You don’t even know it, but with John Dabiri’s help, the jellyfish has changed your future.
He’s one of Popular Science’s “Brilliant 10,” a Bloomberg BusinessweekTechnology Innovator, an MIT Technology Review "35 Under 35," and a MacArthur Fellows Program “Genius” Grant recipient, because his research combining fluid mechanics, energy & environment, and biology - a field called bio-inspired engineering - has already influenced our lives.
John created reflective particles to track how jellyfish propel themselves through water, and in the process, learned about the human body & the atmosphere too.
Applying the jellyfish’s fluid dynamics to the human heart, he can detect signs of heart failure years in advance. When using his findings in the field of wind energy, he was able to develop a wind turbine that’s 10x smaller than the standard model. The U.S. Navy has him at work developing unmanned submarines that are 30% more efficient than the current design. His research is also inspiring other scientists who before, hadn’t even explored the effect that marine animals could have on how the ocean moves, the same way currents do.
At just 35, John’s entire future (and ours) is still ahead of him. He currently heads Stanford University’s Dabiri Lab, named after him in honor of his groundbreaking discovery & the continued applications of his science. But his brilliance wasn’t always so recognized. When John graduated from high school, the only college he applied to was Princeton. And when he got in, his HS biology teacher told the next class that it was only because he was black.
So much for that idea.