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30 under 30: Working on Small Scales to Solve Huge Energy Challenges

Meet Vinamrita Singh, 25, one of the up-and-coming physicists attending this year's Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting
Indian PV researcher Vinamrita Singh



Courtesy Vinamrita Singh

The annual Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting brings a wealth of scientific minds to the shores of Germany’s Lake Constance. Every summer at Lindau, dozens of Nobel Prize winners exchange ideas with hundreds of young researchers from around the world. Whereas the Nobelists are the marquee names, the younger contingent is an accomplished group in its own right. In advance of this year’s meeting, which focuses on physics, we are profiling several promising attendees under the age of 30. The profile below is the 13th in a series of 30.

Name: Vinamrita Singh
Age: 25
Born: Haryana, India
Nationality: Indian

Current position: Ph.D. student, Department of Physics and Astrophysics, University of Delhi, India
Education: Bachelor’s degree, master’s degree from University College, Kurukshetra University, Haryana, India

What is your field of research?
The study of electrical and optical properties along with degradation and aging of organic bulk heterojunction photovoltaic devices.

What drew you to physics, and to that research area in particular?
Beginning my career as a processing geophysicist led me to closely observe and experience the oil and gas industry. During this period, I also witnessed the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. This close proximity with the business of non-renewable energy resources was the motivation behind my choice of research area, and led me into the field of renewable energy.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself continuing research even after 10 years. The way research requires one to think, hypothesize, experiment and then analyze the findings really inspires me. I have devoted two years to the study of organic solar cells, and while studying I feel that there is still a lot of potential in these devices in the future. I would like to further explore more possibilities in this field itself, and want to significantly contribute to the use of flexible solar cells on window panes, clothes and as paints.

Who are your scientific heroes?
René Descartes: He not only significantly contributed in mathematics, but his philosophy also interests me. Albert Einstein: He is one scientist who I find an all-rounder. Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, who has successfully played a role as a leading scientist and President of India.

If you had unlimited resources, what kind of research would you conduct?
My dream study is related to oceanography. The Earth is more than 75 percent water, but only 1 percent of the oceans have been studied due to technological limits of going deep under water. If I get unlimited resources, I would like to work on the exploration of ocean beds and the different forms of life that exist down there.

What activities outside of physics do you most enjoy?
Some of my hobbies and interests are dancing, writing articles, photography, stick-figure animations and reading novels.

What do you hope to gain from this year’s Lindau meeting?
Getting to attend the Lindau conference will not only give me the opportunity to be up to date with the ongoing advancements in research, but will also direct my vision to various other possibilities through which I can add new dimensions to my research. Any session related to my area of interest would definitely be beneficial as I could gain new concepts and implement them in my work. I anticipate this to be an event for pure exchange of knowledge at an international level that would diversify the mindsets of young researchers to meet the growing demands of technological and scientific growth. It would be an achievement if I could distribute the gain of knowledge and techniques in our lab to other researchers around me. I would be very delighted to get the opportunity to hear the lectures and life experiences of Nobel laureates, which is a very rare and important chance.

Are there any Nobelists whom you are particularly excited to meet or learn from at Lindau?
I consider it to be a great opportunity to meet any of the Nobelists. In particular, I would like to meet Prof. Albert Fert because he is related to nanotechnology and in my work I make use of nanomaterials. I would also like to meet Prof. Paul Jozef Crutzen as his work on atmosphere and environmental studies is very crucial, especially when the world is getting more and more polluting due to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

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12. Andre Wilmes
30 Under 30:
Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting
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14. Ioannis Florakis

 

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