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Nicole Adler - B.A. in Public Policy
Nicole has always been interested in the convergence of innovation and positive social impact. Her education focused on international relations, ethics, and effective social/economic policymaking. She worked in Corporate Strategy at Microsoft, analyzing competitive developments and evaluating technology trends and market opportunities. Looking forward, she hopes to explore how thoughtful design can enrich and engage communities, reduce waste, and create healthier, happier environments. She is happiest when outdoors, surrounded by friends and family, or pursuing a new adventure.
Zeerak Ahmed - B.S.E. Computer Science, Public Policy & International Affairs
Zeerak’s liberal arts education allowed him to make good on a childhood dream to build software while branching out into other interests, including politics, Islam and Near Eastern studies, and sociology. His work at Microsoft and various startups across the US and Pakistan has spanned search software, open data systems, educational games, music streaming, and health, among other domains. He aims to study and create methodologies and standards of process that result in better design and use of technology in the public domain. In his spare time, he plays folk rock and writes about politics, design, and pop music.
Nicole Bakker - B.S. in Structural Engineering
Nicole is a structural engineer from the Netherlands whose book on the integration of photovoltaics in historical built environments led to government-funded research to provide visions and a framework for policy that is now implemented. She is a Visiting Student at the Community Biotechnology Initiative in the MIT Media Lab, and combines biology, engineering, and design to create bio-based building materials. She would like to foster collaboration between the US and EU, and as a freelancer, develops sustainability projects with industry.
Jeronimo Beccar - B.A. in Visual and Media Arts
Jeronimo has worked in cinematography, architecture, lighting design, product design, business, and manufacturing. Right after college, he worked in the film industry in Los Angeles, and back in Buenos Aires, founded an LED lighting company that manufactured commercial and street lighting fixtures. During and after the MDE program, he plans to explore how ambient factors—such as occupancy, temperature, humidity, noise, light levels, and air quality—in dense settlements and workplaces affect health, human interaction, and wellbeing. In his free time, he loves camping, hiking, and grilling.
Jeremy Burke - Bachelor of Architecture
Jeremy’s interest in creating new products began with his studies at Cornell University. He studied how data can inform design languages and traveled throughout Europe and South America, sketching the built environment. Upon graduating, he co-founded the design collective Hither Yon in Berlin, Germany, and exhibited the group’s collaborative digital and analogue drawings and installations. He has also worked for Kennedy Violich Architecture, BRU Architects, and Alon Development. His current interests focus on systems design to help cities and industry tackle complex problems through innovation and new technology.
Humberto Ceballos - Bachelor in Economics
Humberto is an economist with five years of entrepreneurial experience in the creative industries. He has created and led diverse projects in areas that combine design with technology and the arts, including duCode, a non-profit where children from underserved neighborhoods in Mexico experimented with Arduino. His main interest lies in the impact of interactive technologies on human environments, with a particular focus on education, human networks, and healthcare. He is an amateur runner that enjoys live music and photography.
Ngoc Doan - B.A. in Architecture
Ngoc Doan is a designer who is happiest in creative environments. She is interested in sustainability, especially in the textile industry. Before the MDE program, Ngoc was a Design Fellow at Yale Center for Engineering Innovation and Design, where she helped students design, develop, and actualize their ideas. When she finds spare time, she likes to dabble with photography, coding, sewing, and drawing.
Jenny Fan - B.S. in Economics
Jenny is a digital product designer and strategy consultant who got her start at Accenture Interactive, developing digital marketing and customer experience strategy for clients like American Express, ExxonMobil, Bose, and Nordstrom. As a student of decision sciences and user experience design, Jenny is most interested in understanding how an individual’s internal decision-making and biases can influence complex, external, societal systems, with the goal of building products that encourage more sustainable choices. In her free time, she enjoys travel, photography, bouldering, and web development.
Kun Fan - Bachelor of Engineering
Kun Fan is an engineer who has studied the mechanics of materials and structure, which has given him a solid foundation for future endeavors. He is interested in addressing problems in the context of various economic systems, and finds beauty and potential in computer code for making the impossible possible. He is also an avid maker and editor of videos, and created a documentary about the daily life of Hutong residents in order to educate the public. Additionally, by recording the fabrication process of a nesting KUKA robot design, he helped his team win first prize in all studios at Tsinghua University.
Ramon Gras - Master of Engineering in Logistics; Master of Science in Civil Engineering
Ramon Gras is a civil engineer and city planner whose early research focused on bridge design, high performance materials, and nanotechnology applications for structural engineering. After working as a designer on major infrastructure projects, Ramon joined Ferrovial’s Innovation office in London, where he led projects at the London Heathrow Airport and the London Underground. Ramon is interested in enhancing innovation around cities, technology, and infrastructure by designing creative and rigorous interdisciplinary solutions that address complex challenges.
