The dedication and innovative thinking of Gauteng-based budding young scientist, Thakshil Bhaga, propelled him to the forefront of sustainable energy research.
Driven by the desire to find solutions to pressing challenges, Thakshil, 17, a Grade 12 learner at Hoërskool Drie Riviere, who lives in Roshnee, Vaal Triangle in Gauteng, embarked on his Eskom Expo research project with a clear purpose in mind: to determine if sound energy could be effectively converted into electricity.
Thakshil’s pioneering research project focused on harnessing sound energy to generate electricity, seeking to address the challenges posed by the scarcity of non-renewable resources and the adverse effects of noise pollution. Through his work, Thakshil has not only demonstrated the possibility of creating a safe and clean source of power, but has also showcased his exceptional talent in the field of science and engineering.
“My project was inspired by the lack of non-renewable resources (fossil fuels) to produce a sustainable source of electricity. The challenges with loadshedding, power outages and high cost of procuring electricity inspired the project’s design of having another eco-friendly way of producing electricity,” he says.
“It was shown that electricity can be produced from various sources of noise pollution or sound energy. The production of electricity was possible by converting sound which is a longitudinal mechanical wave using a transducer to produce electrical energy,” he adds.
Coming from a family immersed in the world of science and mathematics, Thakshil’s passion for innovation and problem-solving comes naturally. He continuously conducts extensive research, exploring novel approaches to address electrical problems and advance the field.
As an active member of his school’s coding and robotics team, Thakshil has honed his skills and nurtured his love for science, technology, engineering, mathematics and innovation (STEMI). Regular visits to SCI-BONO, an institution fostering scientific exploration, have further enriched his scientific journey.
“I took part in many science, technology and mathematics projects from primary school. I enjoy working with electrical components and building materials,” he says.
Participating in the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists has been a transformative experience for Thakshil, who bagged a gold medal at the 2022 Eskom Expo International Science Fair (ISF) and Eskom’s Best Energy Project Award.
Starting from Grade 5, he seized the opportunity to showcase his innovative projects at science expos. Engaging with students from diverse backgrounds, Thakshil has embraced the power of collaboration, fostering ongoing relationships with fellow young scientists.
“Eskom Expo allowed me to showcase my innovative projects. I had the opportunity to meet young scientists from South Africa and internationally at the ISF. We were able to share ideas and build ongoing relationships with other students from all over the world,” he says.
Beyond his scientific pursuits, Thakshil finds joy in playing soccer and basketball – which showcases his well-rounded nature. His passion for cars goes beyond mere fascination, as he spends countless hours researching various vehicle modifications. This intersection of interests and talents provides him with a unique perspective, inspiring his holistic approach to problem-solving.
“I plan on studying Civil- or Electrical Engineering after completing school, because I always loved designing, constructing, building and fieldwork that improves infrastructure, improves development and lifestyles,” he says.
With his remarkable achievements, insatiable curiosity, and unwavering dedication, Thakshil is poised to make a significant impact in the field of engineering and beyond.
Eskom Expo will be hosting regional science expos across South Africa starting in July 2023. For dates, venues, and project submission deadlines, click here. Learners in grades 4 to 12, along with learners from TVET colleges that are in NC2 to NC4, are invited to register and upload their Eskom Expo projects by clicking here. Learners who registered before can click here to log in and update their details.