About Us

Our Mission

This organization exists to expand the international development network among graduate students and to provide them with resources to succeed in their global endeavors. We are focused on students interested in forming global partnerships, participating in development projects, and facilitating engagement opportunities.


President: Luke Brennan, BME PhD Student

Luke Brennan

Luke is a MD+PhD student entering his third year of graduate school in Biomedical Engineering with Dr. Jackie Linnes and Dr. Natalia Rodriguez. His project aims to create a user-informed rapid test for HPV to make cervical cancer screening more accessible in the United States. His long-term career interest is engineering for global public health, especially delivering preventive healthcare interventions in resource-limited settings. He is very excited to be a part of Purdue’s strong and diverse community of researchers in global health and international development. "Learning more about this research and connecting students, projects, and funding opportunities across campus with our GRID team is rewarding and humbling."

Operating Officer/Funding Chair: Lucy Tecle, BME PhD Student

 Lucy Tecle

Lucy is a PhD student in Biomedical Engineering. Her work focuses on fabricating paper-based lateral flow tests for early detection of cervical cancer. She is developing these tests for low-middle income countries such as Zambia. The use of cost-efficient materials makes this point-of-care diagnostic tool practical for the healthcare systems that are disproportionally affected by cervical cancer. She has also worked with a non-profit, student-led organization that designs 3-D printed prosthetics for children/teens with upper limb differences at no-cost to the patient. In her free time, Lucy enjoys long-distance running and working to establish academic programs within her department that are geared towards mentoring and graduate school preparation.

Treasurer: Meghana Sudarshan, AAE Ph.D student

Meghana Sudarshan

Meghana is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics researching the viability of lithium-ion batteries as an energy storage solution for electric vehicles by studying their degradation using machine learning methods. Through her research, she strives to find affordable-accessible applications for international development moving towards a more real-world, practical solution for a smooth transition from academia to industry. She loves going on long walks exploring her surroundings, cooking, and getting lost in a book.

PACMAN: Suyash Padhye, CE MS-PhD Student

Suyash Padhye

Suyash is pursuing a Masters-PhD student in Civil Engineering/Construction Engineering and Management. His work is interdisciplinary and focuses on principles of profitability and risk in the construction industry. He has worked on multiple research projects with the Joint Transportation Research Program (JTRP) and Construction Industry Institute (CII). He also helped develop the Purdue Index of Construction (Pi-C) which can be used to inform construction-related policies and investments based on the health of the U.S. Construction Industry.

Seminar Cordinator: Pankti Thakkar, BME MS Student

Pankti Thakkar

Pankti is a Master's student in Biomedical Engineering. Her thesis focuses on developing a paper-based lateral flow assay for HIV detection. She is passionate about healthcare parity and wants to increase access to early diagnostics in low-resource settings like rural India to improve healthcare delivery systems. She has been a part of leadership teams for BMES, the Women in Engineering Program, and FACT during her undergraduate studies here at Purdue. She enjoys playing basketball, hiking, and exploring new restaurants in her free time.

Career opportunities chair: Waire Olawolu, CE MS student

Waire Olawolu

Waire is a Master's student in Civil Engineering and the Transformational Innovation and Design interdisciplinary concentration. His research interest involves how oil and solid mineral-producing developing nations achieve sustainability and resilience when their main source of revenue eventually becomes phased out due to emerging climate change policies. He loves soccer, and can be found watching matches or playing soccer video games in his free time.

Advisor: Diana Harbison, GEPP Assistant Director for Int’l Development

Are you interested in joining the GRID leadership team? Our elections take place over the summer, but if we have an open position, we are happy to fill it anytime! Send an email to GRID@purdue.edu to learn more.

Calendar of Events

All of our upcoming events are posted to our Facebook page – keep an eye out for upcoming seminars about funding, career opportunities, current projects, and more!

Have an idea for an event you would like to see? Send an email to GRID@purdue.edu so we can put it together for you!

Previous Events:

Kenya Experiences Seminar

Did you know that quite a few of Purdue’s researchers are working in Kenya? Come hear about four different projects that are making a big impact in this beautiful country!

Funding and Grant Writing Seminar

Have you ever had a difficult time finding a grant that applies to your research? Need some tips for how to prepare a successful proposal? Join GRID and Lisa Nielsen as we explore Purdue’s funding resources and learn how to write a grant that will receive funding.

Get Involved!

Join the GRID! Send an email to GRID@purdue.edu so we can add you to our email list. You will receive updates about upcoming events, funding and career opportunities in international development, and news about our Project Advisory Councils (PAC).

Do you want to join a PAC? Fill out the application and we will assign you to a group to help resolve challenges in your project or for you to advise others on how they can overcome what they are facing in their projects.

Interested in a PAC consultation? Sign up here for a one-on-one meeting with a PAC member to discuss your interest!

Connect with us on social media!

Facebook: Graduate Researchers for International Development - GRID
Instagram: @purduegrid
Twitter: @purduegrid
LinkedIn: Graduate Researchers for International Development (GRID)

Funding Opportunities

Our Funding Opportunities Chair keeps an eye out for international development grants and fellowships and distributes them to GRID members. Join our email list by sending a quick note to GRID@purdue.edu to stay in the loop!

We keep a resume list that we provide to international development employers upon request. If you would like us to share your CV or resume, upload it to our folder. Need to update one you’ve already submitted? Re-upload to the folder and let us know you’re replacing an old copy!

Researcher Highlight

We love to highlight our members on social media to spread the word about international development work taking place at Purdue. Fill out our brief survey to let us know about your project!