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EDI Thesis Projects: Class of ‘24

EDI's 2024 graduating class

EDI class of 2024

A computer workstation in a bag. An app that encourages users to wear their retainer. A tool to forge connections between divers and the marine world.

Those are just three of the final Thesis projects presented by students graduating from Northwestern's Master of Science in Engineering Design Innovation (EDI) program in March.

During the 2-quarter Thesis Studio, EDI students apply lessons learned in the 18-month program to a topic of their choosing. The cohort meets weekly with Thesis Studio leads Jim Wicks and Amy Schwartz, and small groups collaborate regularly with industry mentors who offer advice and feedback on their individual topics and projects. 

Learn more about each Thesis project from the Class of 2024 below. 

Amanda Acquaire - common 

The Surgeon General's 2023 announcement of a loneliness epidemic highlighted a critical societal issue with a wide reach. Contemporary lifestyle often impedes human connection, particularly during mealtimes. common addresses this by serving as a neighborhood dining hall for urban-dwelling adults who otherwise lack access to low-effort, variable, healthy, communal dining. 

Corinne Brady - Spark 

As students navigate the transition from high school to the next chapter of their lives, they frequently encounter feelings of uncertainty and a lack of confidence in their decision-making abilities. Spark provides a comprehensive solution designed to equip schools with necessary tools to host a family career night. This initiative aims to foster a collaborative environment where parents and students can come together and have career conversations earlier. The goal is to create a supportive community that empowers students to confidently navigate their futures, equipped with a clearer understanding of the vast career possibilities that await. Spark is dedicated to transforming apprehension into action, curiosity into careers, and conversations into connections.

Ana Carvallo - Bit 

What has bad lungs and an empty wallet? A smoker. What has bad lungs, an empty wallet, and can no longer depend on the coping mechanisms and systems of support they are accustomed to? A smoker who has just decided to quit. 

Bit is a modular cessation support tool designed to help people manage cravings, regulate complex emotions, and navigate redefining social relationships as they transition away from smoking. By treating addiction as a holistic physiological and socio-emotional problem, Bit targets more than just chemical dependency and helps users achieve sustained, long-term cessation by promoting healthy habits. Starting with a base unit, users can choose from a variety of customizable module bits that target their specific needs. From a calming distraction during a stressful commute to a grounding tether during social gatherings, users carry with them the support they need. Bit by bit, anyone can quit.

Yaritza Chavez - Spork 

Spork is a planning and scheduling app tailored for the neurodivergent experience. Beyond traditional tools, Spork is a personal planner that breaks down tasks into manageable chunks and adapts schedules based on users' energy levels, allowing seamless task swapping in real-time. Spork encourages users to explore what their brain needs to succeed so neurodivergent students can feel empowered to achieve their goals with confidence.

Emmie Fister - Dot 

Dot is a women's health tracking app tailored for individuals with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Dot simplifies symptom, cycle, and lifestyle factor tracking, providing personalized insights for better health understanding and management. With customizable tracking and a supportive community, Dot is the perfect companion to empower women on their journey toward optimized health and well-being with PCOS.

Patrick Giavelli - SHELLTR 

In Chicago, SHELLTR emerges as an answer to experiencing homelessness, blending dignity with practicality. These mobile shelters are more than a place to sleep; they're a private, secure space that stands up to the city's challenging weather, offering warmth in winter and coolness in summer. Each shelter is lockable, ensuring personal safety and privacy, and comes with electricity access for charging devices, an essential need for seeking opportunities in today's digital age. 

SHELLTR reflects a community's commitment to empathy and support, providing a stable stepping stone for those in need. It's a testament to the belief that everyone deserves a safe space, marking a significant step forward in caring for Chicago's most vulnerable.

Sounak (Pablo) Gupta - Muse Studio 

Muse Studio is a dynamic mobile application crafted for aspiring and semi-professional content creators that eliminates the time-consuming search for the perfect music with a music generator powered by artificial intelligence (AI). Say goodbye to the frustrations of settling for low-quality free music with swift and affordable customized soundtracks tailored to the specific needs of each video. Perfect for creators on the move, Muse Studio emulates traditional video editing excellence while distinguishing itself with innovative AI music production tools — ensuring your stories are vividly brought to life with the depth and emotion they deserve.

Lucas Iezzi - TrekTech 

Where are you the most productive? For many, the answer is their desk, but what if the answer could be anywhere. TrekTech’s computer workstation in a bag provides all of the productivity boosts you get from your desk, and it can be carried wherever you want to go. With a built-in power supply, docking station, speakers, and a 20-inch monitor with ergonomic positioning, this all-in-one backpack is the perfect computer accessory for any environment. Just place the bag on a table and transform any space into your remote office.

Sahibzada Mayed - KaleidoKin 

In a world that is continually redefining traditional norms and boundaries, the socialization of gender and the development of children's identities have become focal points of interest, concern, and transformation. During their formative years, a child’s experiences of gender are significantly impacted by how family structures, relationship dynamics, and social spheres of influence converge.

