Our New Year’s resolutions are likely to involve something prosaic like “eating more vegetables” or “not sleeping with my phone next to my pillow.” But we are mere mortals. These following eight innovators have goals like “get rid of landmines” and “invent an electric airplane.” We're going to keep our eyes on them in the coming year: we have a feeling their grand ambitions won’t be as easily abandoned as our healthy eating plans.
Engineering Wunderkind Krithik Ramesh
By far the youngest innovator on our list is Krithik Ramesh, a Colorado high schooler who took home a $75,000 top prize at 2019’s Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Ramesh’s winning invention was an augmented reality software program for use in spinal surgery. Surgeons would use a VR headset to predict spinal movements during surgery instead of relying on continuous x-rays, which bring the risks of radiation exposure.
A true renaissance teen, Ramesh’s inventions aren’t limited to the biomedical. In 2018, he tied for first place in Intel’s mechanical engineering category for an invention involving airplane wings. He used his prize money to install solar panels on schools in rural India.
“To me innovation is a catalyst for creating accessible and quality products to solve the world's most intractable problems,” he says.