Graduate Design Students

The students in the Graduate Design Program are the new renaissance men and women of tomorrow. They come from backgrounds in engineering and art, science and philosophy, social science and design, and are committed to making the world a better place through their actions as designers. They come from all over the the world and having already made accomplishments in the diverse set of fields that they represent. But they are all looking for more. They want to improve their design methodology, add a strategic layer to their thinking, and learn to lead change. They also want to spend a few years at The Farm, enjoying the warm sunshine and engaging in the amazing academic environment that Stanford is. They want to be immersed in the high tech frenzy of Silicon Valley, be 40 minutes from the delights of San Francisco, and a few hours from the fantastic skiing in the Sierras. Above all, they are passionate about design and its ability to make change happen.

Nathalie Collins

When asked where she's from, Nathalie has never had a short answer. Having been born in France, raised on the Atlantic seaboard of Canada, and now calling the mountains and valleys of California home, she's somewhat of a nomad. Passionate about the world around her, it's no surprise to find her endlessly drawn to exploring its nooks and crannies. Nathalie holds a B.S. in Computer Engineering from the University of Southern California. Prior to coming to Stanford, she spent several years at Microsoft designing the user experiences for PowerPoint and Hotmail. When not in the studio prototyping her latest concept idea, Nathalie can be found nourishing her soul in the outdoors by climbing, hiking, biking, snowboarding, and exploring the unique qualities of the human condition.

email | website | linkedin

Kai Ding

Kai completed his undergraduate degree in Industrial Design at Beijing and afterwards sharpened his skills as a designer at Nokia Research Center for a year.  It was his passion for design that brought him halfway across this world to this program.  He thinks that a good design should be usable for everyone, and is especially interested in designing for people with disabilities.

email | website

Troy Edwards

Troy has always been interested in engineering and design. As a youngster, he grew up building things in his father's machine shop, then earned a BSME from Cal Poly, SLO. After graduation, he worked as a MEMS engineer designing micro-mirrors for optical switches, co-founded a safety products company, and then worked as a Product Design Lead at Apple. When not in the loft, Troy can be found skiing in Tahoe, hiking the Santa Cruz mountains, or spending time with his family.

Jack Eric Grossman

Raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Eric moved to Chicago to study Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern University. It was there he realized his life-long fascination with aesthetics, art, and science, actually had a name: Industrial Design.

He spent the next summer sharpening his design skills at Rhode Island School of Design. The following summer, he interned at IDEO.  Upon graduation, Eric designed electronic packaging for military aircraft at Northrop Grumman in the suburbs of Chicago.

A lifelong automobile nut, in 2007, he followed his passion and moved to Pasadena to begin the Transportation Design program at Art Center College of Design.  In 2009, he made the difficult decision of leaving early to pursue his Master’s Degree in Stanford's JPD.

In his spare time, Eric enjoys getting on the golf course, following Formula One racing, playing guitar, and training with friends for marathons (but has yet to run a full one).


Anisha Jain

Anisha grew up in New Mexico, but left the land of green chile and perfect-weather ski slopes to pursue a BS in Mechanical Engineering at UC Berkeley. Her undergraduate research spanned microrobotics design at Berkeley with Kris Pister, optical MEMS design at Sandia National Labs in Albuquerque, and insect eye research in Sweden.

She spent two years after graduation teaching 7th grade science in Oakland with Teach for America, where she became intrigued by the complexity of the social problems that affected her students. This experience prompted her to look to bigger picture solutions to the complicated problems that plague inner city teachers, and she started to learn about design's potential to prompt positive, socially responsible action through product solutions that incite change. This combination of interests inspired her to come to Stanford to pursue the impact design can make, both in and out of the classroom.

After an exciting first year at Stanford, Anisha interned at IDEO in Boston, where she worked on two projects: one designing an airline experience and another designing lab furniture and space. For her final year of graduate study and Masters thesis, Anisha is working with a multi-disciplinary team to prototype the future of carpooling. She is interested in using her expertise in design-thinking and human-centric needfinding skills to understand the needs of commuters to make being a member of a carpooling community desirable enough to spur large-scale behavior change and get cars off the road. Anisha is also interested in the impact form and branding have on making products and services desirable to the consumer, as well as the way that they drive product creation.


Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer grew up in New York City with do it yourself parents. Always with her father in the garage or mother in the kitchen, she loved using her hands and overactive mind to bring her ideas to life.

