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ICAS Alumnus – Tirthak Saha Featured on Forbes!

It was one proud moment for the entire ICAS team when Tirthak Saha, an alumnus of the institution was featured on Forbes 30 Under 30 – in the Energy category for 2018! Hailing from the Indian capital, Delhi, Tirthak joined ICAS in 2011 to pursue a B.S. in Electrical and Electronics Engineering.

Consumer Resiliency, a research team led by Tirthak Saha bagged the second prize in American Electric Power’s (AEP) Spark Tank Innovation challenge that was held across AEP’s 11 state territories in the United States. What’s more enthralling is, this idea was awarded the second prize out of 600 idea submissions and is now in the process of being implemented by AEP as an actual project, across 11 state territories.

However, it wasn’t solely this project that awarded him a spot on Forbes 30 Under 30 but the holistic contributions he has made in the Energy industry. Further talking to ICAS on his role at AEP, Tirthak said, “I am involved in an effort to bring innovation and change into this industry. As a Co-founder and Co-chair of an ‘Innovation Advocacy Network’ I strive to enable innovative thinking in our company and its 18000 employees.”

“I am involved in an effort to bring innovation and change into this industry.”

– Tirthak Saha, Grid Modernization Engineer, American Electric Power

Tirthak’s Project on – ‘Aggregated Network of Energy Storage’

 source – Facebook

The aim of this project is to create a virtual power plant like linked network of behind-the-meter energy storage units in order to realize benefits of energy aggregation such as frequency regulation, capacity management, peak shaving, capital deferral, and vastly increased ‘blue-sky’ reliability for customers and overall reliability metrics for the company such as SAIDI, SAIFI, etc.

The work revolves around modernizing the electric grid in the American Mid-West and finding innovative paths towards reliable electric power delivery to millions of customers, high levels of energy efficiency in our systems, and a fossil fuel independent future for our world.

It also focusses on researching and implementing smart-grid initiatives like self-healing distribution automation, intelligent line sensor applications, energy storage and Volt-Var optimization across the states of Indiana and Michigan.

So, how’s all this going to improve lives and businesses?

Tirthak pulled out time from his busy schedule to give us an outline of this project. In a message sent to ICAS, he said that “Energy is the core necessity of human civilization. Today we are at the cusp of many great technological revolutions in a lot of industries – Any and all new ideas will require a reliable and clean energy source and a strong electric grid capable of supporting new types of load. The company I work for, American Electric Power, and my work with them, are helping build a secure, resilient, and reliable electric grid of the future and assist in the incorporation of many new technologies that depend on a strong electric infrastructure.”

“The company I work for, American Electric Power, and my work with them, are helping build a secure, resilient, and reliable electric grid of the future and assist in the incorporation of many new technologies that depend on a strong electric infrastructure.”

– Tirthak Saha, Grid Modernization Engineer, American Electric Power

Notes of Appreciation

Tirthak was elated to receive the honour from Forbes and took the opportunity to thank his supporters. He wrote – “Incredibly honored and immensely happy to announce that I have been awarded a spot on the 2018 Forbes #30Under30 list! This is nothing short of my wildest dream come true.”

source – Facebook

In the words of Tirthak’s co-worker – Emeka Okafor, Manager, Region Support Engineering at AEP “Tirthak Saha is a tremendous asset to American Electric Power. He is leading our modernization efforts to deploy new technology to improve the customer experience for AEP customers in Indiana and Michigan states.”

“Tirthak Saha is a tremendous asset to American Electric Power.”

Emeka Okafor, Manager, Region Support Engineering, AEP

source – Facebook

A Hero with an Engineer’s mind, a Painter’s Heart and a Sportman’s Zeal

Tirthak’s mettle is not just limited to the horizon of engineering but wanders much beyond that in completely different territories. During his ICAS days in 2011 and 2012 he won the National Award for Earth Day Painting on July 27, 2012 from the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences and Excellence in Art award in both the years. Here is a list of achievements and responsibilities that he handled during those days.

