DutchNews.nl, June 10, 2015
A Dutchman who invented a simple device for detecting malaria using a shoe box, heating element from a hair dryer and some cheap items from a diy store has been voted Nerd of the Year by magazine Vrij Nederland.
Wouter Bruins tops the list of 101 ‘nerds’ who were judged on their ‘technological solutions for an existing problem’ or ‘other interesting technological discovery’. Judges included Bluetooth inventor Jaap Haartsen and start-up innovator Oscar Kneppers of Rockstart.
According to Elsevier, Bruin’s discovery can contribute to more speedy malaria treatment and will begin major testing in Rotterdam and at a hospital in Zambia. Malaria kills more than half a million people every year.
‘I was shocked that it seemed to work better than existing methods,’ Bruins, 30, told a radio show on Wednesday.
The title ‘nerd of the year’ is ‘recognition for our sort of people’, he said. Working away in attics is ‘often about being a pioneer in isolation’, he said. ‘It is good to be noticed.’
Broadcaster Nos reports that Bruins now has two companies: one developing the malaria treatment and another developing a way of determining the sex of chickens.
Watch Bruins talking about problem solving