Meet the 2024 Berkeley Engineering Design Scholars

July 5, 2024 | 1:14 pm

One of the highlights of summer at the Jacobs Institute is hosting the Berkeley Engineering Design Scholars. This year, eight outstanding undergraduates are engaging in engineering design research and learning research methodologies, under the guidance of faculty and graduate student mentors. They are exploring various topics such as computational design, machine learning, materials science, and biomedical engineering, often constructing physical prototypes as part of their research.

Learn more about the cohort below and mark your calendar for the Jacobs Summer Design Showcase on Friday, August 9th from 1-2 PM, at which the Scholars will present the results of their summer work.

2024 Berkeley Engineering Design Scholars

Name: Pujita Tangirala

Major: Rising Junior in Computer Science

Faculty Advisor: Eric Paulos

Research Summary: Pujita’s research interests lie in computational design (specifically how we can use programs to parameterize and streamline the design process) and human-computer interaction. Since high school, she has had a strong interest in graphic & fashion design. Thus, through her research this summer on optical illusions, she wants to explore how she can use these methods and technologies for tangible applications like wearable technology, and 3d printing / laser cutting fabrication and design. Outside of school and research, Pujita is a photographer and videographer. She’s worked on a number of fashion films and music videos, as well as concert photography and runway shows.

Name: Wai (William) Han

Major: Rising Senior in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS)

Faculty Advisor: Eric Paulos

Research Summary: William loves creating new things and working on prototypes through iterative processes. After a brief conversation with Hila, it appears that his research will involve designing materials that respond to mechanical inputs such as stretching and deformation. He will soon learn more about the specific research opportunities with Hila and will select a project accordingly. As an international student from Myanmar, William enjoys driving around the Bay Area to explore new places and beaches. Additionally, he likes playing table tennis and spending time with friends. His hobbies include engaging in hands-on projects, experimenting with electronic components to build prototypes, programming microcontrollers, and developing IoT applications. Although William is new to the design field, he is eager to learn more about it this summer.

Name: Sheila Mercado

Major: Rising Senior in Conservation & Resource Studies

Faculty Advisor: Kosa Goucher-Lambert

Research Summary: Sheila is particularly interested in further exploring & understanding the intersections of design and sustainability. More recently, she has become a fan of playing a beginner-friendly game of tennis with friends, spending time outdoors, traveling, and visiting missions around California while on break. Something that really drew her to the field of design is its diverse and ever-evolving realm, which presents never-ending opportunities to utilize her creativity. Additionally, she is very interested in learning about the various methods and approaches by which design can converge with sustainability for a greener future.

Name: Derrick Ng

Major: Computer Science Class of 2024

Faculty Advisor: Kosa Goucher-Lambert

Research Summary: Derrick’s lab and research interests are in artificial intelligence, particularly machine learning using big data, which he plans to further pursue in graduate school. Derrick is passionate about developing predictive models and leveraging large datasets to solve complex problems. In his free time, he enjoys traveling and playing golf, which help him relax and gain new perspectives. What motivates him to be in the design field is the opportunity to create innovative solutions that can have a meaningful impact on society. Whether it’s through developing efficient data processing pipelines or designing user-centric web applications, he is driven by the challenge of solving real-world problems through technology and design.

Name: Jasmine Escobedo

Major: Rising Senior in Bioengineering

Faculty Advisors: Hannah Stuart

Research Summary: Jasmine is a rising 4th year bioengineering major with a concentration in biomedical devices. Through the design field, she wants to apply her creative energy and love for hands-on work to better the lives of others. She is very passionate about designing devices that focus on accessibility or improvement of medical practices, especially in the mobility aid, prosthetic, or feminine health fields. You can often find Jasmine walking around enjoying nature, listening to video essays/music, or drinking coffee/matcha at my favorite cafe. She loves all mediums of design like needlework and drawing, so she is super excited for all the new skills she will learn as a Design Scholar this summer!

Name: Orlando Munoz

Major: Rising Senior in Mechanical Engineering

Faculty Advisor: Hannah Stuart

Research Summary: Orlando is interested in the study of energy and fluid dynamics in order to make efficient prototypes and analysis. Orlando loves the idea of integrating multiple areas as he finds the process exciting. He loves to listen to music and watch thriller/suspense music when he is not writing poems. The design field motivates him to find solutions that are intuitive to use for the everyday user. “It is always fascinating to put engineering principles in universal designs.” – Orlando Munoz

Name: Keira Swei 

Major: Rising Junior in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS)

Faculty Advisor: Bjoern Hartmann

Research Summary: Keira is interested in software prototyping, engineering design, and the intersection of computer science and bioengineering. Within the design field, Keira hopes to utilize coding and algorithms to solve complex problems, elevate human capabilities, and make a positive impact. Additionally, she loves to crochet, bake, and hike!

Name: Chetan Goenka

Major: Computer Science Class of 2024

Faculty Advisor: Bjoern Hartmann

Research Summary: Chetan (pronounced Chey-tan) has a passion for creativity support tools, creative coding, and visual program editors. He is also excited to explore and learn more about Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). In his free time, Chetan enjoys biking in the Berkeley hills, playing board games, attending random events, and doing a bit of gaming. He loves the design field because it fosters individuality, creativity, and human connection.

Meet the 2024 Engineering Design Scholars at the Jacobs Summer Design Showcase!

Interested in being a Scholar? Sign up for the Jacobs Student Newsletter to receive next summer’s application information.