Saturday, May 5, 2018

An asteroid named after Prithvi Gundlapalli


Gundlapalli Prithvi gets prestigious Singapore National Award instituted by City State’s  founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew for academic excellence. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) also named an asteroid after him in recognition of Prithvi’s project.

Gundlapalli Prithvi, who hails from Hyderabad and is an alumnus of Hyderabad Public School (HPS), Begumpet, created history by being awarded the 2014 Lee Kuan Yew Award for all round achievement in Mathematics and Science in Singapore.

Prithvi recently received the award from Indranee Rajah, senior minister of state for ministry of law and for ministry of education, Singapore. The award was instituted in 1992 by donations made by Singapore's first and founding Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, to promote academic excellence in mathematics and science. Prithvi is the only student of Indian origin in recent years to get the national award at the junior college level.

In May 2013, Prithvi, while studying 12th class in Singapore, represented Singapore at the prestigious Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) with his lithium ion battery research project. His research focused on tripling the capacity of rechargeable batteries and won two prizes at the ISEF. This was the beginning of the many laurels for Prithvi. The prominent among them was in December, 2013 when the International Astronomical Union (IAU) named an asteroid discovered by Lincoln Laboratory as 29575 Gundlapalli, in recognition of Prithvi winning the second place prize for his project at ISEF.

His research paper on the project was accepted and published by American Chemical Society in January this year. In July the Singapore government awarded the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (ASTAR) scholarship for Prithvi worth $ 25,000 a year to pursue his undergraduate degree in physics.

Pruthvi receiving the award from Indranee Rajah, senior minister of state for ministry of law and ministry of education, Singapore.

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) is the world's largest international pre-college science competition which provides an annual forum for more than 1,500 high school students from about 70 countries, regions and territories to showcase their independent research as they compete for over $3 million annually. The Intel ISEF is the premier global science competition for students in grades 9–12.

Prithvi’s grandfather GG Chowdary, who is the president of Sri Power Gen (India) Pvt. Ltd, is jubilant.  Speaking about his grandson he said, “What Prithvi has done is really exciting. It is amazing that from such a young age Prithvi has been interested in science and doing research in that field. It would have been a different case if he wanted to become a doctor or a lawyer.  He has set the bar for the youngsters of our country to look up to. I hope youngsters of the country learn from him and push extremes to achieve their goals.”

Prithvi migrated to Singapore with his parents in 2002. He is currently enrolled in National Service in Singapore where he is training to be an officer at the Singapore Armed Forces' Officer Cadet School.

Prithvi has set his heart on doing further studies and research work in Quantum Computing and its related fields at Cambridge (UK) or MIT (USA). He also has an interest in Quantitative Finance. Incidentally his father G Sashikanth was also an alumnus of the Hyderabad Public School.

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