Jayan Thomas

What are you most trying to accomplish in your work? 

I want to develop a self-sustainable energy source which can be portable and used at any time anywhere. This energy source need not be charged by any traditional methods.

What do you think sets your work apart from the work of others in your field?

I want my work to be unique and like to be transformative. For example, we recently developed an electrical cable which can store and transmit energy at the same time. Such a cable is very beneficial for applications where energy storage and transmission are necessary at the same time. These types of cables can be very useful in electric cars, heavy machineries and aerospace applications.

What or who inspired you to get into your field? Do you have any individuals or groups of people that you credit with helping you achieve the goals you set out to accomplish?

Even when I was studying in my elementary class, I was very much interested in carrying out small small experiments related to energy. During our summer vacation time, my older brother and I used to do experiments using readily available materials like acetic acids and aluminum foils. My brother was my inspiration in doing many of these experiments.

What role has serendipity played in the turning points in your career? 

One evening, while I was walking around my community thinking about my energy storage research, I saw some cables lying around. This caught my attention and the idea of developing an electrical cable which can transmit and store energy at the same time came to my mind. The next day I asked my research students to work on developing such a device and it took us about 3 months to develop and characterize them completely.

What have been the greatest challenges that you have encountered in your career?

Finding funding to perform research.

Do you believe leaders and innovators have certain qualities that they all share? If so, what?

Always excited about their goal.

How would you most like to change the world through your work?

Bringing a self-sustainable renewable energy source to the most remote corner of the earth.

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