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Compiled/Written by Murali Kamma Email Compiled/Written by Murali Kamma
May 2014

Climate change is a major concern, as is environmental degradation, caused in no small part by human actions. Many people have answered the call to find solutions for these pressing challenges. Among them, to name just two, we can include Rajendra Singh of South Carolina and Priyanka Bakaya of Utah, who are doing their bit in different ways.

The White House recently picked Singh, an engineering professor at Clemson University, as one of the 10 “champions of change” who have been promoting solar power usage among residential and commercial customers. Of course, apart from job creation, solar energy reduces pollution and boosts conservation. Singh has worked on silicon solar cells for four decades and is known for advancing the technology of photovoltaic module manufacturing.


Entrepreneur Priyanka Bakaya also promotes conservation, but her approach uses technology to convert discarded plastic into oil and diesel. As she puts it, “waste is a terrible thing to waste.” She is not kidding, because her facility in Salt Lake City can transform 20,000 pounds of plastic into 60 barrels of oil every day. Along with her partner Ben Coates, Bakaya—who grew up in Australia and studied at MIT and Stanford— established P.K. Clean, named after a mentor, Percy Keen, who inspired her with his lifelong experiments in clean technology. She built on his work and, after his death, got the technical help of Coates to realize her dream.

And yes, the award-winning P.K. Clean doesn’t emit pollution.

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