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Award-Winning Teen Innovator Arunima Sen’s Sustainable Skyscraper Receives Global Recognition

  • IWB Post
  •  February 8, 2019

Wonder girl Arumina Sen from Bengaluru is receiving global recognition because this 17-year-old is using innovative eco-solutions at both macro and micro level to create prototypes of green skyscrapers in urban areas.

However, this is not just one genius accomplishment under her belt. Last year, Arunima collaborated with like-minded students from Poland, Finland, and the US to develop a device that determines the micronutrient levels in a person’s body by measuring minerals, vitamins, amino acids, fatty acids and antioxidants using hair samples.

Arumina Sen

“The device we developed ensures cost-effectiveness as well as ease of modification. It is small and has a spectral response range of 320-1000 mm, a range that works for all micronutrients that our project is working with. It is designed to be used either via Bluetooth with a compatible phone or a tablet or with an integrated touchscreen display to allow use in the most varied conditions,” she said.

Explaining how it works, Arumina shared that a measurement of micronutrients can be accurately determined in a hair solution using a spectrophotometry device which is an instrument that measures the amount of light absorbed by a sample and it is an easy and inexpensive procedure.

Despite many accomplishments, life for Arunima has not been easy. In conversation with The Better India, she shared, “My mother is a single parent who works really hard to make ends meet. I also have an elder sibling who lives with autism. In 2017, my mother was battling with her life in the ICU after an attempt on her life. After the horrible incident, I took charge of everything—starting from taking my brother to his regular follow-ups to looking after my recovering mother, academics, and extra-curricular activities like research on the scope of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics),” she said.

In her new project, Arunima has collaborated with students from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Norway, and Romania to develop a prototype for energy efficient skyscraper to reduce the carbon footprint on the environment and to fulfill the demands of housing. Talking about it, she said, “Coming from a neighbourhood in Bengaluru that faces electricity and water shortages on a day-to-day basis, I teamed up with students across the globe who faced similar problems in their communities and co-developed a prototype of a skyscraper that was seen to be significantly effective in terms of regular supplies of electricity and water generated using sustainable technologies. The building is planned for both residential and commercial use. It is planned to have a low carbon footprint on the environment and features all modern conveniences that enhance the well-being of occupants while merging nature and technology to promote a green lifestyle.”

Describing the features of her project, Arunima added, “It integrates the following sustainable technologies: grey water recycling, solar energy harnessing, rainwater collecting, green walls and integrated systems for close monitoring and distribution of energy and resources. We submitted this project to an international innovation challenge called the United Technologies Future of Buildings Challenge sponsored by United Technologies Corporation (UTC) and were the grand winner. The system is scalable and can be adapted to many different skyscrapers and buildings. It is relatively low cost. However, the system does not have a high efficiency for buildings with a small number of stories. The system is rather targeting a niche market.”

For her remarkable innovations, Arunima received the Rashtriya Bal Pushkar award this year and talking about the other achievements, she shared, “My team and I recently won the Infosys Science Foundation Nutrition Challenge wherein we developed a novel data-driven intervention model to combat malnutrition in India. This year, I was one of the five Indians to attend the prestigious Yale Young Global Scholars program, a prestigious academic enrichment program for high school students, at Yale University, a top-tier Ivy League institution in the USA. I attended the Applied Science and Engineering session with a near-full scholarship. I was also selected as one of the only 40 students from across the globe to attend a highly selective summer program in Physics at Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Waterloo, Canada with a full scholarship.”

On an ending note, Arunima added, “Life hasn’t been easy for me, but I try to take the positive aspects from all experiences and improve myself as a person.”

H/T: The Better India 

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