Following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill near his home in Texas, Karan Jerath was determined to find a solution. Karan invented a ground-breaking, subsea wellhead capping device that contains oil spills at the source, showing the power of youth as innovators to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 14 on oceans.
Born in India and raised in Malaysia, Karan moved to the United States as a “shy and optimistic” 13-year-old. When the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil spill – the largest marine oil spill in U.S. history – happened 30 minutes away from where Karan lived in Texas, he was determined to take action. “I realized that much smaller spills are happening on a daily basis and slowly destroying our oceans and environment. I had to find a solution.” And he did.
While still in high school, Karan invented a device that contains oil spills at the source. This patent-pending device can collect oil, gas and water gushing from a broken well on the seafloor, providing an effective, temporary solution in the case of an unforeseen subsea oil spill. For his invention, Karan won the Young Scientist Award at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair’s 2015 competition, and was selected as the youngest honoree on the 2016 Forbes 30 Under 30 Energy list.