Seven Tech students make ‘30 Under 30’

Photo courtesy of GT Communications

Earlier this month, Forbes released its annual ‘30 Under 30’ list, a collection of 30 successful ‘movers and shakers’ under 30 years old in a variety of different fields. Tech had a strong showing this year, with seven students or former students making the list across six different categories, more than doubling last year’s total of three.

Lujendra Ojha is a current Ph.D. candidate in planetary science at Tech. Ojha, included in the science category, was the man behind the recent announcement by NASA that evidence of water was found on Mars. His observation of the Martian landscape led to an official research project that ended in what was arguably NASA’s biggest announcement across all fields in 2015.

“There’s going to be years of research put into this to even prove that this is definitely a proof of water,” Ojha said, courtesy of CNN. “And from that, we can move on: OK, if this is water, what are the chances that life could be in these kinds of surroundings?”

Allen Chang, BME ‘08, made the list in the Manufacturing & Industry category. His company, Vertera Spine Inc., was the first company to develop and manufacture an FDA-approved synthetic replacement for human bone, PEEK Scoria.

“With PEEK Scoria, we are solving the PEEK-bone integration problem while exploring other innovative approaches to improve clinical outcomes for spine patients,” Chang said, courtesy of “We have come a long way since founding the company over two years ago, and I am looking forward to seeing what we can achieve as we develop additional product lines for spine and beyond.”

Chang, who developed multiple medical devices while at Tech, is hoping to expand and diversify his business beyond synthetic spines and into other sectors of the healthcare market.

In the category of Retail and eCommerce, Candace Mitchell, CS ‘11, co-founded Techturized Inc. with four fellow Tech graduates in 2012. Techturized is a player in the $3 billion African-American hair-care industry. The company’s biggest venture as of  2015 was an app, Myavana, that provides custom recommendations to women based on their own unique needs and allows users to share advice, tips and techniques.

Emily Woods, ME ‘10, the first of two Tech grads in the Energy category, is leading efforts to improve sanitation in third-world countries. Her company, which is  currently in its early stages, is presently testing a method in Kenya for turning human waste into a sustainable source of fuel.

While the method for the sanitation process is still being tested, it is showing promise as a viable and sanitary source of fuel for developing countries.

The second graduate in this category is Alec Manfre, ME’ 11, the CEO and co-founder of Bractlet. He uses advanced technology to get detailed data on electrical usage in order to help businesses save both energy and money. According to Forbes, his technology has saved businesses 35 percent on electrical costs.

Paris Rouzati, MGT  ‘13, made the list in the Marketing and Advertising category. Rouzati is currently the manager of marketing for, a company that lets users create their own personal web pages. She creates strategies catered to the fast-changing world of Social Media and specializes in the behavior of Millenials and Generation Z.

To round out the list, Josh Allen, CHEM ‘08, gave Tech a presence in the Healthcare category. He is vice president of research and development for Oncoceutics, who discovered a way to potentially kill cancer cells without harming healthy cells. His discovery is one of the most promising in the oncology field and has catapulted him into the forefront of cancer research.

If these seven Jackets are any indication, Tech stands on the forefront of innovation in solving today’s problems. From cancer research to renewable energy to hair care, Tech grads are active in all aspects of society.