LEADERSHIP 2017-2018


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.”

Email  |   Website


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.”

Email  |  LinkedIn 


Samantha McBride

Vice President

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. 

Email  |  LinkedIn 


Yvana Ahdab

MIT Water Summit 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.

Email  |  LinkedIn


Preston Kutney

Water Innovation Prize Co-Director

Preston is a 2nd year MBA candidate at the MIT Sloan School of business. He grew up in Vancouver, BC and studied civil engineering at BYU before spending 3 years in the water resources group at the engineering consultancy AECOM. At AECOM, he designed water infrastructure, built flood models, and evaluated the environmental impacts of transportation projects. His primary interests at Sloan are developing sustainable business strategies and commercializing environmental technologies.

Email  |  LinkedIn


Juan Bazet

Water Innovation Prize Co-Director

Juan graduated from the Catholic University of Argentina with a BS in Industrial Engineering. After two years working in Industrial Sales for SKF Argentina, Juan went looking for new challenges and moved to South Africa for his first professional experience in the water industry. As a Project Manager for JOAT Group, an Engineering Consulting Firm specialized in Non-Revenue Water Reduction services, Juan was able to successfully design and implement infrastructure optimization programs that allowed local municipalities to save millions of liters of water for the community. Juan is currently pursuing an MBA at MIT Sloan School of Management, where he wants to acquire innovative business frameworks to close the gap between technology and sustainability.

Email  |  LinkedIn


Milani Chatterji-Len

Co-Lecture Series Chair

Milani is an undergraduate student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. She works as an undergraduate researcher at MIT on modeling innovative desalination systems. Milani is passionate about bridging development and engineering, and leads MIT's chapter of Engineers Without Borders. She also will catch any flying disc headed her way.

Email   |  LinkedIn

Cesar Cruz photo.jpg

Cesar Cruz

Co-Lecture Series Chair

Cesar worked as an Adviser at the Fresh Water Committee in Mexican parliament, specializing in environment, climate change, and water.  Prior to that, he served as Director of the National Forest System at the Ministry of Environment. Cesar has a bachelor's degree in International Relations and an MSc degree in Innovation and Quality Engineering from Universidad Iberoamericana (Ibero), Mexico City.  At MIT, Cesar will focus on binational groundwater spaces in the U.S.A - México border region. Additionally, Cesar previously managed a graphics office in Mexico City to communicate environmental science and sustainability awareness.



Janelle Heslop

Marketing Chair

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.  

Email  |  Linked In


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 and worked 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.

Email  |  LinkedIn

Anselmo Cassiano.jpg

Anselmo Cassiano

Lunch & Learn Chair

Anselmo Cassiano holds an MBA in corporate communication FIA/USP.  He is a specialist in negotiation, mediation, crisis emergency and business continuity at MIT.  He has worked in conflict management at Princeton University and in strategy, conflict and cooperation with the Harvard Economics Department.  Previously, he served as 1st Lieutenant while working in the UN Peacekeepers Force in East Timor.

Anselmo loves sports.  He is currently captain of the MIT Shotokan Karate and the Triathlon Teams.  He volunteers with the  MIT co-ed sailing and tennis programs.  Finally, as a Brazilian, Anselmo is crazy about soccer.

At MIT, he studies as a Research Affiliate in Water and Climate Change.  Specifically working with the WASH-Env Water Sanitation Hygiene Environment Innovation program in developing countries.

Email  |  LinkedIn