Deepika Kurup

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Deepika Kurup
Deepika Kurup White House Science Fair.png
Deepika Kurup at the 2013 White House Science Fair
Native name ദീപിക കുറുപ്പ്
Born Deepika Kurup
(1998-04-12) April 12, 1998 (age 20)
Nashua, New Hampshire
Residence Nashua, New Hampshire, USA
Nationality American
Alma mater Nashua High School South
Scientific career
Fields Medical research, Invention

Deepika Kurup (born 1998) is an inventor, scientist, and clean water advocate. She is the recipient of the 2012 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Award. Kurup was awarded the $25,000 Award for her work in developing a new and inexpensive method to clean water using solar power.[1] She also won the 2014, U.S. Stockholm Junior Water Prize with her project "A Novel Photocatalytic Pervious Composite for Degrading Organics and Inactivating Bacteria in Wastewater."[2] The award included a cash prize of $10,000 and an all-expense paid trip to Stockholm, Sweden, where she competed at the International Stockholm Junior Water Prize.[3]

In January 2015, Kurup was named as one of the Forbes 2015 30 Under 30 in Energy. She has also been featured in Teen Vogue for her work.[4]


Deepika Kurup was born in Nashua, New Hampshire. She has given a number of accounts of what inspired her to work on water purification.[5][6] In her entry video to the competition, she explains the mechanism used for developing her invention and also explains some of the factors that led to the invention.[7]

Water purification method[edit]

Kurup's initial idea that won her the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist in 2012 is based on using a photocatalytic compound for water purification. This project involved a photocatalytic composite made up of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, hollow glass microspheres, and Portland cement. In 2012 Kurup's photocatalytic composite was able to reduce the amount of total coliform from 8000 colony-forming units to 50. In addition, it oxidised Methylene blue at a faster rate than standard solar disinfection methods.[8]

She improved her method and after 3 years developed a pervious photocatalytic composite using sand, TiO2, Portland cement and silver nitrate.This photocatalytic pervious composite showed 98% reduction in total coliform bacteria immediately after filtration. Exposure of the filtered water to sunlight with a photocatalytic composite disc resulted in 100% inactivation of total coliform bacteria in just 15 minutes.[9] This project won her the 2014 United States Stockholm Junior Water Prize

She also is the National Geographic winner in the 2015 Google Science Fair.

Personal life[edit]

A junior in Winthrop House at Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Deepika lives in Lexington, Massachusetts with her parents and younger sister, Anjali. Her father Pradeep Kurup, a civil engineering professor at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, came to United States in 1983 from India. Her mother, Meena Kurup, is originally from the southern Indian state of Kerala.[10] Deepika is planning on concentrating in Neurobiology.[11] Deepika is also an avid Snapchatter and aspiring guitarist. She gave a presentation in her Human Anatomy class on epilepsy.


  1. ^ "Young Scientist Challenge 2012". 3M.
  2. ^ "Stockholm Junior Water Prize". Water Environment Federation. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  3. ^ Wall Street Journal. "New Hampshire student wins US water prize". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
  4. ^ Marsh, Ariana (April 15, 2016). "8 Young Environmentalists on Why OUR Generation Has to Save the Planet". Teen Vogue.
  5. ^ "Amazing innovations from India". Silicon India. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  6. ^ Barrie, Alison. "Young scientist's invention could clean water for 11 billion". Fox News. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  7. ^
  8. ^ Staff, Reporter. "More to solar than scams". The Hindu. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
  9. ^ Kurup, Deepika (15 May 2014). "A Novel Photocatalytic Pervious Composite for Degrading Organics and Inactivating Bacteria in Wastewater".
  10. ^ renewindians. "Indian origin teen wins in US". Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  11. ^ Matus, Morgana. "Ingenious 14 Year-Old Invents Solar-Powered Water Purification System for the Developing World". Retrieved 17 June 2014.

External links[edit]