TEDxBoston 2014

Amos G. Winter, Ph.D., Tish Scolnik

Engineering Reverse Innovation

How constraints in emerging markets can drive solutions that work everywhere


Speakers' Biographies

Amos G. Winter, Ph.D.

Amos Winter is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. He is the Director of the Global Engineering and Research (GEAR) Lab, which focuses on the marriage of mechanical design theory and user-centered product design to create simple, elegant technological solutions for use in highly constrained environments. His research interests include design for emerging markets and developing countries, biomimetic design, fluid/solid/granular mechanics, biomechanics, and the design of ocean systems. Prof. Winter is the principal inventor of the Leveraged Freedom Chair (LFC), an all-terrain wheelchair designed for developing countries that was a winner of a 2010 R&D 100 award and was named one of the Wall Street Journal’s top innovations in 2011. His Ph.D. work focused on adapting the burrowing mechanisms of razor clams to create compact, low power, and reversible burrowing systems for subsea applications such as anchoring, oil recovery, and cable installation. Prof. Winter is a founder of Global Research Innovation and Technology (GRIT). He was the recipient of the 2010 Tufts University Young Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award, the 2010 MIT School of Engineering Graduate Student Extraordinary Teaching and Mentoring Award, the 2012 ASME/Pi Tau Sigma Gold Medal, and was named one of the 35 Innovators Under 35 (TR35) by Technology Review magazine.

Tish Scolnik

Tish is the CEO and co-founder of GRIT, a social enterprise that created the Leveraged Freedom Chair (LFC), an all-terrain wheelchair for developing countries. She graduated from MIT in 2010 with an SB in mechanical engineering and a minor in applied international studies. At MIT she became hooked on using her engineering skills for public service and she put these skills to use in East Africa, Haiti and India as the LFC was developed and tested. Tish has previously worked at the World Bank and the US Department of Health and Human Services. She enjoys hiking and experimenting in the kitchen.