Chao Gu - Bachelor of Engineering
Chao Gu is a structure engineer with additional training in Tongji University’s Innovation and Venture program, and has working experience in architecture construction, project management, and building certification. His passion for optimizing the design process and automatic construction brought him to the MDE program. Across both his work and studies, he aims to address the demands required by society’s rapid development. He is also interested in game design and cooking.
Saif Haobsh - Bachelor of Architecture
Saif’s professional experience has been in the NY Metro Area and the Middle East, most recently at AECOM-Abu Dhabi as an architect specializing in computational design and algorithmic modeling, with additional exposure to project management. At AECOM, his work spanned high-rise towers, healthcare, hospitality, transportation, and masterplan developments. He is dedicated to addressing problems at the interface between human behavior and the built environment, with a focus in crisis mitigation, urban displacement, and resiliency. He enjoys music and film production, and has created music videos.
Brian Ho - B.A. in Architecture
Brian is an interdisciplinary designer working at the intersection of society, technology, and the built environment. He believes design creates joy, community, and justice. In professional practice, he has collaborated on the development of services, software, buildings, and plans in Boston, SF, NYC, and NOLA, with a particular focus on design as it relates to the public realm. His current studies focus on combining machine intelligence, urban systems, and human-centered design. Brian hopes to build better intelligent and interactive systems, across the physical and digital.
Vivek HV - Bachelor in Aerospace Engineering
As a senior engineer at Honeywell, Vivek worked on rapid prototyping and development of products for business jet cabin systems. As co-founder of CurExplore, he worked on awareness about and access to medical trials. Across this and other professional work, he believes in influence through design, engineering, and innovation, especially related to issues he has witnessed surrounding rapid urbanization—transportation healthcare, food, and water. Beyond this, Vivek enjoys creating through fabrication, art, and programming, and loves trekking.
Anesta Iwan - Bachelor of Architecture
Anesta has worked in architectural firms based in San Francisco, and participated in design competitions that sparked her interest in automated constructions, sensorial spaces, and smart systems in cities. She sees a need for communication between systems and users—the interface—and is particularly interested in data science and networks. She also enjoys piano and ice figure skating, and has spent the last 10 years coaching in her free time.
Julie Loiland - B.S. in Bioengineering
Julie Loiland is a bioengineer who, as an undergraduate, co-founded a company to develop novel solutions to prevent concussions in NFL, NCAA, and high school football. She has since worked as a program manager in research and development at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency in Washington, D.C. She would like to develop innovative human-centered design solutions and products to enhance people’s daily lives and provide meaningful benefits to society as a whole. In her free time, she enjoys travel, running, and photography.
Chien-Min Lu - Master of Product Design; Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering
Chien-Min Lu has a background in mechanical engineering and product design, and interned as a mechanical engineer in Taiwan. He has since worked as a product designer in both Taiwan and Italy. On the material side, he is interested in understanding resources and finding ways to make sure they are well used, well distributed, and well recycled and up-cycled. On the emotional side, he wants to explore how we can use design to change people’s lives on an emotional level, using the combination of beauty and technology. Comics are his guilty pleasure.
Erin McLean - Bachelors in Human-Centered Design & Engineering
Erin led research projects investigating affordable access to space systems, as supported by the Washington NASA Space Grant. From this research, she conducted several novel launches, including the launch of a 3D-printed, high-powered rocket, and a rocket + balloon system. Her career includes working in outdoor leadership programs, most recently as an Interaction Designer for the Disney Parks & Resorts, and overall, is passionate about creating equitable experiences for users of all abilities. She plans to promote accessibility and inclusive design systems, and has a black-belt in Shotokan karate.
Arjun Menon - Master of Design, Transportation & Automobile Design; Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering
Arjun has been an automotive enthusiast for as long as he can remember, and worked as an automotive concept designer for Tata Motors in India. Having previously interned at General Motors and Ashok Leyland, he has gained a significant understanding of the principles of design, engineering, and manufacturing in the automotive industry, and now focuses on mobility and transportation systems through a more holistic lens. He is specifically interested in developing innovative, human-centric solutions to transportation problems, and is also an avid collector of jazz records.
Santiago Mota - Architecture; Economics
Santiago Mota is a designer, researcher, and consultant based in Mexico City. In 2012, he co-founded the CASA Research and Design Group at UNAM to engage real world issues regarding the contemporary city. He has also worked as a project manager for Soma Architects in New York, and as a project architect at DMP Arquitectura in Mexico City. His most recent work includes the development of low-cost social housing prototypes for Mexico´s Federal Housing Committee. He is interested in developing a new design-research practice by challenging widespread notions regarding energy, sustainability, and resiliency.
Neeti Nayak - Bachelor of Engineering
Neeti Nayak is an engineer who interned with Bharat Dynamics Limited, and worked on an “Intruder Detection System” for a missile integration shelter. She has since worked as a systems engineer with BrahMos Aerospace, where she handles communication protocols, avionics systems, and systems engineering in general. She is particularly interested in intangible heritage (performing arts, language, etc.) and problems facing rural Indian communities and grain storage, which led to work on a real-time analysis and alert system for stampede prevention in the Kumbha Mela. A performing artist, she dances and pursues a number of artistic activities.
