LEDs Magazine 40 Under 40 Profile: Drake Braski

July 24, 2020
Our youngest member of the 40 Under 40 Class has a UV startup and pursues many design concepts through 3-D printing.

As our youngest member of the 40 Under 40 Class, Drake Braski wears multiple hats — co-founder, chief engineer, designer, and co-inventor of VentorLux’s Soulis line of continuous air-disinfection tools that use ultraviolet C-band (UV-C) LEDs to deactivate pathogens.

Braski’s SSL story began with his interests in automation, technology, and lighting as a young child. While in and out of hospitals with a rare kidney disease, he spent much of his early childhood tinkering with LEGO robotics and drawing out ideas for his own inventions. Now 19, he has leveraged modern additive manufacturing to realize creative uses for LEDs in robotics, vehicles, venue lighting, and most recently the battle against pathogens.

For four years, Braski has been rising early to build his SSL startup, VentorLux, before school. He also acts as chief engineer, prototyping with FFD and SLA 3-D printers for innovations such as UV-blocking baffling and a novel approach to cooling the Soulis system’s UV-C LEDs to make it safe for humans to be present while it disinfects air. He has continued to work diligently through the extended break during the COVID-19 pandemic, attending virtual classes, meeting with investors and medical professionals, and building product, while also printing more than 800 pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) for first responders throughout the US.

Beyond his latest pursuit of novel solutions to disease mitigation, Braski has demonstrated a commitment to community spirit and creativity via designing exciting regional illumination displays, collecting donations for Habitat for Humanity, and encouraging STEM interest in children by teaching them about CAD software, electronics, and microcontrollers.

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About the Author

Carrie Meadows | Editor-in-Chief, LEDs Magazine

Carrie Meadows has more than 20 years of experience in the publishing and media industry. She worked with the PennWell Technology Group for more than 17 years, having been part of the editorial staff at Solid State Technology, Microlithography World, Lightwave, Portable Design, CleanRooms, Laser Focus World, and Vision Systems Design before the group was acquired by current parent company Endeavor Business Media.

Meadows has received finalist recognition for LEDs Magazine in the FOLIO Eddie Awards, and has volunteered as a judge on several B2B editorial awards committees. She received a BA in English literature from Saint Anselm College, and earned thesis honors in the college's Geisel Library. Without the patience to sit down and write a book of her own, she has gladly undertaken the role of editor for the writings of friends and family.

Meadows enjoys living in the beautiful but sometimes unpredictable four seasons of the New England region, volunteering with an animal shelter, reading (of course), and walking with friends and extended "dog family" in her spare time.

About the Author

Maury Wright | Editor in Chief

Maury Wright is an electronics engineer turned technology journalist, who has focused specifically on the LED & Lighting industry for the past decade. Wright first wrote for LEDs Magazine as a contractor in 2010, and took over as Editor-in-Chief in 2012. He has broad experience in technology areas ranging from microprocessors to digital media to wireless networks that he gained over 30 years in the trade press. Wright has experience running global editorial operations, such as during his tenure as worldwide editorial director of EDN Magazine, and has been instrumental in launching publication websites going back to the earliest days of the Internet. Wright has won numerous industry awards, including multiple ASBPE national awards for B2B journalism excellence, and has received finalist recognition for LEDs Magazine in the FOLIO Eddie Awards. He received a BS in electrical engineering from Auburn University.