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Team 5: Lowell Anderson lra@alum.mit.edu   More info...
Team 2: Alfredo Kniazzeh alfredok@alum.mit.edu 781-891-9937 More info...
Team 4: Paul D. Jacobson pjacobson@alum.mit.edu 508-548-7945 More info...
Team 6: Johnny Yang jtyang@sloan.mit.edu 781-810-2100
More info...
Team 3: Marco A. Mena marcom@alum.mit.edu More info...
Team 5: Stephen Estes-Smargiassi Stephen.Estes-Smargiassi@mwra.state.ma.us More info...
Team 3: Hal Gustin hlgustin@structint.com 720-320-6722 More info...
Team 5: Bob Bates rpb@ufl.edu 352-392-1991x207 More info...
Team 2: Todd Harland-White todd@alum.mit.edu 410-757-8020 More info...
Team 6: Bob Gurnitz rgurnitz@alum.mit.edu 508 627 3882 More info...
Team 4: Yangbo Du yangbodu@alum.mit.edu   More info...
Team 1: Yolanda Lau yolanda@mit.edu 410-858-4784 More info...
Team 3: Dr. Jorge Phillips jp@alum.mit.edu 919-395-1580 More info...
Team 6: Peter Ralston pralston@alum.mit.edu   More info...
Team 1: Allison Houghton arb@alum.mit.edu   More info...
Team 3: Sheldon W. Buck sheldon.buck@comcast.net 781-235-9585
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Team 2: Bhupandra Khetani bhupk@yahoo.com   More info...
Team 1: Kachina Gosselin kachina@alum.mit.edu  
More info...
Team 1: Emily Moberg emoberg@mit.edu 484-433-2994 More info...
Lowell Anderson
Manager, Shoshone Municipal Pipeline

MIT year: 1959 (Electrical Engineering)

Beginning in 1988 I oversaw the construction of 70+ miles of transmission pipeline and a 16.5 MGD water treatment plant. As construction came to completion in 1991 I hired a crew and since that time I have overseen the operation of same as well as upgrades to keep things up to date. We supply water to six municipalities and to eight rural water districts. I have followed in the news various water problems and suits for many years. I am originally from Riverton, Wyoming, which is surrounded by the Wind River Indian Reservation. The two tribes on the reservation instituted a lawsuit over water that took many years to settle.

I live in the area served by the Cody Canal Irrigation District and I have been involved in their meetings and adjudication of water rights. I have been involved in petitions to the Wyoming Board of Control concerning the transfer of water rights. Here in Wyoming we are at the headwaters of the rivers leaving the state.

This year I attended the Wyoming Water Law Institute.

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Yolanda Lau
yolanda@mit.edu 410-858-4784

Occupation: Entrepreneur
MIT year: 2002 Education: B.S. Chemical Engineering, B.S. Biology
After graduating from MIT, Yolanda worked at MIT's Technology Licensing Office before ultimately starting a real estate investment company, a consultancy firm, and a few other ventures in Baltimore, MD. She's since sold those companies back to her partners and is working on several new ventures. She also provides consulting services to startups and small businesses. She enjoys creative problem solving and, given that biodiversity has long been a concern in her home state of Hawaii, she's particularly excited to be involved with Mission 2015.
This is Yolanda's sixth year as a 12.000 mentor -- some of her other MIT alumni activities include leadership in her class and fund raising for the Institute.
Since she lives in Honolulu, most communication will have to be via email, phone, Skype, or Google+ Hangouts.

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Sheldon W. Buck
sheldon.buck @comcast.net Phone: 781-235-9585
Occupation: aeronautical engineer
MIT year: 1958
Education: Bachelors

I was a mentor for Mission in 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2009 and 2010.

I am an Aero/Astro grad class of 1958. Worked at the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory 1957 to 1973 followed by The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory 1973 to 2000 when I retired. I was assigned to the Earth and Planetary Science Department for 5 years 1968 to 1973 working with Prof. Frank Press and Prof. Nafi Toksoz. I was Technical Director of the Lunar Traverse Gravimeter experiment which flew on Apollo 17 and was a member of the lunar surface EVA team at Mission Control during the flight.

