Past Travel Grant Recipients

Asian man with dark hair and glasses wearing a suit in front of pillars

Jonathan Bessette

  • PhD candidate
  • 2022 J-WAFS Travel Grantee
  • Department of Mechanical Engineering

Jonathan Bessette is a mechanical engineering PhD candidate in the Global Engineering and Research Lab at MIT, where he is advised by professor Amos Winter. His research focuses on the design and control of small-scale deployable desalination systems for use in humanitarian emergencies and in remote communities. Such systems must be robust, reliable, independent, and flexible to harsh environments. His current work has led to the minimization and elimination of batteries in direct-drive renewable electrodialysis desalination systems – a crucial aspect in creating minimal maintenance, deployable, and low-cost water treatment systems.   

Jon received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and studio art from SUNY Buffalo, a few hours from his hometown of Johnson City in Upstate New York. His past work has ranged from designing aircraft actuators at Moog to using radars to understand Greenland’s ice-sheet dynamics and sea-level rise at Stanford. Outside of work, Jon enjoys playing soccer, climbing and backpacking, and playing guitar. 

Headshot photo credit: Tony Pulsone