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Koi Clock Face I created this marble and granite clock face for my mother, who often paints watercolors of koi and lilies. I completely designed, built, and custom packaged this 24� diameter piece in a total of 11 work days as part of a waterjet workshop. To build this clock face, I learned how to use the water jet, the OMAX CAD program and Adobe Illustrator. Challenges included: limited resources, tile color inconsistencies, Illustrator to OMAX incompatibilities, material fragility and complexity of design.

Above: The waterjetting machine used to cut the tiles Above Right: An OMAX toolpath Right: Leftover tile after a carefully planned cut

Clock Face Workshop | Spring 2011 Although I initially conceptualized it to be a simple acrylic 12� x 12� clock face, my curiosity pushed me to create a more complex design, using unconventional materials. Thus, I decided to use stone (granite and marble) and incorporate the lily pads and lily (which I transformed from 8-points to 12-points to correspond to the hours on a typical clock face) into my design. Many hours of design time and careful pre-planning were required for my clock face to be successfully built.

Pencil sketch of clock

12-Point Lily

Colored in sketch

Layout in OMAX

Digitized, with lily and pads

Color assignment

Brass Rat






One of the most recognizable rings in the world, the Brass Rat, MIT’s class ring, is redesigned each year by a select group of students from the class –the Ring Committee. While major features of the ring are kept according to tradition, most aspects of the design are left for the Committee to create and customize as a representation of their class’s undergraduate experience. For the Class of 2013, I was one of ten selected members to be on the committee. In addition to contributing many creative design elements, my individual role was to write and edit all written and spoken publications from the committee, such as the text descriptions for the ring details that is written on our website ( ringcomm/).

Ring Committee | May 2010 - May 2011 Ring Committee was given a $70k budget, which was used for promoting ring sales, as well as the facilitation of two large-scale events, Ring Premiere, where the Brass Rat design is revealed, and Ring Delivery, a formal event at which members of the class receive their Brass Rats. The Class of 2013 Brass Rat has already proved to be a success. We sold 1,614 rings within the first two weeks of sales –the most rings sold in that time period in all previous Brass Rat history!

Ring Premiere was held at MIT’s Kresge Auditorium. Students lined up six hours before the event start to claim their Brass Rat souvenirs!

Ring Delivery was held at the State Room, a popular location for formal events in North Boston.

Jules Our team of five developed a working prototype of “Jules,” a children’s jellyfish bath toy that lights up in various mixtures of colors depending on which tentacles are bent. We presented our prototype to a large group of industry representatives and members of the MIT community. Jules has garnered interest from a licensing agency and may be pitched to LeapFrog Enterprises as a teaching toy.

Jules’ head is made of an acrylic shell that is embedded with RGB LED’s and covered in silicone rubber. Jules’ is controlled with an arduino microchip. The above series of pictures sequences Jules going through a rainbow pattern.

Initial concept sketch

Alpha prototype of Jules

Jules and the team after the presentation

Toy Product Design | Spring 2010

The tentacles of Jules each contain a novel springrod sensor. Each tentacle contains a spring and concentric armature wire. When a tentacle is bent, the spring comes in contact with the wire, closing the circuitry inside Jules and activating the light pattern corresponding with that tentacle. My personal contributions to the project were in creating the initial concept sketch of Jules, molding and casting the silicone body, as well as to track the group’s financial budget.

Spring-rod sensor demonstration

Solidworks model of Jules

Assembly sketch of tentacle mold

Fish Bowl YoYo Our team of six was charged with the task of designing and manufacturing a highly reproducible yo-yo. Since many members of our team are involved with aquatic sports, we decided to create a “fish bowl’ inspired yo-yo. One of the design challenges we faced was to create an optimized injection molding process that allowed our water-filled yo-yo to be water tight while still being easy to assemble.

Left: Short shots and plastic burns encountered during optimization Below: Disassembled view of yo-yo

Snap Ring







Design and Manufacturing II | Spring 2011 Our team divided responsibilities into three distinct injection molded parts and one thermoformed piece. I was personally responsible for the injection molded press-fit ring. I designed the piece in Solidworks and created the mold using Mastercam and a CNC lathe and mill. I produced over 100 rings for our 50 yo-yos. In addition, I was responsible for compiling all the data taken from our production processes and used Excel to create the relevant charts and diagrams necessary to analyze our data.









      Molds used to create our snap-fit rings

Charts I created using Microsoft Excel

Eco-Friendly Office Products MIT’s graduate level Product Design class is a projectcentered subject addressing transformation of ideas into successful products which are properly matched to the user and the market. This year’s client, Staples, has asked the class to create eco-friendly office products. My seven-member group, the Ream Team, has created product storyboards, concept sketches and conducted user experience analyses for various products and ideas.

