Karan Jerath is not afraid to take on big challenges. As a Houstonian, Karan was motivated by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill to spend two years of high school inventing a device that could capture oil and gas from a blowout well and store them on a surface vessel. The invention contributed to his being named one of Forbes’ “30 under 30” as a freshman at UT.
As successful as he had been in high school, coming to UT gave him a bigger laboratory and a thriving entrepreneurial culture where engineering, business and education converge. Pitching ideas at advisory board meetings of the Cockrell School of Engineering boosted his confidence. “It validated that the work I’ve been doing is valuable.”
But his passion for capturing energy isn’t limited to material energy. He has found a way to capture human energy in the form of ideas. He founded the Energy Olympiad, supported by UT’s Energy Institute. “Having been through the science fair process, I’ve seen the potential a lot of young people have, but not enough have a platform to develop and showcase ideas.” Because of Karan, UT even created a category for high school students in the Olympiad.
This business-oriented and environmentally minded petroleum engineering senior isn’t waiting to serve Texas and change the world. Karan wants to help the Texas energy sector be more green and is encouraging the next generation to start solving environmental problems now.