AcademicsStaffResidentialFacilitiesCalendarAbout WTPContact

WTP-ME Staff: 2023 | 2022 | 2021 |2019 |2018 |2017 |2016 |2015 |2014 |2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006

Summer 2023

WTP 2023 will be an in person, non-residential program where students commute to and from MIT daily for WTP activities.


Staff Only: WTP-ME Wiki


Lauren Chai
I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. My research focuses on acoustophoresis for manufacturing processes, specifically on how power and pattern quality interact. Outside of research, I enjoy playing video games, practicing archery, and browsing the internet for new and interesting stationery to add to my collection.

Sandra Huffman
Hello! My name is Sandy and I am a graduate student in MechE studying Engineering Education. Specifically, I am interested in the internalization and recall of technical material as applied to complex engineering situations. I spent 10 months in the  Netherlands in 2021-2022, on a Fulbright: English Teaching Assistantship grant. Before that, I did both my undergrad and masterís in the MechE Department at MIT. Inside the department, I focused on product design for emerging markets. Outside the department, I learned a lot about music, ethnomusicology, global development, and teaching. I am part of MIT's club gymnastics team and RAMBAX, (MITís Senegalese Drum Ensemble), as well as teach for the Edgerton Center's K-12 program. I can't wait to meet you all this summer and explore MechE together!

Chuck Xia 
Hello, my name is Chuck. I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. I am working on environmental sensors for sustainable food production. I enjoy teaching and work with MIT MechE course 2.00b Toy Product Design, 2.009 Product Design Process and the MITES program. Outside of research, I enjoy playing video games, going hiking, and making things.



Gabriela Carcasson
Hi! My name is Gabriela (she/her) and I just finished my senior year at MIT! I majored in Mathematics with a minor in Spanish, but I also took a lot of education and computer science classes. Aside from classes, I was involved in advocacy through the Council for Math Majors and UROPs with MIT Game Lab. I am actually a licensed mathematics teacher, and I student-taught at Boston Latin School in 2021-22. I am really interested in how games and technology can be used in K12 education (and I'd love to hear y'all's experiences!) I was a WTP student in 2018 and an EECS tutor last summer, and I am so excited to return one last time! If you ever want to do some art, play some board games, or talk pedagogy, let me know!

Diane Heinle 
Hello! My name is Diane, and I just graduated MIT (woohoo!) majoring in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in Robotics. I discovered and developed my passion for MechE through my years at MIT and am excited to continue learning as I start work soon in the Boston area. I particularly enjoy robotics, 3D printing, and building things. Outside of academics I also love constructing jigsaw puzzles, reading, biking, and exploring historical sites. Iím from near DC, so I will always be happy to spend an afternoon at a museum. Iím really excited to be a part of WTP this summer!

Sarah Park
Hi! My name is Sarah, and I'm a rising junior studying mechanical engineering at MIT. I also enjoy exploring a variety of other fields, but I'm especially interested in applications related to medical devices. Outside of academics, I'm involved in MIT ACF (Asian Christian Fellowship), and in my free time, I enjoy listening to music, playing violin (and occasionally trying to pick up other instruments), doing crosswords, and watching movies or K-dramas. I grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta, but I love the Cambridge/Boston area and am looking forward to spending more time there and being a tutor for WTP this summer!  

Aquila Simmons
Greetings! I'm Aquila (she/they) and I study Mechanical Engineering and Technical Theater Arts. My focus in school is on energy and design so I spend a lot of time thinking about how to make things to accomplish specific goals given constraints. In my free time I love to hike around, play strategy board games, read fantasy books, and tell stories. I am at heart an orator and tinker. I am a part of MITís premiere Lighting Design Club E33 and spent several years in dorm government. I am excited to be a part of WTP and to spend the summer solving problems with you all.

Grace Smith
Hi everyone! My name is Grace, I'm from Houston, Texas, and I'm an undergrad studying biological engineering , but building stuff has a super special place in my heart. A few weeks ago I configured an Arduino Uno to function as a keyboard that only types the letter "W", and I'm looking forward to rigging it up with some sensors so I can play Genshin Impact while working out! I like cats, hibachi cooking, plein air painting, making new friends, figure skating, and music made of beeps and boops.

Veronica Will 
Hey everyone! My name's Veronica and I just graduated from MIT majoring in bioengineering. Outside of classes, I worked in the MIT Bioelectronics lab on materials science and engineering solutions to study brain cancer. I'm also very interested in healthcare and worked as an EMT with MIT EMS. I love to dance and was a part of MIT DanceTroupe and also enjoy going over the Boston Ballet for an open class. I'm originally from Hawaii and am always down for a day at the beach or a run along the river. I was also a WTP student back in 2018 and am so excited to be back and meet all of you!

Program Facilitator

Fiona Daly 
I am a rising sophomore at MIT planning to major in robotics, as well as math or physics. I am from Concord, MA, which is just outside of metro-Boston. I love learning new skills and building things (most recently I learned how to weld)! During my most recent research project, I worked on identifying binary stellar systems with high mass discrepancies. In my free time I like to paint/sketch, DJ, run, play ice hockey, and practice Brazilian jiu jitsu. You can also find me down YouTube rabbit holes at odd hours of the day.  

WTP Associate Director

Julia Sharpe is a former mechanical engineering professional enjoying an early retirement to focus on passion projects, including passing on her love of engineering to future Engineers. Julia was an alum of WTP-EECS in 2004, and it is the reason she fell in love with Engineering. Julia earned a Bachelors and Masters in Mechanical Engineering from MIT (2009/2011). She focused her career mostly on design of life science products, including a handheld blood diagnostic device, a droplet-based DNA sequencer, automation for large laboratories (a superhighway for test tubes), and a rapid viral diagnostic platform. From 2018-2023, Julia was an engineering consultant for EPAM (formerly Continuum Innovations), a global design consulting firm. In her free time, Julia is a competitive gymnast, cycles long distances with her family, and enjoys sewing wacky clothes.

WTP Director

Dr. Barbara Hughey is a Senior Lecturer in the Mechanical Engineering Department and lead instructor for the junior-level 2.671 Measurement and Instrumentation Course. She is a graduate of Princeton University (BSE 1981 in Engineering Physics) and MIT (PhD 1989 in Physics). After receiving her Ph.D she worked in the Boston area developing accelerator-based instruments, primarily for medical applications. She is a dedicated violinist, having served as concertmaster of both the Princeton and MIT Orchestras, as well as having been an active participant in the MIT Chamber Music Society. She is a member of the Council for the Arts at MIT and is treasurer of and performs with the Lexington Symphony. She is also on the Board of Museum Advisors at the Boston Museum of Science. She has two children: one graduated from the Biological Engineering Department at MIT in 2013, received an MD/PhD in 2020 and is presently an orthopaedic surgery resident in Pittsburgh. The other graduated from the Berklee College of Music in 2014 with a degree in Vocal Performance and is presently a singer/songwriter in Nashville. When she has free time, she enjoys traveling, hiking, photography, reading science fiction, and making herb- and fruit-infused alcohol for friends. (PC: