Disaster Technology: Creating Innovative Solutions to Environmental Change

Fall 2022 Course - ENGIN 183C 003

Meet the Students

Click on the names to view their profiles.

Abanob Bostouros

Contact: abostouros@berkeley.edu

Environmental Disaster Interest: Water waste, energy efficient data storing, and decreasing carbon emissions from factories to decrease global warming.

Creative Skills: I like software and robotics. In my free time I try to read through the news to know more about the effect of economy and the relationship with tech and reflect on how to solve challenges for less privilege communities.

Something built or designed: I’m really proud of working on a challenge lab last spring, wining my class competition and pitching at the collider cup


Adair Nguyen

Contact: adairnguyen@berkeley.edu

Environmental Disaster Interest: As I was born and raised in Florida, I experienced the catastrophe of hurricanes and realized the detrimental effects natural disasters can have on communities and life. Hurricanes disproportionally affect POC and low-income communities and I am interested in bridging this gap with technology to fortify, unprotected and under-supported structures in low-income neighborhoods. Nonetheless, as sea-levels are rising and I live in a flood zone, hurricanes pose a grave and immediate affect on my community. Therefore, I am interested the most in hurricanes.

Creative Skills: I have previous experience working in business development and finance. I have developed my skills in financial modeling, budgeting, and financial planning. I have used these skills to conduct market research to understand more holistically the gaps/needs in the consumer market and how finances play into both growing and starting a business.

Something built or designed: Recently in my most previous internship, I built a financial model forecasting and breaking down revenue all the way to 2040. This took me a lot of time and effort and though it is not a conventional "product" that I built, I was able to build a tangible model for an aspect of the business to understand and track revenue--something I believe is necessary for any business or startup.


Arul Prakash

Contact: prakasha@berkeley.edu

Environmental Disaster Interest: In 2020 there were 58,950 wildfires compared with 50,477 in 2019, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. About 10.1 million acres were burned in 2020, compared with 4.7 million acres in 2019. California, specifically, is facing a rampant and record-breaking number of wildfires this past year. Without preventing wildfires, the United States faces economic loss and destruction. Catastrophic wildfires take a large economic toll on communities through property losses, decreased tourism, and even changes in the long-term structure of the local economy. In total, fires in the U.S. in 2019 caused $14.8 billion in property damage. Property loss is an immediate economic impact of wildfires, but there are also ripple effects that can carry on for years. With the loss of property comes the displacement of individuals and families from their homes, and the destruction of businesses. These wildfires are not only hurting people but also the environment, thereby deteriorating all sectors of society.

Creative Skills: I've developed my financial acumen from past internships as well as the various financial organizations I am a part of, like the Berkeley Investment Group (BIG). For example, I am skilled at financial analysis and modeling via Microsoft Excel. Also, I have a lot of experience leading teams and working in fast-paced environments. In the past, I led a team of 50+ volunteers as we raised over $14,000 for blood cancer. Additionally, I know the fundamentals of marketing and used to be a marketing intern for DECODE. Lastly, as someone who previously tried to launch a startup, I have a decent amount of prior knowledge surrounding the Lean LaunchPad model, pitch decks, presenting to investors, and other aspects of early entrepreneurship.

Something built or designed: In the past, I built a small sneaker reselling business from scratch and was able to handle the finances so that I was not only consistently making a profit but also growing my customer base through innovative marketing. However, starting this semester, I hope to create an AI-controlled UAV that will be able to scan and monitor high-risk areas through the use of several sensors. After the UAV locates areas with the greatest potential for a wildfire to break out, it will spray a liquid that will be able to prevent wildfires from starting early on. Unlike traditional preventative options, the gel-like fire retardant the UAV will spray should not only be environmentally friendly but also be highly resistant to weathering and only requires reapplication after extreme rainfall. Additionally, I intend to construct charging/refill stations near areas of interest, where UAVs will recursively operate every three to four months. These charging/refill stations will let the UAVs land, recharge, and autonomously replenish their tanks with the fire-preventing liquid. Although I believe I have a wonderful vision that is backed up by current research and has great potential, I definitely need help to make this a reality. As someone who isn't as technical, I would need a mechanical engineer to create the UAV and outfit it with sensors and the tank to hold the fire retardant. They can help with the construction of the charging/refill stations as well. I would also need someone with a profound understanding of AI to help program the UAV and help with the recursive functions that let the UAV autonomously replenish/charge itself. Although I have already done the research and talked to a scientist who has created the sustainable, effective fire retardant I'm looking for, having a chemical engineer wouldn't hurt because they could help us figure out how to spray the retardant so it isn't diluted in any way.


