Alumni Stories

  • March 22, 2017

    Throughout its 170 year history—and under several different names—the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences has continued to make pathbreaking advances, many of which build on the research of Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) alumni in engineering and applied sciences.

  • March 16, 2017

    Alumna’s creativity takes flight at commercial drone startup

    Blue-sky thinking helps alumna Carolina Ragolta, A.B. ’13, navigate the largely uncharted territory of the commercial drone industry.

    Ragolta, who concentrated in biomedical engineering at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), is charting a new course of her own, as the first product manager at commercial drone startup Kespry.

  • February 23, 2017

    This entrepreneur is using computer science to help the military detect IEDs

    Lahiru Jayatilaka’s native Sri Lanka was ripped apart by a 26-year civil war. By the time a peace agreement was signed in 2009, the armed conflict had claimed more than 100,000 lives. But then a new deadly enemy emerged: undetonated landmines. 

  • February 17, 2017

    Alumna uses big data and machine learning to help homeowners cut energy costs

    Crank up the A/C and the temperature in the house starts falling. Simple, right?

    Not quite, says alumna Marissa Hummon, Ph.D. ’09, senior energy scientist at Tendril. Turning on a home’s air conditioner requires an automatically-controlled generator operated by the local utility company to put out a little bit more power to meet those energy demands.

  • February 9, 2017

    First Sophomore Convocation brings students, alumni together

    The newest members of the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) were welcomed into the SEAS community during the first-ever Sophomore Convocation on Feb. 7.

  • January 24, 2017

    West Bank’s first boutique winemaker plants a successful enterprise    

    When the first bottles of Canaan Khoury’s Palestinian wine arrive in U.S. stores later this year, it will mark a full-circle journey for both the Khoury family and their new business.

  • January 23, 2017

    The building blocks of a better battery

    The smartphone in your pocket is a treasure-trove of technological innovations, from the fingerprint scanner used for login to the organic light-emitting diode that illuminates the screen. However, one critical piece of smartphone technology hasn’t had much of an upgrade since it was commercialized in 1991—the rechargeable lithium ion battery that powers the device.

  • January 10, 2017

    Beyond the laboratory

    Harvard is where Edlyn Levine, Ph.D. '16, discovered how to probe the physical limits of liquid water through superheating. She worked long hours studying what would happen when water is boiled inside the confined space of a nanopore, a nanoscale-sized hole. At extreme temperatures, water will ultimately vaporize explosively. Using the nanopore to superheat and boil water could translate into applications that advance new applications in chemistry, microfluidics, and electronics.

  • December 20, 2016

    At Shutterstock, this alumna uses technology to develop picture-perfect products

    Picture this—you are a marketing professional searching online for a stock photo. You have a specific image in mind – an empty country road on a somewhat sunny day with a red bicycle leaning against a split rail fence – but can’t find exactly what you’re looking for using a keyword search.

  • November 29, 2016

    From stargazer to space entrepreneur

    Growing up in rural eastern Colorado, Dan Nevius, S.B. ’11, could see plenty of stars from his backyard. Gazing at those tiny points of light, he dreamed about the vastness of space and the thrill of exploring uncharted territory.