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Amy Banzaert is finishing her PhD in mechanical engineering ... she's been at MIT on and off for a LONG time, having completed her bachelor's and master's degrees there, also in mechanical engineering, and having worked for the Public Service Center as MIT's first service learning coordinator. Amy's research is focused on the development and scientific investigation of a cooking fuel made from carbonized agricultural waste for use in developing countries as an alternative to wood, wood charcoal, dung, and uncarbonized biomass. The motivation for this project is the severe environmental, health, and economic consequences related to the biomass cooking fuels used by more than two billion people in developing countries. This research has taken her all over the world: El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Singapore, and most recently to Kenya.

Amy is also the founding instructor for D-Lab Energy, a hands-on class that focuses on small-scale energy solutions for people in developing countries. Amy has been an WTP-ME instructor once before and can't wait for this summer, when she'll focus on the design and energy aspects of the program. Amy has a 3.5-year-old son who keeps her very busy but when she can she loves being active outdoors, reading, and knitting.

Lisa Burton: I'm a current PhD student studying fluid dynamics with Prof. Hosoi and Prof. Bush. I received my Master's from MIT in 2009 and my Bachelor's from Duke in 2007, both in Mechanical Engineering. My research interests include fluid dynamics, locomotion, applied mathematics, bio-inspired physics, and acoustics. I'm originally from Texas and outside of the lab, I enjoy cooking (and eating, of course!), watching movies, warm weather, and traveling. I'm very excited about working with WTP this summer and can't wait to meet the new students!lisab@MIT.EDU
Dawn Wendell: Dawn is about to receive her PhD from the department of Mechanical Engineering. She studies how plant roots grow and uses the plant roots as a model for robotic diggers. She’s been a WTP instructor twice before and is looking forward to doing it again! In her spare time, Dawn knits, sketches, and cooks (especially homemade bread!).

Residential Tutors

Veronica Barrera: Hi! Iím an MIT sophomore from Toronto, Canada, studying Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in Product Design (course 2-A). I am also planning on minoring in Management Science, since in the future I plan on becoming an entrepreneur and starting my own engineering company that will design and produce innovative consumer products! Apart from engineering, I have a deep love for fashion, music, and the arts (especially painting)! I also enjoy discovering new cultures, reading quantum physics books, going on spontaneous adventures, and watching movies. At MIT, I am part of the 2013 Class Council, as well as a member of Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority. I cannot wait for all of the fun that WTP will bring this summer!

Amanda Grue: I'm a graduating senior in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Literature (fiction). I'm originally from Southern California and love reading, running, shopping, and photography. I also love Boston, especially in the summer time! I enjoyed WTP 2 years ago as a residential tutor and can't wait to do it again!

Molly McShane: I'm a sophomore in mechanical engineering with a focus in computer science. I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and moved to Northern California as a sophomore in high school. I play Varsity field hockey and lacrosse at MIT and am involved in my sorority, Alpha Phi. Aside from that, I love to run, read and explore Boston to find new places to eat! I'm really looking forward to my first WTP experience this summer!

Caitlin Reyda: I'm a graduating senior in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Writing, and I'll be staying at MIT next year for grad school. I attended WTP-ME in 2006 when I was in high school and was a tutor in 2008, so I'm excited to be returning again this summer. I'm originally from San Jose, California, and I'm a huge fan of warm weather and beaches. In my free time, I like running, swimming, exploring Boston, watching movies, and hanging out with friends. I absolutely love cooking and baking and can't wait to make delicious things this summer. I'm looking forward to meeting everyone, and I hope you're as excited as I am!

Megan Uberti: Hi! I'm a sophomore in Mechanical Engineering with a focus in Biomedical Engineering. I'm from Manchester, New Hampshire and have never been involved with WTP before so I'm really looking forward to this summer! In my free time I enjoy reading, playing piano, and practicing Jiu Jitsu. Can't wait to meet you all!
Becky Vasquez: Hi! I am currently a junior at MIT studying Mechanical Engineering. I am from Seminole, Florida. In high school I ran cross country and track and I was a member of my school's FIRST robotics team. Now I play Ultimate frisbee on the women's team, sMITe, which is really fun and a great way to relax. In my free time I like to explore Boston and Cambridge with my friends. I also really like to read, knit, and be crafty in general. rvasquez@MIT.EDU

Residential Assistant

Claire Lee: Hi all! I'm a freshman majoring in course 3: materials science and engineering. I've lived most of my life in the suburbs of Chicago, and I also attended WTP-ME after my junior year of high school. It played such a pivotal role in my decision to choose MIT as my new home. For fun, I like to play board games and watch movies. I also love exploring Boston on a sunny day and finding great new places to eat. Often times you can find me cooking or online shopping (sometimes both at the same time!). Feel free to email me any questions at leecb (at) mit (dot) edu. Not only will you have fun this summer, but you'll also learn so much; that is for sure!

WTP Associate Director & WTP-ME Track Coordinator

Dr. Barbara Hughey joined the Mechanical Engineering Department in 2002 as Lab Manager for the junior-level 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. Most recently, she was involved with the development at the BEAMS Lab at MIT of an instrument for sensitive detection of carbon-14 applicable to drug development. 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 with her husband, a pianist. She is a member of the Council for the Arts at MIT and currently performs with the Lexington Symphony. She has two children: one a sophomore at MIT, and the other heading to Berklee College of Music in the fall. When she has free time, she enjoys gardening, reading science fiction, biking, and bird watching.