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2012 Top 20 Under 20™ Award Recipients

A copy of these bios are available for download.

2012 Top 20 Under 20™ Award Finalists


Dheevesh Arulmani
Mississauga, ON
Age at time of award: 17

Dheevesh’s childhood curiosity and passion for science entered an entirely new dimension as he began to develop a way to revolutionize the hydrogen fuel cell.

At age 13, he created the Bio-Inspired Photonic Fuel Cell. This innovative fuel cell design uses photosensitizers to enhance electricity production at a fraction of the cost. These fuel cells can be used for a variety of applications from electronic gadgets to automobiles.

In 2010, Dheevesh received Google’s First Place award for Future of Energy and Second Place at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

Dheevesh is further developing his innovation at an electrochemistry lab and to make fuel cells a viable energy source. “I envision my Photonic Fuel Cells to facilitate environmentally sustainable electricity production for developed and developing nations worldwide,” he says.

Mingye Chen
Nanamio, BC

Age at time of award: 17

Gone are the days when it is common practice to grow and consume your own food.

Mingye is slowly bringing that notion back in her community through the Britannia Garden Club.

The club’s Urban Garden Project was originally established to create vegetable gardens and beautify the urban area. She joined the club back during her junior year of high school and saw great opportunities for the organization.

When she became president of the club, she took the group to new heights. Mingye and her team participated in the local Earth Day festival which ultimately helped her secure financial support from a local bank.

Currently, Mingye is working on developing a composting program at her school and hopes to see the day where the Urban Garden project supplies all the food to her high school, Britannia Secondary.

Mirian Dang
Markham, ON
Age at time of award: 18


Through Mirian’s combined experiences in the field of mental health, she has discovered a negative stigma that many youth have towards other teens facing mental illness.

To reduce that stigma, she created Discovery Days in Mental Health (DDMH), to educate others about mental health issues. These workshops have been presented to 600 elementary, high school and university students in her community.

Mirian says, “It has been very gratifying knowing that I have been able to help others to overcome the barriers of stigma and to reach their full potential.”

This Ontario Dare to Dream award recipient went on to organize the first annual Symposium on Youth Mental Health in her home-town of Markham.

Mirian has now set her sights on broadening her audience for 2012 to host the symposium at York University, with access to renowned medical specialists and clinical psychologists working in the field of mental health.



Sarah Flaherty
Hamilton, ON
Age at time of award: 16


Sarah strongly believes that the need for safe water to prevent serious illness and death from water borne infection is a grave concern in developing countries and disaster areas.

“My interest in health and engineering led me to develop an easily accessible fabric water filter,” says Sarah. She has developed a method to filter water using a recyclable water bottle, clothing fabric and a solar water disinfection process (SODIS) - a method of purifying water with UV radiation in sunlight.

Sarah’s filtration system, judged by Google as most likely to positively impact global society at the 2011 International Science and Engineering Fair, allows water to be reliably purified using minimal resources.

Sarah then conducted SODIS-related research for UNICEF's Water Sanitation and Hygiene program, and fund-raised to support SODIS projects.



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