Saad Rajan - Master of Environmental Design; Bachelor of Engineering Science
Saad has held lead positions in various social enterprises and international development organizations, including assistant project manager for a start-up solar company electrifying rural Tanzania, and project lead for a hazard mitigation and built environment organization in Tajikistan. His love for design and the built environment drove him to his most recent experience as a project manager for a real estate development company in Canada, designing and developing affordable and sustainable multi-family units. He loves learning new languages, travelling, and photography.
Michael Raspuzzi - Bachelor of Architecture
Michael Raspuzzi is Managing Director of Life Changing Labs, Founder of LCL’s summer startup incubator, Founder of LCS’s global high school entrepreneurship and computer science program, a Lead Thinker at Aesir Lab. His most recent project involves cross cultural experiences centered around and exploration of the gustatory at the Caldwell House. He sees a critical need to address current epistemological questions facing society with interdisciplinarity, rather than segmented methods and answers.
Carla Saad - Bachelor of Architecture
Carla's academic training focused on spatial and architectural design, with an interest in performance arts that led to a minor in theater. Her professional journey combines experience in high-end designs and low-cost social architecture. At Soma Architects and Hashim Sarkis Studios in Lebanon, she worked on residential, commercial, and mixed-used projects. She also implemented design solutions within the shelters' rehabilitation program at the Palestinian Refugees Camps with UNRWA, and is interested in the problem of conflicts over frontiers and its repercussion on design, social, and economic patterns.
Julian Siegelmann - B.A. in Political Economy
Julian worked at McKinsey & Company’s Berlin office, where he consulted with European clients in Germany, Switzerland, Thailand, and China. At McKinsey, he also helped launch a start-up consulting group, which introduced him to the e-commerce start-up Amorelie, where he eventually led a team. As part of the MDE program, he wants to develop ideas that have a social impact, pursue his passions, and launch a venture in the art world. In his free time, he loves running, rowing, or playing basketball.
Kenneth So - B.S. in Neuroscience; B.S. in Anthropology
Kenneth is a designer, builder, and strategist who thrives in working across the commercial and creative sides of an organization. His background in anthropology and neuroscience, and a passion for understanding people, led him to find his niche in human-centered strategy and experience design. He was a Senior Product Designer at Stella & Dot, and prior to that, was at the award-winning design agency REDSHIFT, where he worked with a diverse roster of clients, including Google, Groupon, and Kaiser Permanente. He is passionate about tackling complex problems, and cupcakes are his guilty pleasure.
Katherine Spies - B.S. in Chemical Engineering
Following undergraduate studies, Katherine’s training focused on leadership and flying acumen as an officer in the United States Marine Corps. Upon selection to the United States Naval Test Pilot School, her focus shifted to the integration of aeronautical engineering, flight test and evaluation, and project management. As a developmental test pilot, she flew new or modified aircraft to evaluate the design, bridging the gap from conception to employment, and now aims to work on the material science behind human-computer interactions in order to cultivate a brighter tomorrow.
Vish Srivastava - Bachelor of Business Administration; B.A. in Psychology
Vish worked with and led teams to develop and launch pioneering product and business model innovations across a range of industries. As a Senior Product Manager at BCG Digital Ventures, he helped launch the home services startup All Set, and designed a digital banking app for unbanked populations. As a Senior Strategy Analyst at Accenture, he focused on digital health. He is passionate about building cutting-edge products that extend the benefits of technological and societal progress to underserved populations, and is also an Indian classical musician with 7 years of training.
Karen Su - B.A. in Media Arts and Sciences
Karen Su has always been interested in design-oriented problem solving. In college, she studied computer science, visual art, and philosophy. For work, she has explored each stage of the software development lifecycle, from full-stack web development, to user experience design, to product management. These experiences converged in her most recent role as lead product designer at a San Francisco startup. Karen grew up in Beijing, Hong Kong, and Boston, and hopes to tackle problems associated with rapid urbanization—particularly transportation and resource distribution.
Janet Sung - B.S. in Electrical Engineering
Janet’s experience has largely focused on machine learning application, including computer vision and machine comprehension. She has worked in research at Yahoo and National Taiwan University, and helped set up MediaTek’s data-centric infrastructure and process. Looking ahead, she would like to extend her data science knowledge toward addressing social problems, including networked systems like public transportation and social media. In her free time, Janet is an avid traveler and enjoys photographing food around the world.
Kiran Wattamwar - Bachelor in Computer Science
Kiran’s undergraduate work focused on the intersection between art and technology, both through architecture studios and computer science projects, which offered the freedom to create multidisciplinary work. She continued exploring this intersection at the MIT Media Lab and as a software engineering intern at various companies like Square and Microsoft. She thinks it is vital that people understand the mechanics of the entities they govern, and wants to work on problems in technology policy. In general, Kiran loves making things.