Septinus George Saa, the Genius from Papua

If someone said that limitation is a drive for success, then that saying must be true. Limitation makes us think on how to solve problems and comes back as a winner. That is what Septinus George Saa has done. He has risen the nation’s name in the international arena by winning the “First Step to Nobel Prize in Physics” competition in Poland. How can he managed to win such position?

Septinus George Saa
Septinus George Saa via

Oge was born in Manokwari, 22 September 1986. He comes from a humble family of Silas Saa and Nelly Wafom. His father, Silas Saa is public worker at the Ministry of Forrestry.  As a regional official, he understood that education is important for his children, including Oge. Though he can afford school for his children, but it is not rare that they skipped school because they don’t have any money to go to school due to the 10 km distance.

That’s the story told by his mother, Nelly Wafom. She said that her youngest child, Oge, frequently skipped school, during his elementary until his junior high, because he did not have any pocket money. The distance between home and school is very far and it required him to go by public transportation which would cost him 1,500 IDR for one way trip. That means, to make a round-trip he needed 3.000 IDR.

“He could not buy snack, not even for riding a taksi (the name for public transportation in Papua), because mama often did not have any money. If Oge wanted to eat, he had to go home,” said mama Nelly, cited from Kompasiana.

But Oge has proven that the law of action and reaction has resulted in a good reaction in his life. With his limitations, he kept learning diligently, particularly in learning physics. His interest in physics has given him a door that has lead him to one of the most prestigious event in the world “First Step to Nobel Prize in Physic” in Poland, 2004.

World Achievement 

Oge is a genius. That is not an exaggeration for him. Because he really is a genius child. His mother has recognized his ability by his persistence in studying that he has shown since he was a kid. When he was almost 6 years old, Oge frequently joined his older brother to go to school. This has trained him to absorb the lessons he get from his older brother. When Oge finally entered school, all of his scores are excellent.

Just like climbing the stairs, step by step, young Oge has grown to become a young person with a lot of academic achievements. In one of the interview, Nelly Mama said that in Vim Elementary School in Kotaraja, Jayapura, the school where he studied, Oge showed his achievements by becoming the highest grade student when he graduated. Later on, he got accepted in Santo Paulus Junior High in Abepura without test.

Being graduated from Junior High with great marks made Oge free from having to take admission test to enter High School. At this period of his life, Oge’s journey to world class achievement has begun.

In his school days, he has won the Chemistry Olympic in regional level. His win has lead him to get a scholarship in Jakarta, awarded by the Provincial Government of Papua. Sadly, Mama Nelly prohibited him to go to Jakarta.

However, Oge did not give up. He secretly went to Jakarta to achieve his dream. With his older brother, he met Yohanes Suraya, an Indonesian Physics Expert, who became his mentor in physics for international competitions. Two years later (2003), Oge finally became one of the participants in Quantum Mathematics Competition in India. He got the 8th position from 60 participants in the competition.

One of the most glorious event for him was when he becomes the champion of First Step to Nobel Prize in Physics in 2004, Poland. At that time Oge was still a high school student, but he succeeded in making a thesis entitled Infinite Triangle and Hexagonal Lattice Networks of Identical Resisto which included his one year research in simplifying the development of Kirchoff Law.

With the new formula, Oge said, “I have succeed in finding simpler ways to count the resistor from two points in a network.” This formula can be applied into many thing, in fact, if this formula is develop in a research, it can transform coil into gold!” he said enthusiastically in his conversation with Jawa Post, in 2004. The formula that he has named the George Saa Formula has eliminated 78 participants from other countries in this competition.

With his achievements, Oge has been offered many scholarships from domestic and foreign universities. He finally decided to enter the Florida Institute of Technology with Aerospace Engineering as his major, in the Eastern Amerika. He then worked in an oil & gas company. Some of the awards that he received are, The best Young researcher from the Ministry of Research and Technology (April 2004) and Satya Lencana Wirya Karya Presidential Medal from the President of Indonesia (Februari 2006).  Currently, the man who idolizes Former President Habibie is on his way to finish his Master degree in Birmingham University majoring in Mechanical Engineering.

Oge is one of the many proofs that Papua also has gems of bright people that we can be proud off. Not only by the Papuan people, but also Indonesia as a whole nation. Other examples of the bright Papuan people are Bob Royend Sabatino Kaway and Thinus Lamek Yewi. These students are among the 20 young Indonesian researchers being invited by NASA, USA. Their research, growing rice in the outer space is highly regarded as the next frontier research for space journeys.


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