Yvana Ahdab, Director

Yvana is PhD student in the MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering, working on batch reverse osmosis systems for water desalination. She completed her SM at MIT on the minimum energy requirements for groundwater desalination in the continental United States. Prior to attending MIT, Yvana received her BS in Mechanical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. As an undergraduate, she conducted research on the effects of chemical treatment and ocean currents on oil dispersion and worked on the development of an energy harvesting cooling device.

quantum bw.jpg

Quantum Wei

Quantum is a PhD candidate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT, studying energy-efficient water desalination.  His current work focuses on batch reverse osmosis systems.  He is also interested in science policy and public outreach.  He earned his SM and SB at MIT in mechanical engineering.  Quantum is excited to help expand the Water Club’s community outreach efforts. “The Water Club has played a critical role in shaping my understanding of water issues as well as my future role in helping to address those challenges.  I'm excited to help other students make similar discoveries and connections.”


Gualtiero Jaeger

Gualtiero is a PhD Candidate in the MIT-Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program, studying physical oceanography.  His research takes him to the Indian Ocean, with an international project investigating the ocean's role in the monsoon rainfall patterns.  He is intrigued by society’s interactions with the ocean, and received a B.Sc in Physics from the University of California Santa Barbara. “I’m excited to work with a team that shares a curiosity and passion for water issues far beyond the specific problems we each research, connecting people & ideas across fields and potentially influencing the paths we take.”


Dan Peckham

Dan is a graduate student in public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School studying the intersection of the public and private sectors for environmental issues. Before graduate school, Dan worked at the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission managing programs and coordinating regional workgroups in the areas such as water quality standards and toxic algae. He is interested in finding ways that science, public policy, and business can be used together to effectively solve our pressing water issues.

samantha bw.jpeg

Samantha McBride

Samantha received her B.S. in environmental engineering from the University of Nevada, Reno and her M.S. in chemical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Her past research includes emerging water contaminants, environmental fate and transport, and renewable energy. She is currently working on her PhD at MIT investigating novel materials for desalination applications. 

janelle bw.jpg

Janelle Heslop

Janelle is a Leaders for Global Operations Fellow at MIT, pursuing an SM in Civil and Environmental Engineering and an MBA.  Before MIT, Janelle was a Senior Associate at Veolia, a leading global water services company, where she managed a large-scale transformation program for NYC’s water utility. Previously, Janelle was a management consultant at GreenOrder, advising Fortune 500 companies on their sustainability strategies. In 2013, The Guardian named Janelle one of twitter’s "30 most influential sustainability voices" and in 2016 she was named one of Greenbiz’s 30 Under 30 emerging sustainability leaders. She graduated with distinction from Columbia University, receiving a B.S. in Earth and Environmental Engineering. Janelle is passionate about ideas at the intersection of water innovation and prosperous communities.  

rachel bw.jpg

Rachel Schmidt

Rachel graduated from the University of Virginia (UVA) in 2012 with a BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering.  Following graduation, Rachel moved to South Africa on a Fulbright Scholarship and worked with local female potters to develop a small business creating and selling ceramic water filters.  In 2013, Rachel moved to Denver, Colorado to work for Arcadis, a global engineering and consulting firm, for three years.  Rachel is currently pursuing an MBA and an MS in Mechanical Engineering from MIT as a member of the Leaders for Global Operations (LGO) Program.