alumni leadership council

The Conrad Alumni Leadership Council (ALC) is a community of past Conrad Challenge Finalists dedicated to furthering the mission of the Conrad Foundation following their time as students at Summit. The purpose of the Conrad Alumni Council is to unite and inspire young creators, through a network that provides resources, mentorship and support, catalyzing student efforts to design novel solutions for today’s toughest global challenges. The Alumni Council serves three objectives:

  1. Cultivate a community of high-achieving, like-minded innovators that carry forward the Conrad culture beyond Summit. Guide alumni to join the broader Conrad community in order build valuable relationships and support Conrad students as they make key decisions about their products, education and careers.

  2. Develop entrepreneurship content tailor-made for young innovators by young innovators. This includes sharing business skills training, product design best practices and peer case studies.

  3. Serve as a resource as requested by Conrad staff for regular operations, including volunteering at Summit and other events, engagements with Conrad sponsors and other stakeholders, and in communications with Conrad students.

Conrad Alumni are students and young professionals with diverse specialties drawn across a variety of disciplines and industries. The backgrounds of Conrad Alumni members include not only successful entrepreneurs and founders but also product managers, designers, and financial advisors. The Alumni Council is open to all previous Conrad Innovators who have a passion for “no-box thinking” and are eager to propagate the culture of innovation in the months and years following Summit.

Alumni can learn more about getting involved with Conrad by emailing alumni@conradchallenge.org

Meet the ALC

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Akhil Jariwala (Conrad 2010) - Co-Leader of the ALC

Akhil is an MBA candidate at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He has spent his career in electric vehicles, most recently at ChargePoint, where he managed data analytics and network interoperability on the business development team. He also worked at PlugShare, the UC Davis Plug-in Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Research Center, and Sungevity. Jariwala graduated from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 2014 with a degree in business and environmental studies and attended high school at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. He was a national finalist in the Conrad competition in 2010, when his team designed a latticed pod system that generated electricity from wave energy using internally-housed piezoelectric ceramics.

 
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Alex Cordero (Conrad 2015-2018) - Co-Leader of the ALC

Alex graduated from Christopher Columbus High School in 2018 and is currently enrolled at Florida International University. In 2017, he co-founded Northern Leap, a company that sells direct-to-consumer products through a portfolio of brands. Northern Leap strives to adopt a proactive approach to resolve the concerns and meet the expectations of its customers though a commitment to product innovation. Cordero is fascinated by brands and marketing, primarily the part of creating innovative products and strategically distributing them throughout society. He experience in product development spans from hardware components to maximizing target audience exposure via ecommerce sales channels.

 
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Liam Carter-Hawkins (Conrad 2011)

Liam is a digital product designer for Babylon Health. He has also worked as a designer for companies such as DLH, Cadburys, ABB, General Electric and a variety of startups in London. An alumni member of the 2011 Conrad Challenge, Carter-Hawkins also won a scholarship to attend the United Space School at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston for two weeks. Liam graduated from Loughborough University with a first-class degree in industrial design in 2015.

 
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Judy Deng (Conrad 2010)

Judy is currently pursuing her MD/MBA degree from Yale University. Her research during her graduate studies has primarily focused on radiotherapy for brain metastases. Prior to graduate school, she studied materials science & engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In high school, she attended the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics where she and her team were finalists for their design of a rover. This past summer, she interned with the Boston Consulting Group and plans to return there after graduation.

 
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Mikayla Diesch (Conrad 2010)

Mikayla is a consulting hardware engineer who develops low-level product designs for small start-ups to large corporations. A passionate STEM advocate, she was invited to attend the first annual White House Science Fair, and served as a keynote speaker for the LEGO Innovation in Learning Summit and Texas Instruments’ T3 Conference. She earned undergraduate and master's degrees from Cornell University in electrical and computer engineering. During her Conrad year, she co-developed a nutrition bar for use by astronauts that later flew on STS-134 (Space Shuttle Endeavor). She also co-invented a patentable process to stabilize Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA), an Omega 3 long chain fatty acid used in food products.

 
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Shannon Diesch (Conrad 2010)

Shannon is a senior at Columbia University, where she is a CP Davis Scholar majoring in operations research and minoring in computer science and economics. During her Conrad years, she co-developed a nutrition bar for use by astronauts that later flew on STS-134 (Space Shuttle Endeavor). She also co-invented a patentable process to stabilize Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA), an Omega 3 long chain fatty acid used in food products. Diesch is currently working to introduce solar flare to the marketplace. A STEM advocate, she has spoken for Texas Instruments’ T3 Conference and LEGO Innovation in Learning Summit, as well as been invited to The White House for her advocacy work.

 
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Jonathan Kelley (Conrad 2017-2018)

A two-time Conrad Challenge participant, Jonathan is a college freshman headed to Olin College of Engineering in the fall. Having recently graduated from the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, he started a First Robotics team, performed physics and engineering research in nuclear fusion and worked with NASA engineers on various prototypes for the International Space Station. Kelley loves technology, business, and hopes to start his own company in the near future.

 
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Ankesh Madan (Conrad 2010)

Ankesh is a recovering scientist, entrepreneur, and investor. He co-founded and served as chief science officer at Undercover Colors, which develops innovative nail products that detect date-rape drugs. The company has raised more than $12 million from investors, including Mark Cuban. Madan honed his investing chops while working with the Duke Angel Network and as an associate at Cofounders Capital, where he performed diligence that led to investments in six early-stage companies. He most recently worked at Propel(x) as part of a team that helps drive angel investment into deep science and technology companies. A native of North Carolina, Madan holds a bachelor’s degree in materials science & engineering from North Carolina State University and attended Duke University for two years of graduate school.

 
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Audrey Shine (Conrad 2018)

Audrey Shine is a college freshman bound for Harvard University in the fall. Driven by her entrepreneurial spirit and love for science, she will pursue a major in economics and a secondary one in energy & environment. During her time at Plainview Old-Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School, Shine actively promoted STEM education in her community as the president of her district’s Science Honor Society chapter. She is currently is in the process of publishing her research in hydrogen fuel cells from Stony Brook University and hopes to start her own sustainable energy business in the years to come.

 
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Madison Revell (Conrad 2012) - ALC Advisor

Driven by her passion for creative problem-solving and visual storytelling, Madison earned her bachelor’s degree in graphic design from Brigham Young University in 2016. She now works as a web designer and search engine optimization specialist for marketing companies across the east and west coasts. Revell won the Conrad Challenge’s aerospace category in 2012, with a unique prototype of a temperature-regulating fabric designed for astronaut space suits. She has also won national awards for the Toshiba ExploraVision (2009) and MIT InvenTeams (2011) competitions.

 

Alumni Docu-Series

Check out the videos below for tips and information from the Conrad Alumni Council and some of our subject matter experts.

NOTE: Any information on business practices and advice available in these videos is intended for general guidance only and must never be considered a substitute for legal advice provided by a lawyer. The subjects of this video and the Conrad Challenge organization shall not be liable for any incidental, consequential, indirect or punitive damages arising out of access to or use of any content available on this channel.