Graduate Level Product Design | Spring 2012  Left: Concept sketch and storyboard for SwitchSense, a motion and sound sensing light switch adapter Right: Concept sketch for Eco-Shred, a paper shredder than harvests leftover white space for note paper Below: Concept sketch for a power strip that monitors power usage and prevents appliances from drawing power when not in use. The product also features retractable outlets.

North Pole Call Center

Engineering, Innovation and Design | Fall 2011

The North Pole Call Center is a Christmasthemed voice recognition system for kids to call and talk to Santa’s elves. When the child calls, they have a “conversation” with one of four elf personas discussing their likes, interests, and what the child wants for Christmas. The system stores the child’s wishlist as a recording and texts the phone (presumably the parent’s) after the call is ended. Parents can then listen to and download their child’s wishlist recording and share it with other family members.

My individual role was to create the 142-page printed deliverable that details all the features of the system. The Christmas-themed document showcases the team’s hard work, thought process and creativity. I also compiled user survey results to provide feedback for the system’s user experience design. At the final class presentations, our four-student team was awarded “Most Innovative Design” by Angel IVR Systems, whose technology was used to create the voice recognition system.

Above Left: Christmas themed group deliverable Far Left: The group, post-presentation Left: Example text user receives after calling the system

Design Mentoring Waterjet Workshop During January of this year, I independently organized, developed and taught the curriculum for a two-week workshop teaching seven students how to use a waterjet. The course centered around marble and granite clock faces, much like the one I made in a similar workshop during Spring 2011. In order to raise funds for the class, I wrote research proposals, applied for grants, and communicated with administrators in the Mechanical Engineering Department. Top: A student laying out pieces cut by the waterjet Right: Her assembled sea and sun inspired clock

Toy Product Design I am currently a lab mentor for Team Lobster in this semester’s Toy Product Design class. I work with a partner instructor to advise the five students on the team. We provide feedback and suggestions through the entire design process, from ideation to final working prototype. We also aid them with rapid prototyping and using shop tools, as most of the students are freshmen. Left: Our lobster mascot, who “feels like a Sir� with the added adornments that I created

Brand Design

Amphibious Achievement

Amphibious Achievement is a dual athletic and academic mentorship program for Boston area high school students. As Public Relations Chair since the program’s founding in Spring 2011, I am responsible for managing publicity campaigns and designing all promotional material (shirts, flyers, emails, etc). Last semester, I was responsible for establishing a brand identity for Amphibious Achievement. I promoted the program through promotional t-shirts, posters, emails, brochures and chalk advertisements. Through my work, our presence was successfully established on campus and even allowed us to triple our membership. I also designed the group’s logo and website graphics and have implemented creative classroom techniques into program’s academic curriculum. Right: Bullet points created for website Far Right: Promotional shirt Below: Posters used during recruiting campaigns

Kappa Alpha Theta

Graphic Design

My responsibilities are designing and ordering all chapter apparel. To do this, I research current trends in Greek life apparel and survey sisters to satisfy the chapter’s desires. I work with our Marketing and Finance Officers to project a positive campus image. I have also done some graphic design work for the sorority. Right: A Facebook cover photo I created for our Open House event Below: Various shirt designs I created for my sorority

Artwork With an art professor for a dad and an architecture school attendee for a mom, my life has been surrounded by the arts. It’s a favorite pastime of mine. Below are a few examples of my work over the years! Oil on canvas


Graphite on paper (unfinished)

About Me My name is Elina Hu and I love designing! Not only do I enjoy the mechanical and aesthetic components, but also the human factors aspect. Currently, I am a junior at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology majoring in mechanical engineering with focus on product design. I am also pursuing a minor in psychology. Outside of class, I am captain of MIT’s Varsity Swimming and Diving Team, which has been one of my most rewarding (and time consuming) activities at MIT. Each year, I have travelled to the Division III NCAA Championships, which has earned me NCAA AllAmerican Honorable Mention as well as NCAA Scholar All-American honors. I am also heavily involved in my sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, and a community service group, Amphibious Achievement. For the future, I want to immerse myself in product design, which is the perfect application for my unique combination of passions and academic interests. I hope to dedicate my future to designing products that are not only pleasing in form and function, but also create meaning by improving the lives of the user.

Contact Me Campus Address 27 Massachusetts Avenue Apartment 3 Boston, MA 02115

Home Address 4365 Bellhaven Lane Oshkosh, WI 54904

Digital Info 920.410.5070

Elina's Portfolio  
Elina's Portfolio  

Compilation of works from the past few years.