Amy Smith

Amy Smith is the founder of the International Development Design Summit and the founder and director of MIT’s D-Lab. After graduating from MIT in mechanical engineering, she served in the US Peace Corps in Botswana for four years and has also done field work in Senegal, South Africa, Nepal, Peru, Haiti, Honduras, Uganda, Ghana and Zambia. She has taught engineering design at a variety of levels, ranging from undergraduate courses in mechanical engineering to high school enrichment programs to graduate courses in sustainable development. She won the 1999 BF Goodrich Collegiate Inventor’s Award for a phase-change incubator that operates without electricity and also won the 2000 MIT-Lemelson Student Prize for Invention. In 2001 she co-founded of the Service Learning program at MIT; she is also one of the co-founders of the MIT IDEAS Competition. In 2003 she began teaching D-Lab, a series of courses and field trips that focus on international development, appropriate technologies, and sustainable solutions for communities in developing countries. In 2004 she was selected as a MacArthur Fellow, recognizing her efforts in creating technologies to improve lives in the developing world and for finding opportunities to inspire students to do the same. Her current projects are in the areas of water testing and treatment, agricultural processing and alternative energy.

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