Lekha Duvvoori ’18

Builds the future and incredible machines, from robots to rockets.
Her first two years at York, Lekha Duvvoori ’18 admired the robotics team, Deus Ex Machina, from afar. Her family home was an hour away, and the commute just didn’t make joining the after hours team feasible. She stayed busy with her love of the Classics studying Greek and Latin. Lekha was also a force to  reckon with on the softball field and the President of the Model UN club. Still, her affinity toward science and engineering kept her interested in joining Deus Ex Machina, Team 5171.

Lekha’s persistence in wanting to join the team inspired her parents to rent out a small one-bedroom apartment in Monterey for Lekha and her mother, Sumana, to commute from during the week. Finally, in her junior year, Lekha became a member of Deus Ex Machina under the ever-supportive Dr. Jeff Hanna. 

She spent her junior and senior years at York working on design-based projects and creating the building blocks she would need for her next engineering adventure–joining CalSol at UC Berkeley her freshman year of college. 

CalSol is a non-profit organization that designs, builds, and races fully solar-powered vehicles. Lekha was Brakes Lead her sophomore year and Engineering Director her junior. She raced the team’s 9th generation vehicle, Tachyon, at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX, and drove it across the Australian Outback for the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge.

Lekha has competed in Discovery Channel’s BattleBots as a member of the Combat Robotics Team at UC Berkeley. Their 250-pound robot “Glitch,” sealed its first victory in episode 604 against “Ghost Raptor,” and its second in episode 608 against “Hydra.” The show just filmed in September and more episodes starring “Glitch” are due to air soon. Tune in and cheer on Lekha, “Glitch,” and the entire UC Berkeley BattleBots crew!

With a list of accomplishments like this, we know Lekha is on a good trajectory (even without Dr. Hanna’s computation skills). 

So what’s next? First, an internship this summer at Seattle start-up, STOKE, whose vision is: “to create routine travel to and from orbit in a seamlessly connected Earth & Space,”  followed up by an internship in San Francisco this fall at Xwing focused on autonomous flight technology for unmanned aircraft. 

No wonder Lekha’s Senior Superlative was “most likely to win the Nobel prize.” Keep up the incredible work! We are so very proud that you are a Forever Falcon.

Check out this awesome video and write-up about Lekha from CalSol Berkeley and the BattleBots Team Glitch website.
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Since 1959, York School has created an exceptional college-prep experience for our youth: inspiring them to develop intellectual curiosity; challenging them to create and try new things; and preparing them to be passionate contributors in college and in life.