Designed stable platforms for inertial guidance systems. Designed seismic monitoring systems for earthquakes and underground explosions. Designed gravimeters for lunar exploration. Designed special purpose instrumentation for submarines and oceanography.

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Hal Gustin
hlgustin@structint.com 720-320-6722 website: www.structint.com

Occupation: Engineer

MIT year: 1973

This will be my sixth year as an alumni mentor to the 12.000 class. The first five have been energetic, stimulating, and a lot of fun.

I love the premise of the class.

  1. Identify a problem that is huge, difficult (almost intractable), with major implications for the world.
  2. Assign it to a group of people with immense ability but no or very little exposure to the conventional ways of looking at the problem.
  3. See what they come up with.
Each year, I’ve tried to help out however I can, not being myself an expert on whatever the topic is. In the process, I’ve learned a lot, had an exciting ride, and made some friends. I’ve also answered a lot of e-mails at 3 am. I look forward to more of the same this year.

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Todd Harland-White
410-757-8020 (home) todd@alum.mit.edu
410-260-5180 (office) todd.harland-white@ngc.com

Todd Harland-White's career since MIT (XIII-C, '76) has involved designing and building manned and unmanned systems operating in the deep sea for Northrop Grumman Undersea Systems, where he is now Chief Architect. Projects have included design of deepsea research submersibles and mini-subs, participation in teams designing new submarine and surface ship classes, developing underwater robotic systems, and working with optical and acoustic sensors and sensor networks for probing and mapping the underwater space. All of these efforts have been highly inter-disciplinary not only in the breadth of technical issues but also in the politics and budgeting required to initiate and complete the projects - as is typical of most real problems.

This is Todd's eleventh tour of duty as a 12.000 mentor. Todd also serves as an MIT Educational Counselor possibly responsible for some of you being there at MIT to begin with!

Todd has managed to visit one or two of the classes, but usually he will have to do everything long distance from Annapolis, MD via email and website review.

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Yangbo Du
Student Energy, Environment, and Sustainability Leader at MIT
(Political) economist, systems thinker, at the confluence of management, urban planning, and engineering systems,

Bridging thought and action to advance the 'triple bottom line' -- economy, society, environment.

Feel free to contact me on any of the following issues as you formulate your recommendations for global triage (the compression of the past 10 years of Mission into one):

International relations, energy and environmental policy, international development and regional planning, transport and land use, engineering economy, political economy, economic and social history, geography, demography, development, sustainability, system dynamics

I am looking forward to working with all of you this term.

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Bhupendra Khetani
This is Bhupendra’s third year of participation in the Mentor Program. Bhupendra’s educational background is all in chemical Engineering at MIT, where he received S.B (1960), S.M (1962) and Chemical Engineer (1963) degrees. His work experience in actual technical developments was during the early years after MIT in the field of plastic packaging products at the Monsanto Company.

He soon gravitated to manufacturing and finance, which were always his primary work interests. At his next employer, Owens-Illinois, at the time the world’s largest packaging company, he was focused on managing technical developments in plastic packaging products leading to full scale manufacturing operations and green field factory start ups. He has extensive experience in the field of technology licensing and was responsible for development of a vast network of licensees and strategic affiliations at Owens. In the last 15 years or so of his career, he worked nearly exclusively in merger and acquisitions activities for his company, ending as the director of Corporate Planning. He believes that among other possible contributions, he could mentor and work with the student teams in understanding the financial implications and operational trade-offs that are nearly always necessary in successful commercial implementations of technology solutions.

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Alfredo Kniazzeh
Occupation: scientist, retired
MIT year: 1959
Education: Doctorate

35 yrs product development at Polaroid: Mechanical Eng, Physics, Chem. Eng, Materials, 13 patents.
Previously NASA and US Army.

Travels: Russia, Cuba, Brazil, Oaxaca, Baltic capitals, Turkey, Costa Rica, W Europe, B Virgin Islands, Bogota.
Hobbies: ballroom dancing, Arg. tango, biking, choir singing, cooking.

Mentoring for 12.000 since 2006 has been a great pleasure.

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Robert Gurnitz

Bob has been a Mentor for 12.000 for the past ten years. He also assists Sam Bowring in working with and providing support for the other mentors. Bob is President of the MIT Club of Southwest Florida. Additionally he is on the Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity of Collier County (Florida) and is Treasurer of the Everglades Astronomical Society. His hobbies include astronomy and sailing.

