Well over 100 outstanding engineers have completed their undergraduate and graduate projects and theses in the Electromechanical Systems Group at MIT. These remarkable artists have become leaders in academia, industry, government, service, and entrepreneurial venues. Just a few of their stories are highlighted here. (ESG alumni: Send us your story and we will add you here!)
William Cotta is a US Coast Guard officer who earned his S.M. degree from MIT in the Electromechanical Systems Group in 2015. He is a Marine Safety Engineer who was named the 2018 US Coast Guard Engineer of the Year for his role as the USCG's leading technical expert in Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)-as-fuel technologies within the maritime industry. Additionally he is a member of the US Coast Guard's esteemed Salvage Engineering Response Team, where he provide naval architecture and salvage engineering assistance in support of the Coast Guard's response to Hurricane Harvey.
Dr. Steven R. Shaw joined the faculty of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Montana State University as an assistant professor in August, 2000 and was promoted to Associate professor with tenure in September, 2006. He is interested in system identification and controls, energy and fuel cell systems, and instrumentation. Dr. Shaw is a Montana State University 2001 Teaching and Learning Fellow, recipient of a 2001 M.I.T. Laboratory for Electronic and Electromagnetic Systems Grainger Foundation Award, and recipient of the 1997 M.I.T. David Adler memorial prize for best thesis in Electrical Engineering. In May 2002, Dr. Shaw received a Technology Review Magazine TR-100 award. The TR-100 is an international award recognizing young innovators "who will create the future." In September 2003, Dr. Shaw was honored by the National Academy of Engineering in the ninth annual "Frontiers of Engineering'' event. He was elected ECE instructor of the year from 2003 to 2005.
Ryan Zachar is a US Navy officer who received graduate degrees from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT while working in the Electromechanical Systems Group. He received the Naval Sea Systems Command award for Naval Construction and Engineering for his thesis work on new techniques for vibration monitoring in USN vessels.
Mark Gillman earned his S.M. degree from MIT in the Electromechanical Systems Group in 2014. He is a US Army Airborne Ranger with forward experience in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is an expert in energy and power systems and received a US Army Commendation for his thesis work at MIT, related to power monitoring for forward operating bases.
Dr. Uzoma Orji received his Ph.D. degree with the Electromechanical Systems Group at MIT in 2013. He has developed new algorithms for power systems diagnostics and monitoring, and is bringing his skills as a system designer and programmer to startups in the e-commerce market. Also, he was named part of ESPN Magazine's Academic All-America Team in 2005, and held both NCAA Division III and MIT records in weight throw.
Tim Denison is a Technical Fellow and Vice President of Research and Technology in the Implantables/Restorative Therapies Group at Medtronic PLC. Tim helps lead the design of next generation neural engineering methods and technologies for the treatment of neurological disease. In 2012, he was awarded membership to the Bakken Society, Medtronic’s highest technical award, and in 2014, the Wallin award, Medtronic’s highest leadership achievement (becoming only the second person in Medtronic’s history to receive both awards). He serves as an assistant editor for the IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems, the IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, and on the editorial board of the Journal of Neural Engineering.
Tim received his Ph.D. from MIT working in the Electromechanical Systems Group on nanopore gene sequencers.
Dr. Christopher Schantz received the the S.M. and Ph.D. degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2011 and 2014, respectively, in the Electromechanical Systems Group, all in mechanical engineering. He is a Martin Fellow. His research interest lies in signal processing for sensing and control systems. He has served as a Senior Systems Design Architecture Engineer with Tesla Motors .
Mariano Alvira received his M.Eng. degree from MIT in the Electromechanical Systems Group at MIT. He is a "serial entrepreneur" with skilled contributions in embedded control and circuit design. He is founder of the Redwire technology design firm that has supported a variety of companies and startups. And he invented the SpinDude.
Lizi George received the M.Eng. degree from MIT in the Electromechanical Systems Group in 2014, where she received the Graduate Excellence award from the MIT Dean for Graduate Education. She currently serves as an Applications Engineer at Silicon Laboratories in Austin Texas.
Dr. Cooley holds five (5) technical degrees from MIT including the Ph.D. as a member of the Electromechanical Systems Group, which he receieved in 2011. At MIT, he won both the David Adler Memorial Thesis Prize and the Morris Joseph Levin Award for his thesis work, and was a Martin Family Fellow in 2009. Dr. Cooley has been issued several patents including four (4) for his thesis work. He has presented and published papers in the areas of power converter control and modeling, linearized circuit analysis, capacitive sensing, building energy management, and in education. In 2009, Dr. Cooley co-founded FastCAP Systems, where he has served as Director of Engineering, Vice President, Chief Technology Officer and finally President. Dr. Cooley has also worked in the defense and medical devices industries and has consulted in IP litigation.
Dr. James Paris received his Ph.D. from MIT in 2013. He is an engineering consultant with decades of experience in hardware and embedded systems development, cloud-based storage and monitoring, connectivity, and the design and control of electrical systems of many types. He is currently working as the embedded systems engineer at Bolt, a venture capital fund focused on early-stage startups at the intersection of hardware and software.
John Donnal received his Ph.D. from MIT in the Electromechanical Systems Group in 2016. Prior to graduate school at MIT, he served as a US Army Signal Corps officer, deployed in Iraq. He is an expert int he application and design of embedded systems and power electronics, and has developed patented technology for identifying and characterizing the operation and health of electric loads on Coast Guard vessels, military bases, schools, and homes. He is a Martin Fellow and a co-winner of the 2016 MIT Clean Energy Prize. He currently serves as a faculty member at the US Naval Academy.
Deron Jackson received his Ph.D. from MIT in the Electromechanical Systems Group in 1998. He currently serves as the Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of the robotics company Omron Adept Technologies, Inc. He designs and manufactures robotic systems, motion control, and machine vision technology for global markets including automotive, consumer electronics, consumer goods, disk drives, food processing, industrial tooling, medical systems, and pharmaceutical production.
Candace Wilson received her M.Eng. degree from MIT in 2006. She was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship for renewable energy research in 2011. She has served as a development engineer with a focus on high speed analog circuits and power electronics at Texas Instruments, Analog Devices, SolarMax, and Acuity Brands.
Dr. Al Avestruz's research specialty is in the area of high performance power electronics, with complementary interests in circuits and systems for sensing, electromagnetic systems, feedback and controls, renewable energy, automotive, biomedical devices, and wireless power transfer technology. He is author of 7 U.S. patents. He has over a decade of industry and entrepreneurial experience and currently serves as a faculty member at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Arijit Banerjee received his Ph.D. in 2016. Prior to joining the Electromechanical Systems Group, he worked at Power Conversion Systems Group, General Electric (GE) Global Research Centre, India, where he was working on monitoring and diagnostics of electromechanical systems using electrical signatures. He was also a visiting student with the Institute for Power Electronics and Control of Drives, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany, under German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Fellowship. He holds twelve issued patents and several patent applications. He is joining the faculty at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne.