A Friendswood teenager won a prestigious Young Scientist Award May 15 for inventing a device to quickly shut down undersea oil spills.
Keran Jerath, 18, claimed a $50,000 top prize and several other awards at the Intel Foundation International Science and Engineering Fair.
Jerath, along with Friendswood High student Aditya Mohile, were selected to compete in the international event held in Pittsburgh last week.
Among other top winners at the international event were Raymond Wang, a 17-year-old from Vancouver who designed an air inlet system for airplane cabins to curb disease transmission, and Nicole Ticea, a 16-year-old, also from Vancouver, who developed an inexpensive testing device to combat the high rate of undiagnosed HIV infection in low income communities.
Jerath designed a sturdy device that can collect the oil, gas and water spewing from a broken well on the seafloor. An improved containment enclosure separates the natural gas, oil and ocean water, accommodates different water depths, pipe sizes and fluid compositions and can prevent the formation of potentially clogging methane hydrate.
This year’s Intel International Science and Engineering Fair featured approximately 1,700 young scientists selected from 422 affiliate fairs in more than 75 countries, regions and territories. In addition to the top winners, approximately 600 finalists received awards and prizes for their innovative research, including 20 “Best of Category” winners, who each received a US$5,000 prize. The Intel Foundation also awarded a US$1,000 grant to each winner’s school and to the affiliated fair they represent.