working on, the project was so secret.