Aruna Sudarshan

Contact: aruna_sudarshan@berkeley.edu

Environmental Disaster Interest: Climate change, pesticide related issues, oil/natural gas/nuclear energy, earthquakes, droughts, and biodiversity related disasters are all interesting to me. Climate change feels particularly pressing as conditions get worse every day, and is especially relevant to our generation, as we are at a pivotal point. I did several debate topics about different energy forms and their implications because I find that interesting. I also did a lot of research into green tech companies when working with startups. Earthquakes and droughts are particularly impactful in California, where I have grown up my whole life.

Creative Skills: I'm a data scientist and have been coding and analyzing data since my freshman year of college, looking at credit card data when I worked at Capital One, cell phone chips at Qualcomm, and political data at Bluebonnet. However, I also work in strategy and business roles, as I have consulted for high growth startups in healthcare, mental health, and food delivery. In my free time, I enjoy sketching, playing instruments, and reading.

Something built or designed: When I was thirteen, my family and I started making lunch bags for a nearby homeless shelter once a month. Year after year, I saw the same people come in, as they struggle to find housing and sustain jobs. As someone who is passionate about data science and social impact, I often think about how data science can help bring about positive societal change. One such idea I hope to pursue is data-based solutions to structural homelessness. I believe that predictive analytics can be incredibly useful in helping identify when someone is on the brink of homelessness, helping address the issue proactively. Data science education could also be life-changing for homeless who are seeking jobs and lack technical skills. We could also maintain a centralized database to help track progress being made in homeless peoples’ lives rather than simply providing temporary services without crucial follow-through. I would also like to build software that helps match homeless people to housing options that is accommodating of their financial situation and background. I would need analytical skills, software development skills, research skills, and interpersonal skills to work across different people's needs.


Avani Agarwal

Contact: avani.agarwal@berkeley.edu

Environmental Disaster Interest: I’m mostly interested in food insecurity and water pollution because it is a serious matter in many countries. There aren’t many feasible solutions for countries to solve these problems.

Creative Skills: I have experience with marketing and designing pro types on Figma and Autodesk.

Something built or designed: I designed a portable toilet for hikers, backpackers, campers. I’m proud of it because my team and I worked hard to design the sketches.


Benjamin Chew

Contact: benjamin25@berkeley.edu

Environmental Disaster Interest: I am open to work on several issues: wildlife conservation and protection is something close to heart, as I've been a big nature fan ever since I was a kid. On another note, many of these environmental issues are really interconnected, so I'd like to combat issues such as ocean acidification or rising sea levels as well, because the livelihoods of people are going to be severely impacted by what's to come.

Creative Skills: I've been working primarily on software development over the past 3-4 years. I've done a couple of internships at a few companies including MNCs and startups. I've also worked on an undergraduate research project previously on modeling forest recovery using multispectral data gathered from drones. I also contribute to open source, helping an organization called OrcaSound track and monitor orcas somewhere near Seattle.

Something built or designed: Strangely enough, I'm in a phase where I look back and don't feel too proud of what I've built, because I'm always wondering about why I did certain things in pretty stupid ways back then. So perhaps in terms of what my ideal dream would look like, would be to build something for a particular and seemingly trivial purpose, only to see that it really fulfills other needs and that people need/want it. Hopefully, this becomes open source and people from all around the world use it, and a community forms because of it.


Carlos Collado Capell

Contact: carloscc@berkeley.edu

Environmental Disaster Interest: The pollution of the ocean. Intensive fishing and pollutants dumped into the ocean are major causes of the death of vast areas of the sea, including some of the most diverse coral reefs.

Creative Skills: I like to learn about geography, countries, and the different environmental problems that countries face and learn about possible engineering solutions. For example, in my home country (Spain), droughts and wildfires are a big problem during the summer, while tropical nations are suffering from increased floods and the rise of the sea level. With respect to my engineering skills, I like learning about the operation of different renewable energy sources (heat transfer, electricity), and I am currently learning how to apply machine learning to energy systems.

Something built or designed: I have done research on water desalination with solar energy, where I had to design and optimize the real sized system with different simulation and optimization tools, and an internship in the design of green hydrogen plants.


Christine Won

Contact: chwon12@berkeley.edu

Environmental Disaster Interest: Earthquakes: would want to learn more about this considering that there have been destructive earthquakes in the past in CA.

Creative Skills: I'm a beginner web development programmer and have been coding for about 2 years. In my free time, I enjoy designing personal websites and portfolios.

Something built or designed: I designed a game in a small group and won first place prize for Jack Dash at the Mission Bit Demo Day Spring 2018 competition. Additionally, I presented Jack Dash game to empower 100+ high school students from underrepresented communities to work in tech industry.


Constance Chiang

Contact: constance.chiang@berkeley.edu

Environmental Disaster Interest: I’m interested in forest fires and oil spills. Wildfires have been so common over the past couple of years and I’ve been directly affected by them at school and home. I think there is a lot of room for innovation in that space!

