(Photo credit to  Tony Pulsone )

(Photo credit to Tony Pulsone)

My name is Justin Lai and I was a graduate student (Master's) in the mechanical engineering department at MIT after completing my Bachelor's in mechanical engineering in the same department. My research considered how people design through processes and in practice, how to teach students to design products for people. Areas of focus included: user-needs analysis, creativity, tacit knowledge, communication, and social science methods.

Two significant teaching projects I have been a part of are 2.97 Designing for People and Discover Product Design—now serving as an advisor. Additionally, I was a part of a team who developed resources for portfolio creation, Ideation Lab Portfolio Resources.

After grad school, I worked for three years (2011–2014) as the Invention Education Associate at the Lemelson-MIT Program with the InvenTeams initiative.

I now work at Punahou School in Honolulu, HI. In the summers, I teach Gr 4-5 LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3. In the school year, I teach Gr 6-8 various engineering and rapid prototyping classes. I also coordinate/coach various FIRST Robotics teams across FLL, FTC and FRC. All this is done with an awesome team of colleagues and the generous support of the school.

Email me at justinlai at mit dot edu

Written work (links to come. email if you'd like)

Conferences that I have attended

Press coverage

Reading List

Advice for grad life: applying, surviving, and thriving