Javier Fernandez-Han

Biography: A tinkerer and inventor since age 7, Javier is a freshman at the University of Texas at Dallas. In 2008, Javier founded the non-profit organization Inventors without Borders to encourage and enable teens to use their talents to solve real-world problems. In 2009, Javier won the first place award in the Ashoka-Lemelson “Invent Your World” competition with his VERSATILE design, an algae and bacteria-powered system for providing food, fuel, fertilizer, and sanitation for developing communities.

In 2010, he won the first place award for renewable energy in the Conrad Foundation “Spirit of Innovation” competition with his ACWa (Affordable Clean Water) design, a patent-pending solar, wind and geothermal-powered system for producing clean water from humid air at extremely low cost. The Conrad Foundation subsequently selected ACWa for commercialization support through their Portal program. Popular Science magazine named Javier as one of USA's 10 top high school inventors in 2009 and again in 2011. Forbes magazine recently named Javier in their list of "30 under age 30 most influential Americans" in the energy industry. The JFK Presidential Library featured Javier in their Legacy Library in Science and Innovation.

In 2010, Javier developed “Invent and Innovate”, a learning program to inspire and enable youth to use their creativity to invent products and services to serve their local communities. This program is being implemented in several Houston-area schools and is being adapted for implementation in India. During the summer of 2010, Javier worked for Martek Biosciences in Columbia, MD in the area of yeast-derived bio-fuels. In 2011, Javier launched "Innovation Foundry – MIE" to collaborate with My India Empowered, a NGO in India to rebuild a monsoon-damaged one-room school in the National Forest near Mumbai. Javier spoke on “De-Mystifying Creativity: You Don’t Have to be Creative to be Creative” at TEDxTheWoodlands 2011. He is a co-founder of the education design firm Play.Fully.Creative®. Earlier this year, Javier served as lead organizer for TEDxYouth@TheWoodlands. Javier is currently studying Computer Science and hopes to continue inventing to serve developing communities.

Research Interests: Shape Memory Polymers, Flexible Electronics, Piezoelectric Materials, Neural Interfaces