Robert (he/him) is a graduate facilitator at C-SED. He teaches workshops and develops asynchronous online content to support students and faculty in applying socially engaged design principles to their design projects. He is available for workshops and consultations on topics such as stakeholder engagement, ideation and solution development, sustainable design, and designer positionality. He tends to get very excited about all things “design,” and is always happy to mentor and support student teams in bringing knowledge about broader societal contexts into their design work.
Although educated as a mechanical engineer, Robert got his true start as a designer through theater. He worked as Technical Director on several large-scale theatrical productions for the Yale Dramatic Association (and to this day still loves to pull out photos of his old sets if you ask). He then worked as the Project Engineer for Yale’s first-ever Solar Decathlon team, and in this latter role designed the engineering systems for a 1000 sq.ft. net-zero residential building. Robert double-majored in East Asian Studies in undergrad and before coming to Michigan spent a year in Nanjing studying Chinese history and foreign policy (taught in Mandarin). He credits this humanities background with helping him see the bigger picture contexts and impacts of engineering work, and a core component of his PhD research involves developing pedagogy to support engineering students in understanding these broader contexts and impacts as well. In addition to his role at C-SED, Robert also works as an Engineering Teaching Consultant at CRLT-E, where he supports engineering IAs and GSIs in adopting more inclusive teaching practices. He can often be found in the C-SED lounge area (3360 GG Brown), where he likes to read, work, and discreetly follow college basketball.