In 2008 she graduated from Dartmouth College with a major in Geography and a minor in Studio Art. While in New Hampshire she discovered metalsmithing and jewelry design and began a life long passion of design and creating visually and conceptually sensitive pieces that speak personally to the user. After graduation, she taught metalsmithing and jewelry design as the Artist-in-Resident at the Donald Claflin Jewelry Studio at Dartmouth College.

She began graduate school in the fall of 2009 to expand her knowledge of the design process to focus on designing for women. Currently she is working with classmate and thesis partner Abby Sturges on Culture Kitchen, a social venture connecting women and creating a community around cooking that begins to speak to the fact that much more gets made in the kitchen besides food.

Laura Martini

Martini spent her formative years playing on her swing set and swimming in lakes in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She learned how to be a proper nerd during her undergraduate years at MIT. While there, she majored in Mechanical Engineering and minored in anthropology while working in the MIT Media Lab under John Maeda and picked up an affinity for ice cream made with liquid nitrogen.

Martini has spent time working on projects including applications for flexible displays, a kitchen device to simplify online communication and the iMac at Apple. Like any clichéd PD resume, hers includes a fantastic stint interning at IDEO as a Mechanical Engineering/Product Design hybrid.

At Stanford she has developed an interest in experience design and a deep appreciation for all things Eames. In her spare time she enjoys traveling to obscure countries, tending to her potato plant, Scotty, and telling the story of why she goes by 'Martini'.

email | website | twitter

Purin Phanichphant

Purin is from Thailand.
Purin starred as Mel Gibson's son in Air America.
Purin went to Carnegie Mellon.
Purin worked at Microsoft.
Purin started a company and failed.
Purin traveled around Asia.
Purin built a house in Bangkok.
Purin became a monk and decided to go to grad school.
Purin is now a grad student.
Purin likes food, Eames furniture, and bikes.


Christin Staubo

Origin: London, England
Developed: In the vast forests and mountains of Norway.
Hobbies: Everything that is fast, dangerous, open minded and challenging.
Place most likeley to be found: Surfing down a remote mountainside covered in deep powder.
Ambitions: Focusing on improving systems and cultures in a changing world.

Earlier educational tracks:
BA Anthropology, University of Oslo, University of California Berkeley
BA 3D Design, Arts Intitute of Bournemouth

Earlier professional tracks:
Service designer/researcher, Oslo, Norway
Animation, Oslo, Norway
Branding, Oslo, Norway
Trend consultancy, Paris, France and London, England


Abby Sturges

Abby earned her BFA in Industrial Design from Carnegie Mellon University. For the five years before grad school, Abby worked in various design roles at corporations, design consultancies, and manufacturing companies within the Chicago design community. Professionally, she worked on packaging, consumer products, and outdoor furniture. As a second year student in the program, she worked with classmate Jennifer Lopez to co-found team Culture Kitchen which seeks to break socio-economic borders by creating community through the vehicle of food. She is passionate about social design, traveling, baking, yoga and running.

Matthew Sullivan

Matt grew up in Kailua, Hawaii. He attended Middlebury College where he pursued his interests in physics, economics, and sculpture and mastered how to survive a New England winter. After losing his toes and fingers to frostbite, he spent a year in Hawaii working at Oceanit Laboratories doing research on biofuels, IED explosives detection, and an energy drink. In addition to Design, Matt has an interest in entrepreneurship and energy related technology. Some of his favorite things are kitesurfing, skiing, building cool things, and long walks on the beach.

James Thompson

James earned his AS in engineering from Shepherd University and his BS in aerospace engineering from the University of Virginia. As an undergraduate, he toyed with various academic interests, publishing research in cosmology, solar physics, systems engineering, and hypersonic aerodynamics. Following some introspection and a well-timed bait and switch, James forwent his impending academic career for the sweat, spontaneity, and social relevancy of design. In his spare time, James enjoys snapping pictures, pointing out political hypocrisy, and conjuring half-baked theories.

Michael Turri

Michael is interested in using Design to develop system-wide innovations that address complex corporate, environmental and social needs while creating and expanding markets. Inspired by R. Buckminster Fuller, Michael came to Stanford to focus on sustainable infrastructure design.

Michael holds a BSc in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Cornell University, where he also minored in Accounting and Finance. After a career as a Deutsche Bank analyst, Michael worked as a sustainable design consultant, leveraging his understanding of Natural competitive models to provide meta-level strategic insights to a variety of corporate clients. His recent re-imagining of a $100 million global brand increased revenue and margins while removing thousands of tons of virgin PVC from the annual production cycle.

