A little innovation on microbial fuel cell based on graphite electrode by a Class XI student J.Vishnu of Chettinad Vidyashram has won international recognition. His innovation under the guidance of T.S. Natarajan, professor, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, has the potential of reducing the cost of providing power supply to rural areas which do not have proper access to power.
Vishnu won the second prize at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2009 (Intel ISEF).
Medal and a cash component
The award carries a medal and a cash component of $1,500. A minor planet will be named after him.
If students were allowed to pursue their dreams, they would become more innovative, said S. Amudha Lakshmi, Principal of Chettinad Vidyashram. Senior Principal, Secretary and Treasurer of the school Meena Muthiah congratulated the student on his success.
After winning the Nationals at the Initiative for Research and Innovation in Science (IRIS) National Fair held at Science City, Kolkata, in December 2008, Vishnu qualified to be one among the eight students who represented India at the Intel ISEF held in the U.S. in May this year.
The fair is one of the largest pre-college science fairs in the world in which 1,500 school students from 57 countries participated.
A total of 146 participants were chosen for the finals. More than 600 judges were invited to evaluate the exhibits.
Vishnu carried out all his experiments at IIT Madras. Vishnu has been offered a scholarship at the Nevada University for his under-graduate study.
Other awards won by Vishnu include the Discovery Award for science projects, the Overseas Entries Award for best newspaper compilation on Venus from the Royal Astronomical Society, Special Award of Inventor’s Day from the Vishveswaraya Museum, Bangalore, and the Makkal Viruthu 2008 from Makkal TV for young scientists. He is also a swimming champion.