Creative Skills: I have a bit of programming experience from programming courses and research. I worked on programming on/off switches for lasers used in deployable NMR probes. Not sure if it’s a creative skill, but I like to tinker with anything/everything. I’ve built some fire detection systems with arduinos and worked on a maze solving “mouse” with the micro mouse club.

Something built or designed: Something I’d like to build is a self administered flu patch(similar to nicotine patches, but instead of nicotine, it would administer the flu vaccine and/or other vaccines). The goal would be to increase the accessibility of vaccines and the ease of receiving them. In order to do this, I would need to learn more about how medicine is administered and how to develop experiments to test the efficacy of this device.


Ellis Gelt

Contact: ellisgelt@berkeley.edu

Environmental Disaster Interest: I am extremely interested in combating the rapid deterioration of coral reefs and want to study island sustainability. I grew up in San Diego and have a deep love and respect for marine life. Coral reefs in particular play such a central role in the ecosystems of our ocean that it is inevitable that their destruction will cause a terrible chain reaction. Furthermore, I am extremely partial to the fight against climate change and specifically hope to work with carbon capture technology to limit pollution in our atmosphere. I would love to work with existing carbon filters on the ocean floor to find away to use them to a greater extent and to not only save, but also help actively restore marine ecosystems.

Creative Skills: I've been writing for my entire life, and would love to transfer this skill to the field of environmental science. I used to write for a couple of psychology forums, but now I'm finishing a URAP in which I researched and am actively making guides to the lichens of the East Bay. I use whatever free time I can find to work on my novel. I also had a marketing internship with a startup called Akin Mental Health. There, I networked with mental health influencers, authors, and professors connected to the field, created social media content, and analyzed data to propose future marketing endeavors.

Something built or designed: I founded a nonprofit called The Good Whisk last summer, and was able to raise almost $300 for my causes in my initial test launch. The concept is simple, where customers place an order from my "bakery", I make it and deliver it to them, and all profits are donated. I'm very proud of the progress I made with just myself, and can't wait to see what I can do with more help in the future.


Hari Kumar

Contact: harikumar@berkeley.edu

Environmental Disaster Interest: I think the environmental disaster that I'm most interested in is definitely air pollution and the consequences of that pollution. Specifically, I am interested in making the processes and activities we do on a day to day basis more efficient with little affect to our routines. For instance, finding more efficient ways to mine cryptocurrency or innovating upon the vehicles we use.

Creative Skills: In the past, I have mostly used excel and some light html coding to create websites. I primarily developed my excel skills when I was on the robotics team and later applied it to data collection, metric predictions, and now general day to day life. I used some light HTML coding to add plugins to a square space website for a community service project I was a part of over covid.

Something built or designed: I think I am most proud of the excel sheet and accompanying app I built when I was on the robotics team at my high school. The app was for match analytics in which we would record and gather data on the matches we were at or observed online. With this, we had a vast amount of data on the efficiency of other teams. We used the excel sheet to accurately predict match outcomes given which partner teams we were paired with. We ended the season with about an 80% accuracy rate.


Hélène Kondratieff

Contact: helenekondratieff8@berkeley.edu

Environmental Disaster Interest: Floods are probably the environmental disaster I am most interested in because they cause the most damage on earth and are partly due to human activity (which generates climatic disturbances through the emission of greenhouse gases and therefore the melting of glaciers). I assume that limiting the damage would benefit the greatest number of people, which makes it a major issue for the human cause.

Creative Skills: I am not the most creative person but I do like to use creative tools in my work/studies : Figma to create mockups, canva/ppt/prezi, for clear presentations.

Something built or designed: I have participated in the mock-up of a AI tool for an international client during my internship in a consulting startup in France.


Isabella Otterson

Contact: isabellaotterson@berkeley.edu

Environmental Disaster Interest: Hurricanes/tsunamis/fires/earthquakes. I am interested in environmental disasters that effect island communities especially those related to climate change. I moved to Maui, HI in 2018. Within the first month of living there, I experienced the panic of a category 4 hurricane heading towards the island (which fortunately dissolved into a category 1). I have also since experienced devastating flooding, fires, tropical storms, & tsunami warnings. I find the effect of disasters on island communities interesting because of the unique challenges islanders face such as supply chain issues, island-wide power outages, limited medical resources (only 200 hospital beds for 160,000 residents + 70,000 tourists/day), reliance on imported resources, and intra-island emergency response. I lived on the Road to Hana, the only road in and out of the east side of the island. When flooding makes the road dangerous, residents of the east side are trapped with limited access to gas stations, grocery stores, and emergency responders.

