Shorts - Engineering

Field Work for D-Lab: Development , Winter 2018

Rocket Stove - Botswana

Rocket stove designed for use in D'Kar, Botswana

The class focused on evaluating products for development on the market, in terms of technology, price and ethnographic fit to different communities.  I got to  learn about the products that enhance an experience like all the different kinds of human waste management solutions, or introduced a culture change and impacted life. 
In the field work portion I observed how a good design can introduce a culture change to impact life in a large scale, in a healthy way.  For two weeks, I collaborated with a community member in D’Kar Village to develop rocket stoves. 


Testing prototype stove with Mathambo, community partner in D'Kar


Top view of the rocket stove. Adjustable pot skirt to increase the heat transfer to the pot


Smaller stove that burns twigs and branches

While rocket stoves are a common developing world project because they are easy to manufacture and have higher efficiency and health benefits, this community previously had shown no interest. We started with technical tweaks, by  changing the chimney height to optimize draft and reduce cooking time, but this would not have mattered if we did not work to fit the stove into their life. Cooking around open fire was a daily ritual they enjoyed sharing with their family.  Living with locals who complained about the strain on traditional firewood, I proposed to reduce the stove’s size to use small twigs instead. After this, an excited user base emerged because they could still have traditional open fire dinners with the whole family, but when they wanted to cook individual meals, rocket stoves were more practical. 

2.70: Fundamentals of Precision Product Design Spring 2019 


Toys to Demonstrate Principals of Precision Machine Design 

In a team of two, designed gadgets that demonstrate the assigned set of fundamental principles of machine design. Brought every deliverable through the design cycle.  From principles to concepts that demonstrate them, first order analysis, design, manufacturing and testing and closing the loop to reflect on the design. 


Principles demonstrated:
1: Preload & Self-correcting 
2: Saint-Venant’s Principle, Golden Rectangle & Stability 
3: Abbe’s Principle, Accuracy, Repeatability, Resolution 
    Sensitive Directions & Reference Features

4: Centers of Action, Symmetry, Maxwell & Reciprocity 
5: Parallel Axis Theorem & Structural Loops 
6: Exact Constraint Design & Elastically Averaged Design

Micrometer body built for assignment 5: Parallel axis theorem and structural loops. The I beam shaped body increases the stiffness of the tool and keeps measurements accurate.   

Produced 3 copies of every toy to demonstrate repeatability in manufacturing 

Assignment 1: The car has butterfly nuts that load the washers (black)  when turned. Loose washers cause a  bumpy and loud ride while preloaded washers result in a smooth ride.  

A flexure to accurately predict the jamming force for assigment 2: Saint-Venant’s Principle, Golden Rectangle & Stability. As the block is pulled at an angle, the flexure block moves parallel to the other side, eliminating cosine errors in measuring displacement.  Jamming load is measured with  Hooke's law, after determining the  spring constant of the flexure  and measuring 

Intern in 347-C: Extreme Environment Robotics

NASA JPL Intership

Concept development of sample tube storage for the Mars Sample Return Campaign 


Conceptualized a storage system for sample tubes collected form Mars surface by the 2027 Rover. A robotic gripper is designed to autonomously collect tubes and deposit into the storage rack. 

Clip geometry brainstorming. Explored gripper designs for easy insertion and harder removal, high torque grip and different springs.



3D printed spring loaded grippers

After exploring a breadth of shapes, I selected three to analyze in depth. First two options are pictured above in the sketch. Third option pictured left in prototype form.