Many parents are increasingly seeking guidance on how to foster an environment that encourages individuality and self-expression in their children, especially under the age of 12. At KaleidoKin, we offer immersive experiences designed to empower parents to foster open, supportive conversations around gender identity and fluidity. Through expert facilitation, supportive discussions, and personalized resources, parents can cultivate an environment where their children feel seen, heard, and supported in expressing their true selves.

Sue (Seungyeon) Kim - AlignGuard 

Do you find yourself often forgetting to wear your retainer, or have you lost the motivation to keep up with the routine? AlignGuard is designed to address those challenges head-on, offering a comprehensive solution for anyone wearing a retainer.

This app not only helps users adhere to their retainer wear schedule but also boosts their commitment through a variety of motivational reinforcements. By integrating reminders, progress tracking, and rewards for consistency, AlignGuard ensures you stay on track with your orthodontic care. With AlignGuard, you can safeguard against teeth relapse and maintain that perfect smile effortlessly. Say goodbye to the hassle and hello to confidence with your smile's best companion. 

Jingdian Li - Subaqueous Serenity 

Subaqueous Serenity designs integrated product solutions for novice divers to overcome emotional stress, ensure safety through enhanced communication, simplify navigation, and foster connection with the marine world. 

Lindsay Lipschultz - RemindRx 

Students, shift workers, hybrid workers, and others with irregular schedules who need to take medication throughout their day often struggle remembering to bring their medication and when to take it while on-the-go. The RemindRx is a smart container for pills that alerts users to bring their medication when leaving home and when it is time to take the medication. The container senses whether it is empty or filled and determines its location utilizing a connection to a smartphone to inform the discreet reminders and alerts it sends to the user.

Mikayla Mai - ShareMate 

Are you seeking new friends who share your hobbies or skills? Come to ShareMate, where you can connect, share, and make friends. This social app empowers users to forge meaningful connections through shared learning experiences and the enhancement of soft skills. ShareMate introduces a unique platform that combines the pursuit of social connectivity with the enrichment of skill development for youth in today's busy society.

Macie Mancini - EarthStick 

EarthStick is a portable charging kit that consists of a battery with compatible solar, wind, and hydropower generators. With its compact setup and relatively small size, it can be carried from site to site. It can be set up to accommodate a variety of climatic conditions and environments, powering off-grid adventures anywhere you go. 

Adannia (Ada) Michaels Shapiro - InSync 

InSync is a financial companion seeking to bridge the gap between caregivers and care recipients, empowering them to navigate money matters with confidence. It understands the delicate balance between independence and assistance, offering a platform where managing money day to day becomes a collaborative journey. Through comprehensive financial monitoring and a focus on privacy, caregivers can gain peace of mind while empowering care recipients to control their own financial narrative. InSync is not just a financial tool — it's a way to encourage compassion, connection, and the commitment to preserving dignity in caregiving.

Kallie Mingay - Green Scene 

Green Scene is a research aid to help theatrical set designers and technical directors make more sustainable material choices for productions. The tool suggests swaps of commonly-used, high-impact materials based on comparable performance, availability, and affordability from nearby vendors. Green Scene allows artists to spend more time bringing to life their vision while creating a space for positive change in a time- and cash-strapped industry. 

Ritika Ramesh - Modefy 

Every wardrobe tells a story of change, filled with moments of uncertainty and the all-too-common worry, "What should I wear today?" Modefy steps in right when you're navigating life's big shifts — like starting a new job, moving to a different city, or exploring a new phase in your personal style. More than just an app, Modefy acts as your style companion, guiding you through the maze of your closet with smart, easy-to-answer questions and engaging style scenarios. This friendly guide helps you understand what you have, suggests new ways to style your existing pieces, and curbs the urge to buy more. With Modefy, you'll discover your unique style DNA, making your wardrobe a true reflection of you. It's all about matching your external style to your evolving life, ensuring every choice you make is with confidence. Modefy isn't just organizing your clothes; it's about discovering and embracing your style journey, with a trusty companion by your side every step of the way.

David Schatz-Mizrahi - Grate Mate 

Tailgating should be all about enjoying quality time with friends and family, not feeling burdened with worries or stress. Grate Mate was created with this in mind, offering a simple, safe, and convenient way to deal with hot charcoal so tailgaters can focus on what really matters. The disposable two-part system features a durable pan that fits onto a grill's bottom grate and a secure dome cover with a locking mechanism to safely contain hot coals. After grilling, tailgaters simply lock the dome onto the pan and set the Grate Mate aside, allowing them to pack up their grill and enjoy the event worry-free.

Sherry Xu - Caravan: Create your Ultimate Road Trip 

Embark on epic road trips with Caravan, the ultimate app for group travel in multiple vehicles. It bridges distances between cars, synchronizing routes, and sharing memories in real-time. With Caravan, every participant stays in the loop, ensuring seamless coordination and communication. Capture every moment, share every laugh, and navigate every turn together. Get ready to make every mile count with Caravan, where every journey becomes a shared story.

ShaoBo Zhang - envelope 

Envelope offers a redesign and development of a user's email interface. Envelope leverages AI and dynamic database software to create a more fluid and predictive email inbox experience. 

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