We are proud to announce the judges for the popup design challenge!
Manu Prakash is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioengineering at Stanford University. He received his Ph.D. from the Massachussetts Institute of Technology in 2008 in the Center for Bits and Atoms focusing on microfluidic bubble logic. He graduated with a Bachelor of Technology from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kapur, India in 2002. His work crosses a wide variety of topics in self-assembly, global health, soft living matter, and biophysics.
Cagdas Onal is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), where he is the Director and Founder of WPI Soft Robotics Laboratory and Co-Founder of Human Augmentation Laboratory. Onal is a roboticist with expertise in soft and foldable robotic systems, on theoretical modeling, design, fabrication, actuation, sensing, and control solutions for a new generation of flexible robots. He received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and subsequently worked as a Postdoctoral Associate within the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) in MIT. He has been an active contributor to the emergence and development of soft robotics through a series of research projects on every aspect of robotic systems comprising pressure-operated elastomeric materials, including power generation, valving, dynamic modeling, control, and algorithmic studies; as well as origami-inspired robots utilizing unique kinematic design and fabrication principles to achieve increasingly accessible flexible robotic systems. Dr. Onal serves in the Editorial Board of Soft Robotics Journal and as an Associate Editor for IEEE’s flagship International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA). He is a co-author of a textbook on nanorobotics, as well as patents and publications in soft robotics research.
Carlos Olguin is a founder of BioINK, a bio-programmable wearables startup. In 2011, he founded the Bio/Nano/Programmable Matter (BNPM) group at Autodesk Research. Resulting work has been published or referenced in a number of places and media outlets including The New York Times, The Economist, Nature Scientific Reports, Forbes, Fast Company, Architectural Design, TED.com, DLD, Wired, and Techonomy. Prior to joining Autodesk Research, Carlos was an interaction designer in domains such as 3D/2D modeling, e-learning, web search engines, and risk management. In the early 2000s he joined a startup called Unext as a distributed systems engineer and left as a principal learning architect. There he collaborated with and learned from experts in design, cognitive sciences, and pedagogy such as Don Norman and Thomas M. Duffy. In 2001, Carlos earned a MSc in Information Networking from Carnegie Mellon. In his thesis he proposed and implemented a service brokerage deployment architecture. He holds a BSc in Electronics and Communications from ITESM Campus Monterrey (Mexico). Carlos has also completed accredited graduate studies in systems and molecular biology, first at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden in 2006, and from 2008 to 2011 at Columbia University.
Andrew Gillies, Ph. D., is a co-founder and COO of Dash Robotics, Inc. Andrew received his Ph. D. in 2013 at the University of California, Berkeley, focusing on gecko-inspired controllable adhesives for robotics applications. He has overseen the formation of Dash Robotics Inc, with the mission of bringing STEM education to the masses through fun and affordable animal-inspired robots. During this time, he and his colleagues have launched two successful crowdfunding campaigns. As COO of Dash Robotics, Andrew has been responsible for internal operations of the company including product development, engineering prototyping & manufacturing development.
Dr. Joo is a Research Mechanical Engineer at the Air Force Research Laboratory. Dr. Joo graduated from Hanyang University with a BS in Machine Design & Production Engineering in 1994. He later earned MS & Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from University of Michigan in 1997 & 2001. He has been the author or co-author of over 40 scholarly publications including journal articles, technical papers, and reports. In 2014 Dr. Joo was the recipient of the AF Civilian Achievement Award (2014), AFRL Innovation Award (2014) and Dr. Richard B. Rivir Scientific and Technical achievement Award (2013). His research interest is in compliant mechanism, flexible wing design, morphing structures, and origami design. Dr. Joo is a Senior Member of the AIAA.
Andy Levine is responsible for implementing the Wyss Institute’s technology-translation strategy in the medical devices and medical robotics areas. Before joining the Wyss, he was Chief Technology Officer at GI Dynamics Inc., a medical device company he founded that develops therapies for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and related metabolic diseases. Previously, Levine was an independent consultant to the medical device industry and co-founder of Seedling Enterprises, a medical device incubator. He has served in various senior engineering and management positions with Boston Scientific Corporation, Microsurge, Bard Reproductive Systems, Thermedics, and Thermo Electron. Levine possesses technical expertise in biomaterials, mechanism design, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer, and has authored numerous publications and patents. He holds a master’s in mechanical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Tufts University.
Wombi studied Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering at Webb Institute, received a masters degree from MIT, and joined McKinsey & Company before heading to Harvard Business School. While on a school trip to Vietnam, Wombi and his best friend John Wise discovered incredible hand-crafted paper cards, and immediately changed course from building boats to reinventing the greeting card. They applied their engineering skills to create card designs, and paired up to launch lovepop out out of the Harvard Innovation Lab in early 2014. This year, they were named to the Techstars class, nominated for 50 on Fire by BostInno, and gained the confidence of professional investors.