“It was Roshan, my roommate from Akshara in my second year, who explained to me how he got electricity for only 2-3 hours of the day.”
A lot gets lost in the daily rigmarole of life on the hill at MUWCI. But some conversations can linger long after goodbyes have been said and college admissions secured. Anand Lalwani, a MUWCI alumna (2012-14), is experiencing something similar as he heads to Stanford for a PhD in Electrical Engineering. He intends to focus on semiconductors and solar energy and he traces his passion for them back to his time at MUWCI (photovoltaic cells was the focus of his physics Extended Essay). “I still use his EE as an exemplar for my current students,” remarks Hritik Sampat, Anand’s professor of physics at MUWCI.
Anand Lalwani (right) with his co-years Aditya Karan (center) and Rongfei Lu (left)
Just two months ago, Anand was part of another remarkable feat. As an engineering research assistant at Brown University, he led a team of 17 students in designing and building EQUiSat, the University’s first nano satellite. Built at a cost less than $4,000, the satellite was launched by NASA, carried to the International Space Station by an Antares rocket and Cygnus cargo spacecraft on Sunday, May 20.
Anand’s team faced several challenges, the toughest being finding the right combination of chemicals for coating the satellite such that it could withstand outer space. News Agency UNI quoted him as saying while talking about the idea, “We are going to make space cool again was our original mission pitch to NASA. We tried several things for 12 months but failed. But finally being able to fix the coating was a huge achievement for Brown Space Engineering and no other satellite group had done this with lithium iron phosphate batteries.”
“Anand always aimed for the stars,” says Hritik, “so hearing of his exciting ventures in launching a rocket seems a fitting culmination of the journey he began at MUWCI. It’s always a joy to teach UWC students like Anand because of the love for learning that he always manifested, and for the unique ability of UWCs to bring many such wonderful students together under the same roof.”
An active part of the Tutoring Leadership Board of Brown University, Anand has been a math and engineering TA for the past three years. He also indulged in photonics research and Latin dance during his time at Brown. When we reached out to Anand to congratulate him, he responded, “A big thank you to my team and professors at Brown and a huge shout out to my teachers at Mahindra United World College of India, in particular Dr. Parag Mehta and Hritik Sampat for showing me the beauty of math and making me fall in love with physics! My best friend, Rongfei taught me the importance of co-operation over competition when he first helped me pass the Math Placement test and get into Math HL. My time at MUWCI was foundational and truly helped shape my views.”
“I have no doubt that Anand will reach even greater heights and I for one will keenly follow his ongoing journey,” concludes Hritik.
More (renewable) power to you, Anand! We hope you continue making us proud.