  • National Award for Earth Day Painting on July 27, 2012 from Union Ministry of Earth Sciences
  • Silver Medal, BS Electrical Engineering (2011, 2012)
  • Excellence in art award (2011, 2012)
  • Editor-in-Chief of university yearbook and magazine.
  • Class representative, Student Government Council.
  • Cricket team member
  • Swimming team member

Post his transfer from ICAS, Manipal to Drexel University, USA he only got better and took up more initiatives and responsibilities. Here are some of his endeavours during his Drexel days.

  • Published author in Drexel’s “The 33rd- An Anthology” textbook.
  • Independent research project on Dye-Synthesized Solar Cells in the Thin Films and Devices Lab.
  • Member of two different research teams for the Drexel Space Systems Lab.
  • Speaker at 2015 AIAA National Conference (Johns Hopkins University).
  • Speaker at 2015 NASA RASC-AL Conference (Florida).
  • Co-op at PJM Interconnection
  • Competed at the 2015 Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts Academic Linkage (RASC-AL forum) on June 14-17, 2015

Besides handling his current responsibilities as a Grid Modernization Engineer with American Electric Power, Tirthak is also the Chairperson of Indiana Purdue Fort Wayne (IPFW) University’s Industrial Advisory Board – a committee that provides input to the ECE schools with regards to the industry relevance of their syllabus, thus helping create a better educational system for ECE students.

What Powers his Way Ahead?

Talking about the driving factor behind his success and zeal to innovate, Tirthak said – My main and constant driver is to help build a more sustainable future for our planet, and I think energy is going to be a critical piece in achieving that goal. Furthermore, I firmly believe that this is not a ‘one-man job’. We all have to play a part in this. And the best way to get people involved is to inspire them to be innovative in their daily lives and create a culture where Science & Technology is not just for people with degrees in those fields. That is why I am a big advocate of popularizing Science. It helps everybody! At the end of the day, everyone will leave behind a legacy on this Earth. What’s going to be our generation’s legacy? That question fuels my passion.

A Thought Leader and an Avid Blogger

While a lot of us do not find time out of our routine to do stuffs we love, here’s a guy who seems to be living on a different planet that has more hours in a day. From handling professional responsibilities at AEP to retiring to his nest and thinking about the future of the world and penning it down, Tirthak manages to do just everything!

He runs a personal blog – The Futurist Archives – which aims at promoting scientific literacy and interest in the general public. Talking about this initiative of his, Tirthak said – “I take the latest complex inventions and developments in the Science and Tech world and break it down in fun ways for non-technical people.”

“I take the latest complex inventions and developments in the Science and Tech world and break it down in fun ways for non-technical people.”

Tirthak Saha, Grid Modernization Engineer, American Electric Power

On his website – tirthaksaha.com, he has posted some of his blogs which are indeed interesting. Here are some of his blogs.

A Look at Some His Artworks

source – tirthaksaha.com

Tirthak’s Message for ICAS Students

So, here’s his message for all ICAS students and for all who have the hunger to push their limits and find success.

“Success is not and cannot be defined by a narrow definition, dictated by others’ expectations of you. It is only defined by your hard work and your passion. Take the wildest dream you ever had, multiply it by a hundred, believe that you can do it, and then go out there and try your absolute best. Leave every ounce of strength and sweat and blood out there on the field and you will have succeeded.”

“Manipal Academy of Higher Education is a very good vantage point to launch your career, now it depends on you to take that initiative and turn it into something amazing.”

“Also – Take your work seriously, not yourself.”

“Manipal Academy of Higher Education is a very good vantage point to launch your career, now it depends on you to take that initiative and turn it into something amazing.”

Tirthak Saha, Grid Modernization Engineer, American Electric Power

Team ICAS hails Tirthak’s achievements and wishes him the best for his future endeavours!

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