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Olin EMERGE Facilitators

Dr. Scott Hersey is an Assistant Professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering at Olin College of Engineering, and is the director of Olin’s Senior Capstone Program in Engineering (SCOPE). His external impact work focuses on using tools from atmospheric chemistry and environmental engineering to equip advocacy groups and elected officials to catalyze improved air health in vulnerable communities. He has delivered workshops, engaged in consulting, and facilitated retreats around topics ranging from goals-driven project and curriculum design to fostering identity development through communities of practice. After receiving a PhD from Caltech, he spent 3 years engaging in community-based development work in heavily polluted townships and informal settlements in South Africa, where he was thoroughly seduced by human-centered design and the social sciences as essential components of achieving impact and creating value with engineering and science practice. This disciplinary integration is core to his approach as an educator and researcher.

Dr. Robert Martello is a Professor of the History of Science and Technology at Olin College of Engineering. He has chaired and initiated efforts that re-imagined Olin’s faculty reappointment and promotion, institutional outreach, curricular innovation, and student assessment approaches. Professor Martello’s NSF-sponsored research, engineering education publications, and faculty development workshops explore connections between interdisciplinary integration, faculty teaming, student motivation, and project-based learning. He has delivered educational workshops for audiences around the world that include instructors and administrators at all levels. Professor Martello implements his findings in experimental courses such as “The Stuff of History,” “Six Microbes that Changed the World,” and “Chemistry in Context.” A graduate of MIT’s program in the History and Social Study of Science and Technology, he is the author of Midnight Ride, Industrial Dawn: Paul Revere and the Growth of American Enterprise, and he regularly lectures on Paul Revere and Ben Franklin, our “Founding Makers,” for audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

Dr. Jessica Townsend is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering and the Interim Academic Vice President for External Engagement at Olin College. Since joining the Olin College faculty in 2004, Dr. Townsend has worked as a facilitator and consultant with universities and professional organizations looking to improve engineering student engagement. She currently oversees institutional-level strategy for Olin’s external educational change mission and has contributed to the development of innovative pedagogies, courses, and curricula at Olin College. Her technical area of interest is experimental thermal-fluids and she worked for many years on the development and characterization of nanofluids for thermal management applications. Dr. Townsend has industry experience in both air-breathing propulsion, as a gas turbine performance engineer at Hamilton Sundstrand Power Systems, and in rocket propulsion, as a visiting engineer at Blue Origin, a commercial spaceflight company based in Seattle, WA.