Laurel is pursuing a Ph.D in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University in the Prakash Lab. She has a Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering.
Apart from a lifelong passion for building things and tinkering, she has a strong interest in optics design/manufacturing and fluid dynamics. Her current research focus is developing scalable fabrication methods for high performance micro-optical lenses. By exploiting the physics of fluids at small scales, Laurel developed a novel method to excite non-linear modes in fluid droplets and freeze them in shape to produce aspherical lenses with no molding requirements. She has built a high-throughput “lens printer” that utilizes this method to produce ultra-smooth, aspherical micro-lenses in large quantities.
Laurel is a native Californian with and is on two patent applications related to wind energy and global health technology, and has worked for NASA, Apple, Harley-Davidson, the Prakash Lab at Stanford, and a variety of start-up companies. Laurel also loves teaching: she recently TA'd Manu Prakash's Statistical Mechanics course at Stanford (BIOE41) and frequently was a TA for upper-level mechatronics and first-year circuits courses at Olin College. She hopes to use graduate school as an opportunity to explore cutting-edge, unconventional solutions to high-impact problems.
In addition to her engineering interests, Laurel is an accomplished musician. She has studied classical flute privately for over ten years. When not rehearsing with the Stanford Flute Ensemble, Laurel enjoys playing soccer with her friends, downhill skiing, motorcycling, amateur radio and hiking.