Ganga Chinna Rao Devarapu
PhD from University of Exeter, UK, M. Tech from IIT Delhi and TU Berlin.
University of St Andrews
Marie Curie Research Fellow
Cork Institute of Technology
Favourite thing to do in science: Building Robots, Helping Students
I am problem solver.
The logical coherence and path in science fascinated me since my early school days. The experimentation with simple but beautiful things was one of my favourite hobbies during my childhood. I used to be delighted at the sight of my self-made fire-crackers blazing to produce a range of spectacular colours. The fun was not only due to the colours but also due to the fact of being able to create such stuff on my own. This passion for doing small experiments on my own with locally available low-cost materials made me one of the regular candidates to represent my school in science fairs. Those science fairs helped me in polishing the very basic concepts in science in my school days and motivated me to continue with science for my studies. After completing my studies, I am using same passion and knowledge to solve real world problems such as finding the bugs in water.
My work is to build circuits for light to find bugs in water or speed up the internet
I am investigating optical interconnects based on photonic crystal (PhC) cavity resonators for efficient data transfer at Cork Institute of Technology and University of St Andrews. In particular, I am working on the vertical integration of photonic and electronic circuits. I am also developing a wafer scale testing platform for PhCs, in collaboration with Helia Photonics and Stanford University.
During my PhD at the University of Exeter, I investigated theoretically Polaritonic Photonic Crystals (PPCs) under the supervision of Dr Stavroula Foteinopoulou. We achieved near-perfect absorption in the Reststrahlen band of the polaritonic materials. In addition, I studied ultra-refractive properties of PPCs. I employed self-written TMM codes and Lumerical FDTD solutions for these theoretical investigations.
Before joining the University of Exeter, I pursued an experimental project at Technical University, Berlin, as a master thesis student. During this time, I constructed a confocal microscope to fabricate waveguides inside a photopolymer by direct beam photo-lithographic technique. Later I expanded the setup for characterization of these waveguides.
My Typical Day
Submit scientific ideas for funding. I help students in their projects.
I simulate how light waves go through complex structures. I build experimental set-ups to detect bugs in the water. This includes testing of many types of equipment for the job. For that, I request demonstration units from the suppliers. I make circuits on Silicon wafers. These circuits are similar to electronic circuits we have in smartphones and computers. I typically make them in Tyndall National Institute in Cork. For making these components, I need to work in ultra-clean rooms, which has very few dust particles. For this purpose, we wear cleanroom dress, similar to what you see doctors use sometimes.
I also spend time reading other scientists work. I generate scientific ideas and discuss with my colleagues for feedback. I write these ideas on for funding bodies such as government authorities to ask money to execute my ideas. I help my students in their projects.
I would like to use the money to spend to purchase STEM educational equipment. More specifically, I am designing a small cardboard based microscope which will cost less than two Euros. Many kids get seldom exposed to microscopes, due to the high costs of these lab devices. Through these cardboard microscopes, students will own their personal microscope, which enables them to explore the microscopic world. Access to such a crucial scientific tool to school children, at that young age will truly democratize pursuing science. The children can take the microscope to wherever they want and can investigate live organisms, leaves, fabrics, coins currency notes etc. Therefore, I will use the prize money to procure the equipment for building at least 200 cardboard microscopes to be distributed to the students.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Passionate, Curious, Problem-Solver
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Building a small Robot
What did you want to be after you left school?
I always wanted to be a Scientist
Were you ever in trouble at school?
What was your favourite subject at school?
What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?
I built an equipement for testing light circuits.
What or who inspired you to become a scientist?
My teachers in School
If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
Become a professor, business man and a politician
Tell us a joke.
There are 10 types of people in the world, who understand binary and who doesn't.