At just 17 years old, Javier Fernandez-Han has made a Forbes list of ‘30 Under 30’ in the Energy category for his humanitarian innovative inventions.
The son of immigrants from Mexico and China, 15 year old Texan Javier Fernández-Han, makes us a little more hopeful about the next generation’s ability to adapt to a world of limited resources. The high school student developed a fully featured algae-powered energy system that combines a dozen new and existing technologies to treat waste, produce methane and bio-oil for fuel, produce food for humans and livestock, sequester greenhouse gases, and produce oxygen. Dubbed the VERSATILE system, the project is this year’s winner of the annual Invent Your World Challenge $20,000 scholarship.
In 2010, Fernandez-Han founded Inventors Without Borders, a humanitarian organization that seeks to “bring innovative solutions to real-world problems in rural, poverty-stricken areas”.
At a time when Latinos are lagging in science and math fields, Fernandez-Han proves that there are still young people not just pursuing such careers, but pursuing them to change the .
The Texas teen recently told, NBC Latino, ‘Once I realized I enjoyed inventing, I began to see how I could provide solutions to common problems. Inventing things became a way to help people.’
On of his systems would provide developing communities with a way to utilize the limited resources they possess to achieve economic sustainability by way of turning sewage into a renewable energy source using the digestive properties of specialized algae.
The same year he founded Inventors Without Border, at just the age of 16, Fernandez-Han delivered a speech at a conference hosted by the Prince of Spain in Girona.
With so many years of innovation already under his belt and many to come, Javier Fernandez-Han is truly a Hispanic Standout.