Past Student Fellows

Woman long hair blonde smiling white lab coat

Georgia Van de Zande

  • PhD Candidate
  • "Honorable Mention", 2020 J-WAFS Fellowships for Water Solutions
  • Department of Mechanical Engineering

Georgia Van de Zande has been a part of MIT Mechanical Engineering for her undergraduate, master’s, and now PhD studies. She began water-related research work as a UROP in the Global Engineering and Research (GEAR) Lab, where she worked on village-scale water desalination technologies. For her Master’s research, she pursued a second passion: user-centered product design. Here, she instructed and mentored hundreds of first-year, fourth-year, and graduate-level product design students in 2.00b: Toy Product Design, 2.009: Product Engineering Process, and 2.76: Global Engineering. For her PhD research in the GEAR Lab, she has found an opportunity to combine these two interests—water technologies and user-centered product design—by designing farmer-centered irrigation systems aimed at increasing adoption in smallholder farmers and increasing water and food security in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).