A 18-year-old college sophomore has been named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in the energy field for the second year in a row.
"It made me realize that I'm doing something big, and that I can have a big impact with my research," Param Jaggi said.
The Vanderbilt University student and Plano East graduate has also been featured in Popular Science magazine and has won a national award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for an algae-filled contraption he invented that fits over a car's tailpipe and is designed to turn carbon dioxide emissions into oxygen.
Since then, Jaggi has founded his own company, EcoViate.
He's also started work on a thermovoltaic wind system, another renewable energy product. It is meant to turn energy waste into new energy.
The recognition is a major validation of years of hard work, he said.
"If you think about it, you only know a handful of inventors from history, but you can list off hundreds of celebrities and hundreds of athletes," he said. "It gives a reason to what I'm doing."
Jaggi's father, Pawan, said it's difficult to express how proud he and his wife are of their son.
Even as a child, his son was always captivated by taking things apart and learning how they worked, he said.
"I've seen him at four o'clock in the morning reading," Pawan Jaggi said. "I didn't do that when I was 18 years old. I'm excited about the potential he has to change the world."
But Param Jaggi is more modest, saying he hopes maybe to make a "marginal impact."
"It's something that I love doing, and I don't even realize that I'm doing it. ... You have to be crazy to change the world," he said.
Jaggi currently holds a patent for his algae-based invention.