Despite cloudy skies and scattered rain showers, spirits were high as the Keller Center kicked off their summer programs for 2019 at Campus Club last Monday. Keller gathered members of the eLab Accelerator, Tiger Challenge, and REACH programs with staff, faculty, mentors, and advisers to give everyone a chance to get to know one another before the intense work of the next 10 weeks gets started.

eLab student entrepreneurs used the kick-off barbecue to strategize with their teammates and mentors. Members of MTL Solutions were eager to get started building on their novel solution to harness hydroelectric power and revolutionize the way in which society uses wastewater. “I’m excited to be able to devote all of my time to growing our venture without the constraints of being a student and keeping up with classwork,” explained Melanie Porras ’21. eLab program manager Stephanie Landers was buzzing about making introductions and connecting mentors, team members, and advisers. When asked how she keeps the energy and enthusiasm up given that the program is now in its eighth year Landers remarked, “The diversity of ideas and mix of ventures our eight teams represent makes this an exciting year to be heading up the eLab."

“The diversity of ideas and mix of ventures our eight teams represent makes this an exciting year to be heading up the eLab."

Stephanie Landers, eLab Program Manager

Tiger Challenge program manager Rafe Steinhauer was on hand to introduce his teams of designers who will be spending their summer creating innovations that make lasting impact on complex societal issues such as dignity and debt collection, preparing vulnerable populations for weather related risks from climate change, creating a more localized food system, and redefining access to high-quality healthcare. “When you see so many industry mentors, faculty advisers, and community partners in one place, you can understand how the participants in Keller Center’s programs have been able to create the impact that they have,” noted Steinhauer.

Program manager Lilian Tsang welcomed nine undergraduate and graduate students from Hong Kong and Germany to participate in the 10th annual International Research Exchange Program (REACH). REACH is a partnership between Princeton University and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and Ruhr University Bochum, TU-Dortmund University and University Duisburg-Essen for engineering and computer science students interested in international research opportunities at an academic institution. This summer our visiting students will be mentored by Princeton faculty members Craig Arnold, Sujit Datta, Jia Deng, Claire Gmachl, Michael Mueller, Vince Poor, Mansour Shayegan, and Nan Yao. Yao has been advising REACH interns since the program’s inception!