Kurt Kornbluth
biography :: conference marerials
Kurt Kornbluth received his bachelor's in engineering from Michigan State University and his master's in mechanical engineering (with an environmental emphasis) from San Francisco State (SFSU). During his time at SFSU he met Ralf Hotchkiss, the founder of Whirlwind Wheelchair International (WWI), an American NGO that sets up appropriate technology wheelchair production in developing countries. Mr. Kornbluth soon found himself working for WWI as a trainer, designer, and jig builder; this was the start of more than ten years of traveling and working in Africa, Central and South America, and the Middle East. In 1996 he was awarded the Paralyzed Veterans of America student design award for his master’s thesis project "A High Stability Omni-Wheelchair." In 2002 he was awarded an NSF IGERT fellowship to pursue a PhD in mechanical engineering at UC Davis. He has been working with DEKA Research and Development on his thesis "Rural Power Generation with a Biogas-Fueled Stirling Engine," focusing on Bangladesh and Zambia. While maintaining involvement with WWI and DEKA Mr. Kornbluth is now a staff member working on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's "International Development Initiative." During the school year he introduces MIT students to appropriate technology in developing countries as an instructor for D-Lab.