5 Underrated Technological Geniuses of The 21st Century You've Never Heard Of
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There have been many technological inventions and discoveries that have significantly changed the world. Everyone knows Edison, Graham Bell, and Einstein. However, there are many extraordinary inventors who aren't household names yet, but have ideas and products that will greatly impact how the world functions in the future that you're probably going to want to know about.

Today, let's discover the hidden technological geniuses of the 21st century from the world of technology. 

1. Ross Dickinson - Founder & CTO of Kibosh Ltd

Meet Ross Dickinson. A Scottish plumber turned inventor and entrepreneur who created Kibosh's signature pipe repair technology to provide a quick yet highly effective fix for damaged or leaking domestic water pipes. 

Having left school at the age of 16 with no qualifications and diagnosed with dyslexia years later, Ross gained his plumbing qualifications at Borders College and won a SNIPEF apprentice of the year award before starting his own plumbing business in 2007.

In contrast to other solutions, Kibosh's rapid freezing clamps use up to 50% less gas leading to lower costs. In addition, Kibosh's clamps reduce downtime from loss of containment and increase asset integrity, allowing easier and faster pipe maintenance. 

It's no surprise that these qualities have led to growing interest in Kibosh from gas and oil energy companies, including Total, CNOOC International, Hydratight, and Harbour Energy. 

To meet that growing demand, with the support of the University of Strathclyde's Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC), Ross has created a range of industrial clamps which are now entering the final phase of research and development. 

2. Soham Joshi and Raaghav Malik - Seniors at Columbus Academy

11th graders Soham Joshi and Raaghav Malik of the Ohio Invention league won the Most Innovative Award, Innovation in Electronics Award, and a Patent Application Award in the U.S. Invention Convention Nationals in June. Their winning invention is S.E.N.S.E - a multipurpose robotic glove designed to teach sign language through guided manual motions. 

The primary method of teaching sign language to blind and deaf individuals is through American sign language, in which specialists touch and shape the deaf and blind person's hands into the appropriate shapes. 

However, Soham and Raaghav identified that in developing countries, the issue was the number of trained professionals versus the number of deaf-blind individuals and the high expenses. Their aim was to provide a new tool to the deaf and blind community so that they can communicate with those around them, independently, without a caregiver. 

The glove is equipped with motors that move the user's hands into various sign language positions and provide personalized feedback on improving.

Soham and Raaghav are now working to secure a patent for the glove. Once confirmed, they hope to seek funding from venture capitalists to launch the glove in the market.

3. Professor Kristian Helin - Chief Executive and President of The Institute of Cancer Research

A team of scientists, led by Professor Kristian Helin, have invented a new treatment that'll substitute 'extreme' chemotherapy for terminally ill head and neck cancer patients.

They have created a 'cocktail' of immunotherapies, nivolumab, and ipilimumab to induce the immune system to fight cancer.  The idea is to trick the patient's immune system into killing their own cancer cells. 

The experimental studies showed that these drugs led to a reduction in the size of tumors, and in some cases, cancer vanished altogether. The results have also shown far fewer side-effects compared with chemotherapy. While the results were early, they were still 'clinically meaningful' and will bring significant benefits to patients.

4. Mike Norton - CEO of Wolven Industries

Where to begin with Mike Norton? His life story is like a tragic but inspiring cross between Hamlet, Good Will Hunting, and A Beautiful Mind.

While a child in poverty, he made batteries for his GameBoy in his bedroom with a process called "Galvanic Corrosion." He accomplished this by making crystals from ordinary table salt and random metals he found around the street and his house. His parents mistook his collection of salt for witchcraft and punished him severely. 

Spending most of his life being made fun of, misunderstood, and socially exiled by his peers, he was eventually recruited by the US military, earning a top-secret security clearance by the FBI before he was even old enough to drink. 

During the pandemic lockdowns, he built a fully functional physics and engineering firm by hand...in his house. Within just a year, he filed for multiple patents, some of which included the following inventions:

  • A new forge capable of melting steel with only a third of the electricity that most engineers use, 

  • An artificial intelligence assistant based on a childhood imaginary friend,

  • A new kind of handheld UV cleaner device that uses technology confirmed to kill COVID-19

...and he's currently working on a new kind of electromagnetic engine.

5. Shrish Patel - National Inventors Hall of Fame CIC 2021 Winner

Shrish Patel is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. 

He has won the graduate division of the 2021 Collegiate Inventors Competition (CIC) for his invention, SolarClear. SolarClear is an electric field-assisted approach for cleaning large-scale solar power plants which are greatly affected by dust storms. This is especially beneficial for solar power plants in the western United States, the Middle East, and North Africa. 

On average, 600,000 to 1 million gallons of potable water is used to clean a typical utility-scale solar installation. However, SolarClear uses autonomous waterless cleaning technology that is both more effective and efficient than existing technologies. Furthermore, the unique design of the electrodes used in the system makes SolarClear economically more viable for utility-scale installation in the desert.

SolarClear technology has earned a prize of $100,000 and $75,000 in national lab vouchers to develop the technology further to accelerate scale-up manufacturing to address climate change.

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