Creative Skills: I am a developer interested in product management. I first started programming in middle school with an introductory python class. In high school, I built an iOS app for marine wildlife research. At Cal, I am in a student-org, Mobile Developers of Berkeley (MDB), where I learned React Native development and worked on the contract team as a Technical Project Manager/Developer on a ML-based mental health app. At MDB I have designed and built a number of apps gaining experience in Figma and Firebase. This past summer, I interned in the product management dept. at Velodyne Lidar, a lidar sensor company. I conducted customer interviews and developed product specifications for perception and IoT solutions for autonomous/smart vehicles, robotics, security systems, and smart infrastructure. I am also interested in autonomous/AI innovations ranging from software to robotics.

Something built or designed: I built an iOS app in partnership with the Hawaii Association for Marine Education & Research (HAMER) that crowdsources for behavioral and population data on endangered marine animals and serves as an educational tool. I also built a Heroku website to visualize the data collected and allow other research organizations to access the data. HAMER provided the designs for the app and I was able to create it to their specifications, while working directly with them to accommodate changes and feedback. I am proud of this product because I self-learned the development skills required and worked with a local organization on a cause that mattered to me.

JeoungJae Jang1

JeoungJae Jang

Contact: jjj912@berkeley.edu

Environmental Disaster Interest: Global Warming Climate Change.

Creative Skills: I'm not good at programming but I'm interested. What I am currently interested in is analyzing existing data from a new perspective using technologies such as machine learning and deep learning. Actually, last semester, I worked on a project to make a periodic table through unsupervised machine learning by using python.

Something built or designed: Last semester, I worked on a project to make a periodic table through unsupervised machine learning by using python.


Joachim Scheele Raadstoga

Contact: joachimraadstoga@berkeley.edu

Environmental Disaster Interest: I am interested in natural disasters that have to do with water, I also found wild fires interesting.

Creative Skills: I have studied innovation and entrepreneurship at Copenhagen Business Academy during my bachelor and studied a master in Technology Entrepreneurship at the Technical University of Denmark. I have worked as a business consultant at Deloitte for over 3 years and have a startup that works with cyber security software for the SME segment.

Something built or designed: In my previous startup AQfeed, we developed a new environmentally friendly fish feed for the salmon farming industry which became the overall winner of Venture Cup Denmark, National Startup Competition 2021 and Winner of University Startup Word Cup, Category early green in Shanghai in 2021.


Jordan Evans-Polockow

Contact: stu69780@berkeley.edu

Environmental Disaster Interest: I am interested in natural disasters requiring the rebuilding of structures, in need of temporary structures, or anything involving recovery.

Creative Skills: I really enjoy working with my hands, so I have made models for my major, but I have also built bus stops, shelving, a few life-sized structures in the past few years.

Something built or designed: I am just generally really looking forward to engaging in this class because this is the exact line of work I want to go into in the future, but I genuinely just do not know a lot about it or what direction I should take in the future in order to reach my goal of working towards natural disaster recovery.


Jun Yeob Lee

Contact: henry.lee@berkeley.edu

Environmental Disaster Interest: Throughout my life, I did not think environmental disasters could happen right around me. I was fortunate enough to have never witnessed disasters with my own eyes. However, very recently in my home country, South Korea, there was a record-breaking rainfall that resulted in a massive flood in Seoul, biggest in the last 100 years. It was the first time that a disaster directly impacted my life, and it seemed clear to me that better preparations are always necessary. For example, manhole covers in Korea proved to be dangerous during the flood, as they not only exploded, but also caused several people to get sucked into the manhole. I think better design solutions are absolutely necessary to prevent horrible accidents like this.

Creative Skills: I am a mechanical engineer, and I love performing dynamics calculations as well as coming up with design solutions.

Something built or designed: I would like to build 3D models and prototypes as solutions to any type natural disasters, such as floods. An example would be an improved design of manhole covers that may be able to withstand/circumvent around explosion during floods. Skills I need would include the ability to perform calculations related to fluid dynamics, use 3d modeling softwares, and 3d printing.


Katell Guillou

Contact: katell.guillou@berkeley.edu

Environmental Disaster Interest: "I am really interested in cleantech technology (renewable energy, sustainable finance, blue ocean economy, and sustainable mobility). I was first confronted with the huge issue of air pollution during my first internship in Shanghai (China) and a second internship in CDMX (Mexico) in 2017. I then carried out a social and solidarity project in Peru in 2019 with disadvantaged children from the San Jeronimo district in Cusco. This furthered my awareness of the issue. After these experiences, I made a pact with myself: I will put my time, my expertise, and my energy into creating and serving projects that change the world for the better. I did 3 internships of 6 months each as a Sales Manager and Project Manager in 1) wind power 2) solar power / 3) sustainable mobility."

Creative Skills: "I'm deeply inspired by the ambitious women I met during the Women's Forum 2021 Edition such as Magaret Anadu the Global Head of Sustainability and Impact at Goldman Sachs who launched a fund to aid Black- led affordable housing developers. Furthermore, I became a Youth Delegate to the Women's Forum by writing an essay on the blue ocean economy. My creative skills are more in communication, marketing, and how to reach good the customer, sales etc."