Michael enjoys photography, woodworking, collecting obscure disco records and occasionally performing under the DJ pseudonym "Beaker."

Sungjoon Kim

SJ has worked as a user experience designer for 2.5 years in the software industry and for 2 years in the physical product industry. His first start-up has worked with Samsung and SoftBank to develop a new data management system after receiving $4M in series A funding from Intel Capital and SkyLake Incuvest. After having 2.5 years work experience in the software industry, he has focused on more diverse area of User Experience and won 12 prestigious international product/communication design awards including IDEA, reddot, iF and so on. Through working on various award-winning product design projects including his second company, a social venture named 1/2 PROJECT aiming to help consumers perceive giving to charity differently, he was able to better understand latent human needs and develop creative ideas for potential consumers in the real market.


Eugene Korsunskiy

Eugene gives really good hugs.


Aaron Peck

Hi! I am Aaron Peck.

I grew up in Washington State's Olympic Rain Forest. When I was not surfing, hiking or traveling, I was building robots out of VCR parts. In my undergrad I went to Carnegie Mellon for Mechanical Engineering but did the same things. It was not until I worked on the Dubai Fountain for WET Design that I finally started to take my love of the ocean, culture, and robots and smash it all together. Now instead of smashing, I am using the fine razor of design thinking to dissect my past and build the future.

email | website

Jules Sherman

Jules is passionate about designing human-centered products that improve quality of life. She draws inspiration from both personal experience and observing the world around her.

After earning her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, Jules was presented with the Alexander Graham Bell Award for Design and Invention for her innovative use of concrete formed in neoprene molds. For the past 15 years she has spent her career working with both retailers and manufacturers creating products ranging from furniture to food packaging. Having had the privilege of working in Europe and Asia has enriched her awareness of the realities of manufacturing and intercultural human relationships.

Jules came to Stanford to pursue her interests in human-factors, human-machine interaction, social ventures, and the business of design.

When not working on her various projects, Jules can be found enjoying her family, taking long walks, drawing and watching TED videos.

email | website | LinkedIn

Brett Westervelt

Brett considers the lyric "bought a borrowed suit and learned to dance" to be a fitting descriptor for his life so far.

Brett's interested in using design to foster community and contribution, to enable people to consume less and contribute more. He's also exploring ways to make our digital lives more physical and tangible.

Brett studied Electrical Engineering at The University of Texas before jumping into roles involving visual design and storytelling. In the Stanford Design Program he's found a place where he can add theory and tools to his design intuition, and a ton of great people to collaborate with.

email | website | twitter

Mark Rogers

Mark Rogers is trained in Industrial Design and has worked in corporate, consultant and freelance environments. His clients include AT&T, Caterpillar, Dell, Insight Product Development, Kodak, and Sealy.

Mark received his B.I.D. from Syracuse University, then trained briefly at Art Center. He is currently pursuing a Masters in Product Innovation from Stanford University. Specializing in user-centered design, Mark works with cross disciplinary teams to find innovative new solutions to today’s toughest challenges.

Passionate about medicine, Mark holds EMT credentials and is currently working on several medical projects. One of his teams is combating ventilator based pneumonia in American ICU’s; another is doing work in Myanmar. Mark is also collaborating with Dr. Shrivastava of Stanford’s Biodesign India program to develop faster and better ways to train doctors in the developing world.


SE Hayes

Kyle Williams

Kyle hails from the lakes and woods just north of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Between surfing on Lake Michigan, running XC and Track, and living in France, he earned a B.S. in Mathematics and a B.A. in French from Hope College in Holland, MI. Having whet his appetite for lands beyond the US of A, Kyle spent the following two years teaching, traveling and generally figuring out his life in South America and Western Europe.

He then returned to the US and spent two years at Yale F&ES becoming an expert in sustainability and urban ecology. Along the way, Kyle picked up Portuguese and Zulu (adding to French and Spanish), worked as a community forester and planted his first vegetable garden.

Kyle now finds himself on his third US coast, trying to become a superhero green designer and saving the world. When not engaged in worldchanging projects, he can be found at dinner parties, running multiple loops on the Dish, or curled up with a good book.

email | LinkedIn

Alejandro Palandjoglou

Alejandro studied Industrial Design at the Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina and later pursued a Masters in Furniture Design. After working for a design consultancy doing Point of Purchase and developing retail furniture for Lacoste and Puma he decided to open his own studio. Since then, he has won several design competitions and participated in design fairs. In addition, he also founded a sustainable company called Agori which makes value added products from the wood of trees blown down by storms and strong winds.

