Natasha Wright is an incoming Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering (ME) at the University of Minnesota. She received her PhD in the Global Engineering and Research Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Her research and teaching is focused at the intersection of the technical and socioeconomic sides of design, designing solutions in developing and emerging markets. Natasha is passionate about helping students contextualize problems in the complex social, economic, and political landscapes in which they exist, working together in multi-disciplinary teams, and utilizing design theory to develop potential solutions to those problems.
Natasha’s experience in India includes implementing the use of electrodialysis (ED) desalination as a means of treating salty groundwater in rural areas. Her research has shown how to reduce capital and lifetime cost of village-scale ED systems by up to 40%. She has since installed pilot systems currently operating in India, Gaza, and New Mexico. Natasha’s work in water-energy systems led to her inclusion in Forbes Magazine’s “30 Under 30” in 2016. She has served as an instructor at Tufts University and will teach Acara’s Design for Sustainable Development — India course in May 2020.