Something built or designed: By participating in the Finance & Innovation for Good competition (with Google, Amundi, Pépite France, HSBC, and other actors), I won the Innovative Education prize through a project on sustainable finance. The goal was to make investment accessible to everyone, starting at a very young age. 4.941M young French people (14-25 years old) would be interested in learning how to invest in the stock market (INSEE) but don't know how to save for the long term and in a sustainable way. For this reason, I developed with two collaborators, an application dedicated to finance learning, especially in the stock market.


Leanne Shahin

Contact: leanne_shahin@berkeley.edu

Environmental Disaster Interest: I am interested in nuclear/chemical disasters, especially that nuclear energy is increasing in usage and the risks of using this energy are very high. I am also interested in environmental disaster's related to global warming so maybe working on a carbon capture technology would be nice.

Creative Skills: I have great research skills after working on several research papers (even if the topic is not in related to major). As for computer skills I do not have any skills at all 🙁

Something built or designed: In my senior design project we worked on a project that aids cancer patients. We encapsulated chemotherapeutic drugs in nanoparticles called liposomes. On the surface of these liposomes we attach a chemical that is attracted to cancer cells only. In this way we lessen the side effect of chemotherapy that result from attacking healthy cells by mistake. After the liposomes get attached to the tumor, we apply ultrasound to fracture the liposomes and release the drug.


Manan Bhargava

Contact: manan.bhargava@berkeley.edu

Environmental Disaster Interest: The environmental disasters I'm most interested include coral bleaching, wildfires, pollution, and food/plastic waste. I find coral bleaching a fascinating yet terrifying process for currently destroying the Great Barrier Reef, a natural phenomenon formed over thousands of years due to ocean acidification. Finding a solution to locally prevent the reefs from dying would be very interesting. Wildfires are directly applicable towards California; we have experienced so many fires to the extent that smoke has drifted all the way to the Bay Area in some instances—I can never forget Twilight Day in September 2020 where the sky turned orange due to the extensive forest fires that burned Big Basin. Looking at solutions for wildfire mitigation is very personal. I'm interested in pollution due to the extensive pollution in the cities of New Delhi, Bhopal, and Jaipur where my extended family and grandparents live. The pollution within India is absolutely absurd - drastically reducing visibility and making it harder to breath all during heat waves before the monsoon season. Air pollution is a large, prevalent issue to solve since humans have began polluting greenhouse gas emissions. Finally, food waste is another big environmental "disaster" (ongoing, that is) since I have been interning with Foodware to increase reusable takeout containers for restaurants and campuses to prevent the use of disposables. Reducing food waste and packaging waste at scale would make a large impact as well.

Creative Skills: I consider myself a Data Scientist, UI/UX Designer, Developer, Entrepreneur, Photographer, and Burn Pen Artist. In my free time, I designed a YouTube mockup under the webdev space, created data visualizations for giving pitch feedback, and have created tons of graphics/visual items for many projects. I enjoy dabbling in the multidisciplanary aspect from design to implementation to collecting data, testing, and analysis.

Something built or designed: I’m proud of designing the MVP for Foodware, a startup dedicated to establishing a sustainable takeout system for campuses and restaurants. I designed the entirely new screens for the mobile app and drafted the web-platform from ground-up. I’m excited to see the implementation in the community to drastically simplify the process of interacting with vendors for managing their takeout container inventory and checkout process.



Contact: markpi@berkeley.edu

Environmental Disaster Interest: I am most interested in uncontained wildfires. I have been living in the bay area for 4 years. Wildfires being uncontained not only causes harms to our lungs and breathing systems but it also damages the environment, whether its burnt down forests or destroyed woods. Therefore I am most interested in uncontained wildfires.

Creative Skills: I'm a econ/business student and have been collaborating with others on business projects since undergrad. I am also a designer who designed UI/UX for our team's products.

Something built or designed: I designed the user interface for our team's blockchain advising app.


Mathilde Tedesco Siem

Contact: mathits@berkeley.edu

Environmental Disaster Interest: We do not have a lot of earthquakes in Norway(at least not big ones) so it would be interesting to work on that in a place where that is more common. I lived in Texas for a year and it flooded often there. I came a year after Harvey, and there was still signs of the effects of the disaster. Smaller communities also got flooded while I was there. A lot of the help people got was from other locals with resources to help. I talked to some people who had boats and and went around helping people. This definitely made an impression and made me interested in how people organize themself during a disaster. Wildfires is a problem all over the world, so that could be interesting too.

Creative Skills: I'm a programmer and have been coding for three years. I have developed some smaller apps and games.

