Meet Sahithi Pingali, a Class XII student from Bengaluru, who brought laurels to the country by finishing second at Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), one of the world’s largest and most prestigious pre college science competitions.
Pingali also has the rare honour of having a planet named after her. She was awarded the honour by the Lincoln Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which has the right to name minor planets.
The incredible achievement came after she won an award for her research paper - ‘An Innovative Crowdsourcing Approach to Monitoring Freshwater Bodies’. Pingali’s paper was based on the insights she gathered after having developed a mobile application that measures pollution in lakes by obtaining data though crowdsourcing.
Pingali was placed second in the Earth and Environment Sciences category and was also among the top three percent finalists at ISEF. The Indian contingent won 21 awards in all, of which she bagged three.
“I definitely didn’t see this coming. I was expecting one special award at most. I haven’t yet digested the fact that I have a planet named after me,” she told The Hindu.
Pingali is currently pursuing an internship with the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department of the University of Michigan and has won many awards for her research in the past as well.