Always building.
About
I am an engineer, social entrepreneur, designer, and startup advisor, mentoring multiple startups; a Starting Bloc Fellow, Sandbox Member, Chicago Ambassador, ThinkImpact Fellow Selectee, and a World Economic Forum Global Shaper. I was honored to participate in The Impact Engine and Acumen + Chicago Accelerator. I was also named Engineers Without Borders emerging leader of the year and was voted people’s choice winner for energy by the Dell Social Innovation Challenge.

What excites me:
Building things. I am interested in the critical nexus between global development and economic solidarity and in the role of technology and policy to mitigate its environmental and socio-economic impacts, with a focus on developing countries. Currently, I am the President of Light Up Africa Inc., providing technical and strategic support to ensure energy security in an energy constrained world and Partner of Innospce Lab - a design thinking and innovation consultancy.

An ittty bitty blurb about me:
Before Founding Light Up Africa Inc., I was a research engineer and project manager at Engineers Without Borders focusing my research on the energy requirements of electricity generation. I also worked in the R&D Division of Caterpillar Inc. and iCATIS Mexico, a leading company focused on sustainable living and research in the areas of energy, water, sanitation, agriculture and construction from local materials in the region.
What I do Well
  • Building and leading teams
  • Ethnographic research
  • HTML & CSS
  • UI / UX
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Excellent project management skills
  • Growing skills in Python, Javascript, and other programming languages
  • Strong foundation in engineering principles for products at the base of the pyramid
  • Strong background in branding and interaction design
  • Compassionate and active listening
  • Strong background in strategy
I have
  • Design Thinking expertise
  • 10 years experience in engineering, design, and international development
  • Expertise in capacity building of staff and partners
  • Fieldwork experience in Keyna, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Malawi, Mexico, and more than 20 other countries around the world.
  • Spearheaded a sustainability outreach and engineering program
  • Design and product development research experience
  • Storytelling and prototyping
  • Researched the role of community development in technology and vice versa
  • Educated more than 200 people about renewable energy options for homes and businesses directly impacting over 100,000
  • Invented a hand-held power-plant
  • Designed interactive technologies to influence local leaders of Chicago to promote systematic change within communities
  • Built a social enterprise and successfully raised capital (Light Up Africa)
  • Managed teams of engineering professionals on 4 continents
  • Experience framing and analyzing evidence-based solutions to strategic challenges
  • Strong background in design fundamentals
  • Experience in entrepreneurship and building multiple startups
  • Successfully fundraised over $50,000,000 for clients from Pre-Seed to Series C
  • Designed websites, materials, and interfaces for fortune 50 clients
Passions
  • Africa - the continent and all the people I meet there
  • Social impact and connecting with those who share a similar passion
  • Living out of my backpack
  • Traveling and exploring like Indiana Jones
  • Flying (VFR and some instrumentation)
  • Technology (specifically at the intersection of design and impact)
  • An insatiable desire to read everything
  • Learning from anyone and everyone
Experience
  • Visiting Researcher / Collaborator
  • Stanford University - Stanford Crowd Research Collective
  • January 2016 - Current

  • UX / UI Mentor
  • Design Lab
  • October 2015 - Current

  • Founder
  • LastMile
  • May 2015 - Current

  • Owner & Principle
  • Innospace Lab
  • September 2014 - Current

  • Co-Founder & CTO / Chief Creative Officer
  • injii inc.
  • January 2015 - August 2015

  • Co-Founder & Advisor
  • The Simple Good 501(c)(3)
  • February 2014 - February 2015

  • Mentor
  • Bard College / Center for Environmental Policy Fellows
  • March 2014 - Current

  • Global Shaper
  • World Economic Forum
  • June 2013 - Current

  • Founder & CEO
  • Light Up Africa Inc.
  • December 2011 - January 2016

  • Engineering Project Manager & Analyst
  • UMABU
  • August 2009 - August 2012

  • Mechanical Engineering Development Consultant
  • iCATIS Mexico
  • August 2011 - July 2012

  • Systems Engineering Consultant & Researcher
  • CST Storage
  • January 2012 - May 2012

  • Engineering Project Manager & Strategist
  • Engineers Without Borders
  • June 2009 - July 2011

  • Systems Engineering Consultant
  • Caterpillar Inc.
  • September 2010 - May 2011

  • Freelancer & Design Consultant
  • Self
  • February 2007 - Current
Education
  • Master of Science - Computer Science
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • August 2016 - 2018

  • Intro to Computer Science
  • Udacity Nanodegree
  • May 2016 - Current

  • Continuing Education - From Ideas to Action
  • IdeoU
  • May 2016 - June 2016

  • Certificate - Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Stanford University
  • 2013 - Current

  • Certificate - Advanced Project Management
  • Stanford University
  • 2012 - Current

  • Bachelor of Science - Engineering
  • Northern Illinois University
  • 2009 – 2011

  • Aerospace / Aeronautical Engineering: General Studies
  • University of Missouri - Colombia
  • 2003 – 2006
Did you know?
  • 10 Facts About Me
  • Cooking
    • I started cooking when I was 17 to pay for college. I worked my way up to Sous Chef in several fine dining establishments across Missouri and Illinois.

  • Bartending
    • I have been bartending for 10 years. I started bartending to pay for school. The last place I bartended was at Spiaggia in Chicago.

  • Building
    • I invented a back-lit keyboard when I was in elementary school. I never had the money to get a patent for it.
    • When I was 9, I invented a ziploc bag with a seam down the middle so you could put peas in one side and carrots in the other. Anything really. Again, I didn't have the money to obtain a patent for it. I did pitch Johnson and Johnson though.

  • Traveling
    • Traveled to, lived in, and became a part of 40 countries around the world
    • Bungee jumped into Victoria Falls in Zambia / Zimbabwae
    • Summited Mt. Kilimanjaro in Kenya
    • Scaled the Western Himalayas in Northern India / China
    • Robbed at gunpoint in no mans land between Tanzania and Malawi
    • Jailed in Mozambique for refusing to pay a bribe at the border
Recent Awards
  • Finalist
  • Buffett Institute Award for Emerging Global Leader
  • 2015

  • Fellow
  • The Impact Engine
  • 2012

  • Innovation Institute Scholar
  • Think Impact
  • 2012

  • People's Choice Winner – Energy, Light Up Africa
  • Dell Social Innovation Challenge
  • 2012