He is a Chemical Engineer by education (S.B., S.M., Ph.D., MIT). Bob briefly taught at MIT prior to going into the Aerospace Industry. He then spent a year in the President’s Executive Interchange Program in Washington working at the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Upon returning to Rockwell International, he subsequently held various positions leading to becoming President of their Passenger Car Components Business. Upon leaving Rockwell, he became President of Bethlehem Steel’s Structural Components Business. His subsequent positions included President of Webcraft Technologies, Chairman and CEO of Northwestern Steel and Wire, and Chairman of Envirosource.

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Stephen Estes-Smargiassi
Director of Planning, Massachusetts Water Resources Authority
Occupation: planner and engineer
MIT year: 1979 (Civil Engineering)
Education: CEE (MIT), Planning (Harvard)

Stephen Estes-Smargiassi is a planner and an engineer. Throughout his career, he has focused on gathering and managing multi-disciplinary teams to design and communicate complex projects to the public. He has a Bachelors of Civil Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Masters in City and Regional Planning from Harvard University. He lives in Boston where the streets donít follow old cowpaths, although they seem to, loves maps, and has two kids who also love maps. And he proudly drinks tap water, at least in Boston.

In his 20 years at the MWRA, the regional wholesale water and wastewater provider for the Boston metro area, he has lead or participated in all MWRA drinking water quality initiatives, including treatment decisions for corrosion, microbial and disinfection byproducts control; and outreach and coordination with local and state health officials. He is active with the AWWA Research Foundation, is a QualServe peer review team leader, and has actively participated in water quality regulatory development activities regionally and nationally.

As part of his responsibilities he managed the MWRA's successful demand management programs, reducing water demand by over 100 mgd; initiated its GIS system; and coordinated protection planning studies for the 400 square mile Quabbin, Ware River and Wachusett reservoir watersheds, as well as about 40 other smaller supply systems in the metropolitan area. His group is currently producing an integrated master plan to prioritize and schedule improvements to the regionís water and sewer systems.

He has overseen MWRA's collaborative efforts to understand and communicate the risks of lead in drinking water since 1993, and has been active in regional and national efforts to review and revise the Lead and Copper Rule.

He developed the briefing materials used by MWRA's Board of Directors to make the treatment technology decision for the metropolitan Boston water system and then participated in the successful defense of that decision in federal court. He is responsible for producing and distributing MWRA's annual water quality report to over 800,000 households, as well as monthly public reports, and using those opportunities to reinforce the bridges built over the past decade to the public health community. He is currently coordinating drinking water quality and public health outcome research to understand and evaluate the recently completed treatment improvements.

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Dr. Jorge Phillips jp@alum.mit.edu

MIT year: 1972

Education: Doctorate

Dr. Phillips holds a B.Sc. degree from MIT in Computer Science as well as two M.Sc. and Ph.D degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Stanford University in the areas of computer systems, artificial intelligence and management. A successful entrepreneur for over 20 years in Silicon Valley, the East Coast and overseas, he has had a lifelong interest since his MIT years in complex social and physical systems, appropriate technology, politics and policy making, the environment and social development. Dr. Phillips has held Cabinet level government positions in Colombia and diplomatic positions in Europe, as well as academic appointments in the US, South America and Europe. He is a founding member of the Children's Museum in Bogot·, Colombia and of the International Center of Physics in Colombia, and member of the Eta Kappa Nu and Sigma Xi national honorary societies to which he was inducted as an undergraduate at MIT. He is a patented inventor with registered software patents in the US, Japan and Europe, and lives in the Research Triangle area in North Carolina, where he is currently involved in high tech startups, management consulting, academia and other entrepreneurial efforts.

