Jessica Vechakul

Jessica Vechakul received her BS and MS degrees in Mechanical Engineering from MIT. She is currently a graduate student in Mechanical Engineering at UC Berkeley. Her doctorate research focuses on the creation of a methodology to design technologies for marginalized communities. Jessica contributed to the design of various technologies for villages, including the bicilavadora (pedal-powered washing machine) that won MIT's 2005 IDEAS competition. In 2007, Jessica received the Truman Award's honorable mention for her design of a bicycle ambulance, transporting patients from remote villages to health centers in Zambia. The Zambulance is being manufactured in Lusaka, and over 100 of them are serving patients with AIDS, malaria, etc. Since 2007, Jessica has been involved with the International Development Design Summit, which brings together NGOs, students, farmers, doctors, and others to co-create technological innovations, such as a low-cost chlorine producer.