Rejected by DU, accepted by NASA, now on Forbes 30 Under 30: Tirthak Saha’s story

American Electric Power

Tirthak Saha, once a resident of Dwarka, Delhi, belongs to a humble family — his father is a school teacher and his mother works in the postal department. However, Tirthak, who works for American Electric Power (AEP), Indiana, which provides electricity to 5.4 million people in 11 states of the United States of America, has this year been included in the annual Forbes 30 under 30 list. Forbes 30 under 30 is a list of 600 successful people in business, with 30 each in 20 different industries. Tirthak secured his spot from among 15,000 nominations.



Tirthak intended to pursue astrophysics in college, but with the cut-off score for the physics honours course being too high, he could not make it to Delhi University. As is the case with most parents, Tirthak’s too began worrying about his future prospects because he could not attend the college of his choice. Eventually, he joined the International Centre for Applied Sciences at Manipal University and was even given a scholarship to study at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Tirthak did his BSc there and got an opportunity to work with the NASA Pennsylvania Space Grant and designed an origami-based modular solar panel array for satellites.

Speaking with The Times of India, Tirthak said,

“It’s a wonderful honour and I’m still coming to terms with it. The recognition is based on one’s entire career trajectory and is given to those who have the potential to disrupt the industries they look at. It’s like a lifetime achievement award but under the age of 30.”



According to a Financial Express report, the post Tirthak holds — grid modernisation engineer — didn’t exist previously and was created just for him.

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