Something built or designed: I have made an app based on information from the databases of Norwegian weather forecasts.


Mira Shah

Contact: mirashah@berkeley.edu

Environmental Disaster Interest: I'm most interested in wildfires because I can see the impact that they have had on the community in California and how widespread they have become over the last few years. From an academic perspective, I think there is starting to be a lot of innovation in studying and fighting wildfires and technology has a huge role to play in that.

Creative Skills: I've been into making crafts from jewelry to sewing to making soap since I was a little kid. I've developed my skill by always making handmade gifts for others so I can practice and often try to use as little or inexpensive material as possible. I also bake and like to try and adapt recipes to be healthier (particularly for my younger sister who doesn't eat added sugar).

Something built or designed: In high school robotics, I worked on designing the gearbox for our robot's drivetrain. I didn't have a lot of CAD experience going into the project so I ended up having to go through three different iterations to meet the needs of our team and to integrate the design with the rest of the robot. I learned to be persistent and not afraid to ask for help when you are struggling.


Nikolai Bashkirov

Contact: nbashkircalnetid@berkeley.edu

Environmental Disaster Interest: I'm interested in air and water pollution because of the effects these disasters have on local and global ecosystems. Wildfires would be another issue of interest because it has consequences that go way beyond immediate destruction. From my ecology class, I learned that wildfires are an essential part of the lifecycle of many species, so I'm wondering where the line between a natural phenomenon and a tragic disaster lies. I also have a personal interest in preventing wildfires. I spend a lot of time outdoors hiking and rock climbing and it is devastating to see large areas of the Sierra Nevada being burned by wildfires.

Creative Skills: I'm an aspiring software developer. I enjoy seeing my code being used by other people.

Something built or designed: For the last few years, I've been working on software that I developed specifically for my friend's moving company. The software automates various team management tasks, handles customer communication via chatbot, and helps with efficient scheduling of jobs and distribution of resources.


Paola Noun

Contact: paolanoun@berkeley.edu


Radha Singh

Contact: radha050603@berkeley.edu

Environmental Disaster Interest: I am most interested in fires that are caused and seen in Southern California because I am from Southern California and I have witnessed its impacts firsthand.

Creative Skills: One of my creative skills is writing. I have done analysis of legal bills in immigration as well as written reviews of current events and have been able to quickly analyze anything and everything.

Something built or designed: I want to build a product that allows vc founders in India to quickly locate startup founders in major cities and create a platform in which it is easy for a vc to be connected with a individual.


Ravi Patel

Contact: ravipatel26@berkeley.edu

Environmental Disaster Interest: Wildfires. This is because I grew up in far Northern California (Shasta County) and saw firsthand the damage that these fires can cause.

Creative Skills: I'm a public speaker who competes in mock trial for the university. I build witness presentations, demonstrative aids, and unique theories to aid us in winning trials against other schools.

Something built or designed: I was part of an early-stage GovTech startup that built a platform for political candidates to conduct grassroots funding easily. It was merged with a different company later on.


Rhea Grover

Contact: rheagrover6@berkeley.edu

Environmental Disaster Interest: Climate change and plastic waste: I've grown up in the Bay Area, surrounded by amazing restaurants, and have noticed the immense amount of plastic waste due to takeout. While other countries, such as India and South Korea, do a great job at reducing this waste though reusable takeouts, this is not a prominent solution used in the US. I'd like to explore this further to combat the deep rooted issue of plastic waste.

Creative Skills: I'm a project manager for an organization that helps restaurants reduce single use plastic waste and I have been leading the project since 2020. I have connected with 7 restaurants on southside and through much advocacy, our team influenced the Durant Square property manager to place a compost bin on site.

Something built or designed: I have not built anything technical, so I would love to build anything really. I'm very open to learn!


Samantha Burrell

Contact: samantha_burrell@berkeley.edu

Environmental Disaster Interest: I would say that I am most interested in fire or in something like oil spills (like what you were talking about in lecture); I grew up in Colorado, where the fires have become very bad in recent years, and I have a personal investment in trying to mitigate wildfire damage to the ecosystem and to human society. As for the oil spills, I think that I've always been fascinated by the ocean and by how to negate the damage that humans are causing to it.

Creative Skills: I'm a chemical engineer by training, obviously, but I've done a lot of interesting design projects for biofuels, sustainably derived platform chemicals, and biodegradable, plant-based materials as a result. I also know some Java programming from my undergrad, and I worked part-time in jewelry design and creation for 2 years, so I've got a lot of random hands-on skills like metalworking and soldering (the acetylene torch kind of soldering).

Something built or designed: I'm very proud of my senior undergraduate capstone, which was a chemical system design to create airtight, bacteria and moisture proof food packaging and package coating that was completely biodegradable AND made from invasive grass species in Washington state (where I did my undergrad). I want to keep expanding my problem-solving and product design scope, though!


