Polymer science alumnus delivers TEDx Talk


Facing barriers and overcoming obstacles—in the lab and in his life—helped Dr. Vasav Sahni become "Spider-Man."

Polymer science alumnus, Dr. Vasav Sahni (Ph.D. 2012; advisor Dr. Dhinojwala), recently delivered a TEDx talk titled "How I Became Spider-Man." His inspiring, engaging presentation was given at TEDxMahtomedi 2019 and it describes his experiences researching Spider Silk during his Ph.D. studies at the University of Akron. The talk focuses on the barriers he faced and overcame to become "Spider-Man."

"Vasav Sahni uses spider silk as an inspiration for the development of innovative adhesives. Starting with his own experience (he’s terrified of spiders), he explores how collective opinions, societal beliefs, and individual experiences can keep us “stuck” to old ways of doing things, and how we might convert barriers to opportunities to maximize our impact in the global community.

"Vasav Sahni is a scientist at 3M Corporate, where he leads teams to develop new products and technologies by drawing upon inspiration from Nature — spiders, geckos, butterflies, and dragons. He has a Ph.D. in polymer science from the University of Akron and a B.Tech. in textile technology from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, India. He is an avid proponent for careers in science and collaborates with Discovery Education to mentor young scientists to develop scientific solutions to global problems. He is chief scientific adviser and board member of HD Solvera, a nonprofit that aims to develop new therapies for neurodegenerative conditions. His hobbies include dancing and acting, and he has performed in several dance-drama productions throughout the Twin Cities. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx" (Source: YouTube, TEDx Talks)