Meredith ApfelbaumMeredith Apfelbaum
Meredith is a student in the Peace Corps Master’s International program in mechanical engineering. She earned a BS in Engineering and a minor in English Literature from Trinity College. After graduation, Meredith worked for two years at kW Mission Critical Engineering designing large scale cooling systems for data centers before deciding to shift her career to a more human-centered application of engineering. She is currently studying design and global development through engineering, anthropology, economics, and agriculture. She will begin her 27 months of volunteer service with the Peace Corps in the summer or fall of 2017. She enjoys rowing with the Corvallis Rowing Club in her spare time.

Grace BurlesonGrace Burleson
Grace is from Beaverton, OR and is pursuing a Dual Master’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Anthropology. She completed her undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering at OSU where she gained experience designing and evaluating technologies and processes for the developing world, including an in-depth study of BioSand filtration and development of systems-based income-generating activities for women in Uganda. Her current research works to integrate and evaluate improved water disinfection and cooking technologies for institutions, such as schools and hospitals, in low-resource contexts.

Nick MosesNick Moses
Nick is from Portland, Oregon, and is pursuing a Master’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Anthropology. He travelled to El Salvador with Engineers Without Borders to help implement a rainwater catchment project while completing his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering at OSU, and worked with a nonprofit specializing in improved institutional cookstoves after graduation. Nick’s current research is focused on developing a usability protocol for improved cookstoves, which will help to encourage more user-friendly designs and improved adoption rates.


Mohammad PakravanMohammad Pakravan
Mohammad is a Ph.D. student in Mechanical Engineering focused on design for the developing world. He received his master’s degree in renewable and clean energies from University of Dayton, Ohio and his bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Isfahan University of Technology in Iran. He has extensive experience in energy policy is interested in improving the impact of engineered solutions for realistically addressing public challenges such as poverty and climate change. A great design or well manufactured product is not enough to be implemented and adopted by the users, in an interdisciplinary effort, he is working on incorporating economics, psychology and anthropology into the engineering designs that target poverty alleviation and sustainable development in developing world context. Also, he enjoys the natural beauty of Pacific Northwest by canoeing, skiing and hiking!

Megan RichardsonMegan Richardson
Megan Richardson is a mechanical engineering student in the Peace Corps Master’s International program from Cohasset, Massachusetts. She received her BS in Mechanical engineering from Lafayette University in Easton, Pennsylvania. Since the Summer of 2015, Megan has been engaged as a secondary math teacher in Mbeya, Tanzania where she is working on community-based projects for rural communities.


Julia ThurberJulia Thurber
Julia is a mechanical engineering student in the Peace Corps Master’s International program at Oregon State University. She received her BS in Mechanical Engineering from LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas where she discovered her passion for engineering and service to impoverished communities. She spent the Spring of 2016 interning with Compassion International, a faith-based NGO, in Colorado Springs and Nicaragua. For her Peace Corps service, she has been accepted as a Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Extensionist volunteer in Panama, set to begin in June 2017.


Jen VentrellaJen Ventrella
Jen is a PhD student in Mechanical Engineering with a focus in humanitarian applications. She completed her undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering at Union College, NY, where she became interested in energy efficient technologies after conducting research on energy efficient aerogel windows. She traveled to Guatemala in June 2016 to study household energy use in low-resource settings. Jen is currently working on a sensor-based platform to quantify cookstove usage and adoption in low-resource communities, with a focus on entrepreneurship and anthropology.