Samuel Ang

Contact: sang035@berkeley.edu

Environmental Disaster Interest: "Global Warming because it's really really hot and humid in Singapore 🙁 I'm also really concerned about microplastics in our environment. Feels like we're just ignoring an inevitable disaster where we start to get sick from them!"

Creative Skills: My main interest since young has been robotics. I have experience in 3D modelling, printing and rapid prototyping, along with some coding ability to get the hardware working properly.

Something built or designed: "I've been wanting to build a fleet of robots all by myself that covers the hardware, firmware and software. I would need to learn a little bit of everything..."


Sina Shakeraneh

Contact: sina24@berkeley.edu

Environmental Disaster Interest: An environmental disaster that I have been passionate about is the Wild Fires. I have done some extensive work with some other fellow classmates. I believe this is a disaster that pays so little attention to. Being able to contain the fire in the least amount of time will bring damage to the environment to the minimum. It is not just important to save houses and cities from fire but to make sure that our plant stays healthy.

Creative Skills: As a mechanical engineer, I have developed the skill of designing 3D complex models therefore, I am very skilled when it comes to programs such as SolidWorks and AutoCAD. Moreover, throughout the courses that I have taken, I have a decent amount of knowledge in programmingwwwwwwww in Matlab and Python.

Something built or designed: "I have recreated one of the projects from Acrome Robotics with the name of ""Ball Balancing Table"", which used two motors to control a plate in order to control the movement of a ball that was placed on this plate. ball-balancing-table "


Sonia He

Contact: soniahe@berkeley.edu

Environmental Disaster Interest: "I think I am most interested in (food) waste and plastic pollution because it seems like the most unnecessary environmental disaster we have. Especially in the US/at UC Berkeley, there is way too much single use plates, cups, cutlery, ... used in the dining halls (compared to Germany) and compostable dishes don't really help in fixing the problem (much water needed in production for compostable products & takes long time to decompose). Food waste is something that personally bothers me because I feel like that most people are not enough aware of it. Then, people are more likely to throw food away than taking less in the first place. But in general I am really interested in environmental protection and would love to learn more about it regardless of the specific field."

Creative Skills: "I like designing as well as programming. I had some technical design classes during my bachelors degree and also learned about during my time as an intern in China. In my free time, I do a lot of photography (taking pictures as well as editing) which helps to improve creative skills or to create a more creative mind. I learned a lot about programming in high school as well as uni and enjoyed programming an optimisation problem for my bachelors thesis to maximise the profit of battery recycling networks. Although I am not the best in both yet, I am highly motivated to gain more experience for and during this class."

Something built or designed: I would like to build something that helps to improve the whole recycling system. I don't know what it could look like yet, but maybe something that can recover more plastic as well as other valuable resources and requires less energy. Therefore, I would probably need knowledge in chemistry but also skills like designing such machineries and the whole production/recycling network. I would probably need some quality management skills as well since this is more an improvement than a totally new invention.


Vicky Chong

Contact: vickychong@berkeley.edu

Environmental Disaster Interest: Earthquakes, since being in California puts us most at risk for one. I'm interested in the next Big One and how the social climate of California has adapted to living with constant dread and fear.

Creative Skills: II'm a writer and have been writing (stories, articles, essays, technical writing) for a decade. I enjoy articulating thoughts and concepts through my various projects which include UX writing, digital copy writing, product marketing literature, and more.

Something built or designed: I was part of a team that designed and prototyped a new feature for the Pandora Radio app as a strategy consultant. In that project, I was mainly tasked with all the technical and product writing. I enjoyed combing through the brand guidelines and curating just the right language for our feature that appeals to our users while also conveying the utilizations of the product.


Vignesh Sivaprakasam

Contact: vigneshsiva100@berkeley.edu

Environmental Disaster Interest: I am most interested in earthquakes. Having lived in the Bay Area, I want to be able to mitigate the effects of earthquakes.

Creative Skills: I am a product manager with industry experience at SaaS and Payment Processing companies. I have built Data Platforms, Tokenization and Data Encryption Tools, and Visualization Hubs.

Something built or designed: I recently helped with the development of a key management software reaching a value added service of $100M and F500 clients.


Yan Zhe

Contact: yan_zhe@berkeley.edu

Environmental Disaster Interest: Typhoon because I grew up in the area where has a lot of typhoon during the Summer.

Creative Skills: I did a lot organic synthesis design when I was an undergrad student and practiced often during that time.

Something built or designed: I designed multiple way to synthesize host materials for blue OLEDs that has longer lifetime.


Karina Rojas

Contact: kdrojas@berkeley.edu

Environmental Disaster Interest: I'm most interested in wildfire disasters. Especially as someone who has lived in California my whole life, I have experienced seeing the growing intensity of this environmental issue. More so, it seems that this issue is being recognized heavily within the tech space through the growth of startups that are focused on developing technology that are meant to tackle wildfires.

