Instructors (MEMSI 2019)
Executive Director, MIT Hong Kong Innovation Node
Charleston worked in Canada, Silicon Valley, and Greater China for 25 years, holding executive positions in System Engineering, Product Management, and Sales & Marketing at VMware, Cisco Systems and Nortel Networks. He has strong technology appreciation and understanding of key market transition trends, such as Internet/Web, Cloud Computing, Mobility, IOT, Big Data, AI/ML, and new business models. From 2011 to 2017, he was appointed by the Hong Kong SAR Government as Member of Digital 21 Strategy Advisory Committee. Charleston studied Management of Technology at the University of Waterloo in Canada where he received his PhD in Management Sciences in 1997. He also completed a Master degree in Financial Management at the HKUST in 2005.
LeBel Professor of Electrical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Faculty Director, Hong Kong Innovation Node
Charlie’s research interests are focused on medical electronic systems for monitoring and imaging. These systems require state-of-the-art mixed signal integrated circuit and systems with extremely low energy dissipation. He is the co-founder of the Medical Electronic Device Realization Center that is revolutionizing medical diagnostics and treatments by bringing health care directly to the individual and creating enabling technology for future information-driven healthcare systems.
Charlie has acted as a consultant for many top technology companies in the U.S. In 1999 he co-founded SMaL Camera Technologies, which develops digital imaging solutions for a variety of business and consumer markets, including ultra-slim digital still cameras and automotive vision systems. SMaL’s Ultra-Pocket digital camera was selected the best new product at the 2001 Consumer Electronics Show and is in the Guiness Book of Records as the World’s Thinnest Camera.
Throughout his career at MIT, Charlie has published extensively, winning best paper awards from International Solid-State Circuits Conference, in addition to the Darlington Award from the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society. He and Roger Howe co-authored the widely used textbook Microelectronics: An Integrated Approach.
He was elected Fellow of the IEEE in 1995 for contributions to the development of over-sampled A/D converters, DRAM devices and circuits, and integrated circuits process technology. Charlie has been very visible in professional leadership roles, serving as President of the IEEE Solid-State Circuit Society, as well as General Chair of the IEEE VLSI Circuits Symposium and the International Electron Devices Meeting.
Charlie started his career at Hewlett Packard where developed state-of-the-art silicon integrated circuit image sensors and memories. He is a graduate of Purdue University and holds Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.
Director of Strategic Initiatives, MIT Hong Kong Innovation Node
Marina Chan began her career in banking at Merrill Lynch for the Asian equity business before earning her master’s degree in education from Harvard University. She has worked with students from K-16 and young professionals across Asia and the US through her experiences in teaching, advising student startups, and leading professional development workshops. With a grant awarded by the Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fund, Marina founded Alpha Commons in 2015, an educational program cultivating creativity in children through engagement with technology.
She is a board member of the Hong Kong Red Cross Hospital Schools and is a CFA Charterholder.
Senior Lecturer and Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship
Founder and Managing Director, ConceptSpring
Elaine is a startup veteran and corporate innovation and entrepreneurship consultant who has brought numerous high tech products to market. She grew up in Hong Kong, and moved to the US to study engineering at MIT – eventually building a career as a technology entrepreneur. She has served at the VP level at 5 startups, including Rethink Robotics, Zeo, Zeemote and SensAble Technologies. She holds 22 patents.
As Founder and Managing Director of ConceptSpring, Elaine works with executives and leaders in established businesses to help them develop entrepreneurial skills, craft new innovation processes, and set up and run new ventures with the speed and agility of a startup. Clients span diverse industries, including healthcare IT, industrial automation, robotics, consumer electronics, retail innovation, FinTech and more. She is the author of the book, “Bringing a Hardware Product to Market: Navigating the Wild Ride from Concept to Mass Production”.
Elaine has been working with students at MIT since early 2011. She is a Senior Lecturer and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship. She designs, develops, and teaches courses and programs in entrepreneurship and corporate entrepreneurship, coaches students on a one-on-one basis, and develops systems and processes to scale up the support to entrepreneurial students. She built the Trust Center’s First Time Founder Knowledge Base from the ground up. She also serves on the Board of the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge. In June 2016, Elaine received the Monosson Prize for Entrepreneurship Mentoring from MIT. In 2017, she was selected by the American Academy for the Advancement of Science and the Lemelson Foundation to serve as one of eight Invention Ambassadors for 2017-2018.
Elaine is a thought leader, author and keynote speaker who has been featured in Xconomy, TechCrunch, Huffington Post, Forbes and Fortune. She covers topics spanning innovation, entrepreneurship, corporate entrepreneurship, technology trends and more. Her most recent speaking engagements include speaking about innovation at a conference on Public-Private Partnership hosted by the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland; delivering a keynote address for an Employment Conference at MIT; and delivering a keynote address for an International Tourism Innovation Conference in Portugal. She has extensive international experience, particularly in the Asia-Pacific area.
Elaine holds a BS and an MS in mechanical engineering from MIT.
MIT, Master’s in Integrated Design & Management
Nidhi Sharma is a graduate fellow at Integrated Design & Management program at MIT. She identifies herself as an electronics engineer and entrepreneur and is highly interested in the commercialization of technology that can help people live better. With her research group at Auto-ID Lab at MIT, Nidhi is currently trying to solve the problem of unwanted moisture absorption in agriculture, for farming communities across the world. She also serves as an entrepreneurship coach for the MIT Entrepreneurship Online Bootcamp.
Before coming to MIT, Nidhi extensively researched at the Center for Electronics Design & Technology at the Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology, Delhi, and she founded an ed-tech venture Ukhaad, where she aided hands-on learning in STEM subjects for school and college students using Do-It-Yourself activities and projects. She has previously worked in the semiconductor industry as a chip design engineer and has also advised the Government of India on policy for Swachh Bharat (Clean India) initiative. Nidhi aspires to be a black-box that can apply her secret sauce and solve any problem she picks. She loves India and she believes she stands at the intersection of courage, skills, and goodness.
MIT, Master’s in Computer Science & Management
Katherine is a senior at MIT majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Management. She is passionate about building technologies to solve user problems. She has worked in both software engineering and product management roles at various companies. Her main interests are in AI, cameras, speech systems, and world history. She spends her free time taking photos, cheering for Duke basketball, watching political documentaries, and cracking jokes.
Gloria (Yunhan) Gao
Chinese University of Hong Kong, Bachelor’s in Electronic Engineering
Gloria studies electronic engineering at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She enjoys every aspect of being an engineer since it allows her to be a life-long learner while having the opportunity to create, innovative, and bring changes in people’s life. Gloria is interested in projects that lie at the intersection of electrical and biomedical engineering, and is committed to creating a more integrated sensory system for monitoring our physiological condition in the future. Outside of work, she loves making new friends, having interesting conversations and going to the seaside.
Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, Master’s in Technology, Leadership & Entrepreneurship
Samuel hopes to create something that would have a great and positive impact in the world. When he is not studying or working, he designs gadgets for disabled people and students.
Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering & Business
Rayan recently graduated from HKUST with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and Business. Since then, she’s been involved with hardware startups. Both at work and outside of work, she likes to create new inventions, with the goal in mind that one day she would bring her own products to market. When she is not in a workshop, she enjoys diving, exploring old buildings and drawing.