FAU High Student Named to ‘Forbes’ ‘30 Under 30’ List

Hannah Herbst speaks at the Arizona State University Walton Sustainability Solutions Festival.

By kelsie weekes | 12/4/2017

Florida Atlantic University High School junior Hannah Herbst has been named to the 2018 Forbes “30 Under 30” list in the energy sector. Herbst, 17, invented an ocean energy prototype that earned her the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist” in the 2015 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge.

“It’s such a huge honor to be on this list,” said Herbst. “It’s something I’ve wanted to be a part of for so long.”

According to Forbes, the “30 Under 30” list in energy recognizes “the most promising individuals working across the broad field of anything tangentially energy-related.”

Herbst’s device, called BEACON, aims to provide a stable power source to developing countries by using untapped energy from any moving body of water. The goal is to use the device to power water purification systems and much-needed medical equipment.

Since winning the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist” in 2015, Herbst has presented at the White House Science Fair, discussed the topics of education and clean energy at the United Nations, and traveled across the country engaging with aspiring young scientists.

“One of my favorite things is helping children with their science projects,” she said. “I love being in the classroom and coming up with ideas and designs with them.”

Herbst is currently dual-enrolled at FAU High School and FAU, where she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering. She continues to work on BEACON and is about to start a new research project involving shark skin and how it can be used for other applications in medicine.

“Since my first robotics class in seventh grade at A.D. Henderson, I have been hooked on science,” she said. “It was never on my radar until I got to FAU, and it has quickly become my passion.”