Creative Skills: I work part time as a social media manager where I manage multiple accounts. From this, I have learned graphic design skills, copywriting, messaging, and branding. This previous summer I was also a Marketing Intern for a tech company where I had to build a campaign deliverable focused on a Go-To-Market strategy and scalable assets.

Something built or designed: I previously took a class on start-ups and the team I was put on had to think of a potential idea. We decided to create an app and built out a pitch deck for investors. This presentation included a marketing strategy, design prototypes, and business modeling.


Thena Guttieri

Contact: thenajoy1@Berkeley.edu

Environmental Disaster Interest: I’m most interested in wildfires, earthquakes and hurricanes. I’m interested in wildfires and earthquakes because I’m a native Californian and have been affected by these issues all my life. I love this state and want to see it prosper. I know that wildfires will only get worse which means my kids may not get to see the national parks in the same way I did and that makes me really upset. Additionally the overdue for a big earthquake gives me major anxiety so being proactive about what we’ll need to recover is important to me. Lastly, hurricanes are significant to me because my grandma was affected by Hurrican Katrina and then had to live in a trailer home. This hardship let me see the firsthand effects on her life as a fisher person.

Creative Skills: A lot of my skills are actually in forming bonds and creating strong teams. For as long as I can remember I’ve been in leadership roles. Although this may not sound like a creative skill, I think it is because I’ve always tried to approach leadership in a unique way. I’ve been a rather cautious person about leading things alone and prefer to pull others in to co-lead. I love redistributing weight and allowing others to feel like they can contribute and create something amazing as well. I also enjoy seeing what people bring to the table. Through leadership I’ve gained organizational skills, planning skills and communication skills. I understand what it is like to fail and let those around you down. I also understand the shortcomings that often accompany any goal. I feel better equipped to move forward and make thoughtful decisions.

Something built or designed: In my senior capstone course I built a robot named Icarus that followed sunlight and won the entrepreneurship award with my team. This was super cool because during my time at berkeley i did not do a lot of hands on activities. SO this was my first time picking stuff up and putting it together. Our robot used light sensors to track the difference in gradient of sunlight and move in that direction and also had an arm that lifted the solar panel on it in order to maximize power output.I learned a lot about how to choose the right materials for building a robot, what to consider and what difficulties might occur and how to solve them. A lot of wiring issues really!


Julia Pecego

Contact: juliapecego@berkeley.edu

Environmental Disaster Interest: I am most interested in access to clean water. Growing up in California, the thought of droughts are always on my mind. However, with global warming, there will be less and less fresh water in all parts of the world.

Creative Skills: I'm a mechanical engineer and I really enjoy designing 3D objects in CAD software such as solidworks.

Something built or designed: I helped build a robot called Icarus with two teammates. Icarus was an automated car that used photoresistors to track light in order to charge a solar panel attached to it. It also used an additional motor to change the angle at which the solar panel was tilted depending on the date, time, and location. My team won the entrepreneurship award for our semester for designing Icarus.


Francesca Greco

Contact: francescagreco@berkeley.edu

Environmental Disaster Interest: Energy - carbon fuels, because I would love to study Energy Eng as a Graduate focusing on how systems produce energy.

Creative Skills: I’m a motivational icon and i have been mentoring and helping students by believing in themselves since 2017.

Something built or designed: I have made a whole life channel of videos with my beloved ones called iCurly since 2012 and we’ve grown up sharing memories together! And interviewing other people around living experiences together.


Sabrina Wu

Contact: sabrina.wu@berkeley.edu

Environmental Disaster Interest: Typhoons and earthquakes are particular areas of interest for me as my family in Taiwan are affected the most by them. Understanding both how they affect the communities and economies of the countries they hit will help us better understand how we can minimize their impact and destruction. I've witnessed firsthand how displacement due to natural disasters can have long-lasting effects on families, and I'd love to study more into how we can limit these effects.

Creative Skills: I've always had a passion for entrepreneurship, with most of my experience being focused on product design and marketing. I also have an interest in writing and journalism, so merging the interviewing and empathizing aspect of storytelling with product design in user research and UI/UX design is one of my favorite parts of entrepreneurship. I've helped design app interfaces & lead marketing for a few student startups at Berkeley before, and would love to build more on those experiences in this class!

Something built or designed: I've helped create the UI component of app designs for two Berkeley startups in the SkyDeck Pad program, using Adobe XD and Illustrator, but I've yet to work with Figma and am excited to learn :). I've also worked on editorial layout for the Daily Cal in the past, as well as led design for consulting projects in my clubs. I'd like to get back to more of the business strategy side of working with startups though, and incorporate my design skills with this larger scope in mind.