Alejandro came to Stanford to strengthen his design thinking and innovation skills. He is a passionate designer that makes decisions centered around emotional, social, and cultural needs. Furthermore, he believes that design should be human centered, ergonomic, and inclusive.

email | portfolio

Prat Ganapathy

Prat started out in Computer Science but saw the light & found that his true passion lay in Product Design.

Prat is a retired kickboxer, three ACL tears & the advent of grey hair ended his career.

Prat went to National Institute of Design where he fell in love with designing Medical products.

Prat was at Design Continuum, Milan where he learned no Italian but plenty about design.

Prat truly earned his design chops while working on amazing projects at Icarus Design.

Prat worked this summer at IDEO & cant wait to go back.

Prat rescues, builds & restores bikes.

Prat's alter ego "Senor Spandex" can usually be found in the gym scaring people with insane workouts.

Minjeong Kim

Minjeong is an artist and interaction designer.

At the Stanford Design Program, she is learning to create projects that are relevant to an audience, through ethnography-based design and collaborations. Her experience in the program has made her a better communicator and team member.

Her goal as a designer is to make something beautiful, and to do it better each time.

Minjeong graduated with a B.A. in Practice of Art at U.C. Berkeley. She has taught art at Walter Hays Elementary School, and worked as an interaction designer at a 15000-person company, as well as a 8-person startup.

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Albert Leung

Justin Fraga

Cameron Jue

Michelle Kosterich

Michelle grew up in suburbia outside of Philadelphia. She attended Tufts University where she studied mechanical engineering and discovered an interest in human factors. After graduating, Michelle moved to the Midwest and spent a few years working as an imagineer at Honda. Although she loves her native east coast, Michelle is excited to spend a winter without driving through snow and injuring herself on patches of ice. When she isn't in the loft, Michelle can be found training for her next marathon, playing ultimate frisbee, or traveling around aimlessly.


Tom Cohlmia

Tom likes to build things. He likes to break things too, but his ability to build things is generally considered more useful in the long run, so it gets listed first. His favorite thing he ever built is a sculpture commissioned for the Ford Design Center at Northwestern University in 2005 - though close second is a longboard he and his little sister built together. His favorite thing he ever broke was a top-load washing machine.

Tom went to Northwestern University and graduated in 2008 with degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Manufacturing and Design Engineering. During this time he worked at IDEO-Chicago as a shop assistant, though he says his title was "shop monkey." He was the lowest on the totem pole there, as evidenced by the fact that he worked there off and on for three years but was never on the employee roster, even though there were two dogs on that roster.

Tom was a Design Engineer for SunEdison, where he worked on large-scale commercial PV installations. During this time he lived in Washington, DC, met a lot of great people, and learned to walk on stilts.

Tom has a twin brother. If you've ever wondered what it's like to have a twin, Tom can assure you it's pretty awesome.

Tom would give the better part of his right arm for telekinesis, if anyone were going around making that kind of a deal.

Tom knows how to wield the mill, the lathe, sheet metal, Solidworks, Pro/Engineer, Excel, MDF, routers, hand tools, laser cutter, and kites. Tom also said he can wield Photoshop and a TIG welder, but admittedly it's really more like earnest flailing. He's working on it.

email | portfolio

David Meisenholder

David can't play a note or carry a tune, but came to Stanford to become a rock star.


Jeff Yoon

Barchelor degree:
Korea University Mechanical Engineer + Industrial Design

SAE Mini Baja competition 2004~2010
Republic of Korea Air Force F16 engine mechanic
2010 Korea University Industrial Design Graduate Thesis exhibition organizer


Song Toh

Song earned his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford in 2005 and subsequently served 6 years in the Singapore Navy as a combat officer. His last tour of duty was a two-year stint as the Operations Officer of a 450ft Landing Ship Tank, where his call sign was "Shyguy". Go figure.

Despite working on several graphic and smart space design projects within the Navy, he counts being a full-time stay-at-home dad (for all of two months) as his most relevant design experience - trying to design the most positive user experience possible for a 'customer' who's unable to tell you what he wants.

Andrew Evans

Ashish Goel

Julie Shyrne

Kelly Schmutte

Maryam Zahedi

Ravi Pare

Sofiane Berlat