Deepika Kurup: An Inventor, Scientist, and Clean Water Advocate

Deepika Kurup is a winner of ‘3M Young Scientist Challenge’ for her low-cost invention which uses solar power to disinfect contaminated water and the inventor of purifying water, using sunlight and photo catalytic composite inactivated 100% of Coliform bacteria from the sample water. Her potential purified method, is to clean drinking water in the underdeveloped countries.
Personal life
Deepika was born on 12, 1998 in Nashua, New Hampshire to Pradeep Kurup and Meena Kurup. Her family moved to the USA in 1983. She is presently studying at the Nashua High School. Her father is a professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
Currently Deepika lives in Nashua with her parents and younger sister, who studies in Nashua High School South, in Massachusetts. She was named in the list ‘30 Under 30 ‘of January 2015. Deepika talks around the world and encourage students to participate in science. technology, engineering and maths (STEM). She believe that STEM education has the power to leads revolutionary new discoveries that can solve global challenges.
Kurup’s 3M Young Scientist in 2012 administered by Discovery Education, idea that won her is based on using a photocatalytic compound for water purification. This project involved a photocatalytic composite made up of titanium dioxide, silver nitrate and zinc oxide, hollow glass microspheres, and Portland cement. Photocatalytic composite was able to reduce the amount of total coliform bacteria from 8000 colony-forming units to 50. In addition, it oxidised methylene blue at a faster rate than standard solar disinfection methods. Her idea led her to meet with President Obama.
Achievements & Awards
She didn’t stopped here, she improved her design for 3 years and with new improved method exposure of the filtered water to sunlight with a photocatalytic composite disc resulted in 100% inactivation of total coliform bacteria in just 15 minutes. This project won her the 2014 United States Stockholm Junior Water Prize and many other awards –
like, 2015 International Sustainable World (Energy, Engineering & Environment) Project Olympiad; Gold Medal winner; 2015 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair; First representative from the state of NH, Environmental Engineering 2nd place & Special Prize by King Abdulaziz and his Companions Foundation for the Gifted & Creativity in Water Technology; 2015 Junior Science & Humanities Symposium, New England Region 1st place speaker & National 2nd place; 2014 International Young Eco Hero Award; International 1st place; 2014 President’s Environmental Youth Award; EPA Region One 1st place; recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency at the White House and Boston Faneuil Hall; 2014 Junior Science and Humanities Symposium; Northern New England 1st place speaker; 2014 New Hampshire Science and Engineering Exposition; Environmental Science 1st place; Deepika’s inspiration for her project came from her trips to India as a child. After a visit to India, she was inspired to find a solution to unsafe drinking water.
“When on vacation in India, I witnessed the sight of children drinking dirty water from a stagnant pool. I instantly knew I had to do something about the global water crisis,” said Kurup, whose parents moved to America from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala. Kurup plans to use a part of her cash prize to deploy her prototype in India to help people access clean drinking water.
After graduation, Kurup wants to become a neurologist. But first, more science competitions. “Science is really my passion,” she says.

-Sugandha Sharma

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