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Peter Ralston
Occupation: Project Manager, Environmental Data, Massachusetts Water Resources Department Authority
MIT year: 1992
Education: Bachelor's (Whitman College), Masters in City Planning, (MIT)

I have worked at Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA), a water and sewer services wholesaler for metropolitan Boston, since 1992. I have worked both in the Environmental Quality Department, responsible for monitoring receiving water quality in Massachusetts Bay, Boston Harbor, and Boston Harbor tributaries, and in the Waterworks Operations Department, responsible for treating and distributing drinking water to metropolitan Boston cities and towns. My duties have included database management for water quality information about Massachusetts Bay, Boston Harbor, and the Charles, Neponset, and Mystic Rivers. In addition, I worked to report weekly, monthly, and quarterly technical information about water quality, whether drinking water or receiving water, to MWRA management, regulatory agencies, and the public. My focus there was to make technical information about water quality complete and understandable to those without technical knowledge or backgrounds. In recent years, I have participated in two planning efforts concerning environmental issues outside of MWRA: an ocean planning effort prompted by passage of Massachusetts' ocean planning legislation and a habitat restoration effort in the Boston Harbor region that has come about as a result of the Boston Harbor cleanup.

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Johnny Yang


Class of 2004, SB, Course 15

Johnny was one of the first guinea pigs to participate in 12.000: Solving Complex Problems. As a student in Mission 2004 (Mars), he was a member of the "Mission Control" team and later took part in writing and editing the mission's final paper. Because he loved 12.000 so much, he joined the staff for the class, serving as a Undergraduate Teaching Fellow (UTF) for several Missions before becoming an alumni mentor beginning with Mission 2007.

Though he grew up in the South, Johnny has resided in New England for the last 10 years. Still in the process of figuring out what he wants to be when he "grows up," he has worked in a variety of industries, ranging from aerospace and biomedical to finance and distribution. He currently works for an early-stage software company in Waltham, MA.

Though not an engineer by training, Johnny's a self-proclaimed "engineer at heart," with research interests in supply chain, finance, and project management. He has also been known to be a stickler for correct grammar and to be a crusader against incomprehensible PowerPoint slides.

Personally, Johnny enjoys traveling and "wining & dining" (to the extent that his pocketbook allows.) He currently lives in Cambridge, MA and will do his best to make it to campus to meet some of the class.

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Paul D. Jacobson


This is Paul's third year as a Mentor for the 12.000 program.

Paul graduated from MIT in 1960 (Course III, Metallurgy) and received a Master's degree in Metallurgy from the University of Sheffield in England (’62).

After two years at the Martin Company (now Martin Marietta) working on materials for heat shield components critical to re-entry of spacecraft, Paul joined the General Electric Company. At GE, he worked on development of both hard and soft magnetic materials for use in electrical metering devices. Dating back to the 1970's he worked on materials for use in time-of-day metering – now referred to as Smart Grid technology. During his last decade at GE he developed and managed programs on Quality Assurance with emphasis on statistical methods.

Following his retirement from GE, Paul engaged on a “second career” teaching at community colleges in New Hampshire and Maine, and currently at Cape Cod Community College. He teaches micro- and macroeconomics, and statistics. In addition, he helps students in mathematics and science at the college tutoring center.

Paul is looking forward to working as a mentor in this challenging and critical program, and in returning to Tech to join in on stimulating analyses and discussions.

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Bob Bates
Phone: 352-392-1991 x207
e-mail: rpb@ufl.edu
MIT matriculation: Course XX Food Technology – BS 1959; Course XX Nutrition & Food Science – PhD 1966
Professor Emeritus, University of Florida, Food Science & Human Nutrition Department

Based upon a fascinating and informative exposure to Mission 2014 as my first mentoring experience, I responded positively to Bob Gurnitz’ announcement of the Mission 2015 focus - “Whole Earth Triage: Securing the Future”, focusing on Biodiversity. My professional experience in food science & technology was ideally suited toward Mission 2014 - world food problems. Although global biodiversity is somewhat peripheral to my interests, certainly a sustainable food supply is one of your essential class mandates. How food resources are maintained, increased, and/or manipulated to serve our biosphere must be a central theme.

While conducting some of my dissertation research at the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama (INCAP) in Guatemala and subsequently as a food scientist at INCAP, I became critically aware of world food problems. A valued mentor, Dr. Nevin Scrimshaw, Founding Director of INCAP and later Course XX Chair at Tech, was (and still is at >90) a prime mover in addressing global malnutrition. Since that time I have been continually involved in short and long term assignments in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Asia.

