My name is Jesse Austin-Breneman and I'm in my third year of graduate study in the Mechanical Engineering Department at MIT. I am currently studying under Professor Maria Yang as part of the MIT Ideation Lab. Our group researches structured design methods with a focus on early-stage design strategies.

My personal research focus is on design process in an international development context. I am currently working on projects studying design process transfer, design for entrepreneurship and novice-expert paradigms outside of traditional design populations.
As a secondary focus, I am also studying tools which can be used to evaluate and validate design processes. I am most interested in how we can measure the impact of design thinking in populations outside of the traditional design profession.
I am also working on a project investigating the human factors of multi-disciplinary large-scale design tasks. In particular, I am focusing on the effect of team dynamics on optimization performance.

Written work
  • 2010 National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship
  • 2010 Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship
  • 2009 MIT Presidential Fellowship