Available plant and animal food resources are inadequate to feed the present global populace. Here’s where triage comes in - with multiple, far-reaching, interacting, and conflicting technical, biological, especially moral decisions. These are formidable challenges, but I anticipate that Mission 2015 students are a formidable resource and can provide valuable perspective and new insights. I’d be pleased to assist in mobilizing interested students to pursue your topic, “Whole Earth Triage”. Endeavors must be multidisciplinary (including the behavioral sciences) and will require high and low technology, everything in between, and lots of patience!

Although I’m based in Central Florida and travel frequently on UF and professional business and as an American Chemical Society tour speaker, my primary and continuing focus is global food problems. I’m aware of the student brainpower at Tech and look forward to helping you deal with Mission 2015, or at least looking over your shoulders as you engage the topic.

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Marco A. Mena

MIT year: 1999 Marco A. Mena is Head of Technical Operations at Celexion LLC, a Cambridge biotechnology startup.  He received a Ph.D. from UC Santa Barbara and B.S. and M.S. degrees from MIT, all in Chemical Engineering. My direct research interests revolve around engineering biological systems for therapeutic and industrial applications.  Most of my work revolves around the directed evolution of proteins and construction of metabolic pathways in cells.  Although this is usually at the molecular and cell scale, I am interested in finding solutions to larger-scale biological problems.  In particular, I am interested in figuring out how we can preserve a functioning biosphere in the face of continuing growth. I live in Cambridge, right near the Institute.  This is my first year as a 12.000 mentor. 

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Allison Houghton

MIT year: 2008 B.S. Geology, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Allison Houghton participated in Mission 2008 her freshman year at MIT.  Their challenge was to propose a solution to the environmental, social and economic challenges facing the Galapagos.  In the next few years she was involved as an Undergraduate Teaching Fellow (UTF) for Terrascope.   While at MIT she also participated in other complex problem-solving opportunities.  This included working with the Public Service Center her senior year looking at renewable energy and water quality on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota and also going down to work with the South Florida Water Management Department on water conservation in the disappearing Everglades. 

Allison is interested in many aspects of biodiversity and believes it is a key to solving many problems worldwide.  Recently, she has found that her passion lies in the area of sustainable agriculture which relies on biodiversity for its success.  She currently works as the Horticultural Director of an urban agriculture start-up in Somerville called Green City Growers.  They build and install raised vegetable beds in and around Boston as well as work with homeowners, businesses, restaurants, schools, and people of all ages to teach about and grow local food.  Since Green City Growers do not use pesticides or chemicals to grow their produce, they rely on biodiversity in the form of beneficial predatory insects, microbes, fungi, earthworms, and pollinators to ensure a successful garden.  However, this type of biodiversity is under constant pressure in urban settings, and the growing decrease in biodiversity is something that is ever present and a continual challenge.

Kachina Gosselin

Occupation: Social Entrepreneur
Aeronautics and Astronautics, MIT 2010

This will be my first year as a 12.000 mentor.

Upon graduating I discovered that I am most passionate about biodiversity conservation and was thrilled to discover that was the current mission of this year's Terrascope class.

I have dedicated myself to starting humanitarian and environmental initiatives and am in the process of developing an organization to aid pastoral farmers in Kenya respond to the ongoing drought and famine through community development, economic growth, entrepreneurship and ecological restoration.

I'm looking forward to working with all of you on one of the most pressing issues of our time and am excited to see what we can create together!ure in urban settings, and the growing decrease in biodiversity is something that is ever present and a continual challenge.

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Emily Moberg
emoberg@mit.edu  OR emoberg@whoi.edu  
Occupation: Graduate Student in the MIT-WHOI Joint  Program MIT Year: 2011
Education: BS in Environmental Engineering

I  was involved in Mission as a freshman in 2007 and then as a UTF in the following three years. I am currently studying Biological Oceanography at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, particularly looking at marine reserves and fisheries management from a modeling perspective. I have also been involved in environmental decision analysis (my textbook on the topic will be  coming out very, very soon). I am very passionate about environmental issues  and was involved in a radio show on campus that highlighted environmental  movements and research on MIT's campus. This is my first year as an  alumni mentor (as an alumna!) I am on campus so I am available both in  person and via the interwebs/phone.

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