Hi, I'm Nicole.

I’m an Industrial Designer & Engineer focused on tackling tough problems with elegant, intentional design and bringing sustainable, equitable technology solutions to the people who need it most. I have most recently worked on industrial design and humanitarian program development at Elroy Air, in partnership with one of the largest aid organizations in the world.

I am a former NASA JPL Engineer, hold a Masters in Design Impact Engineering from Stanford University, where I focused my thesis research on Disaster Resilience and was a shop TA at the Product Realization Lab. I also co-founded a nonprofit operation called PRÓXIM8 for poverty reduction and economic inclusion of marginalized communities in Latin America and continue to serve on the board as Chief Design & Technology Officer.
Arrow down


I have experience in humanitarian aid and sustainability design work both with NGOs and startups, including disaster aid and express logistics products, and more efficient coral restoration tools. Additionally, I have 2 years of experience working in a prototyping and machine shop called the Stanford Product Realization Lab.
research, IDEATION, sketching, model-making
CAD (Solidworks, Fusion360), renderiNg (Keyshot)
Adobe CC (Ai, Ps, LrC, Id), FIGMA
VIEW my portfolio→


I have experience in climate-equity and international development work and have partnered across NGOs, governments, and the private sector around sustainable income generation, dignified disaster relief, and household water purification, often employing innovative co-design techniques.
Learn more about:
PrÓXIMO: Dignified work for all →React: Flood Mapping Project →SunFilter Water Purification →


Prior to graduate school, I worked for 3 years at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), developing and testing electronic systems for both the Psyche asteroid exploration mission and the Perseverance Mars Rover.

My work included conducting testing and debug of Mars Rover & Descent stage motor control hardware in a class 10000 cleanroom, serving as Board Integration & Test Deputy Lead for a team of 8 engineers, and designing electronic configurations and manufacturing plans for the Command & Data Handling system to observe the metal asteroid Psyche. While there, I received the JPL Discovery Award for my contributions.

However, in 2017, after a string of hurricanes battered the Caribbean, where my family lives, I found it impossible to focus on anything other than the millions left without power, without clean water, without a roof, without access to essential services. I made the decision to leave my career at NASA in pursuit of working on problems with more direct social impact.

Exploratory work

I believe that intentional design communicates care. I think a lot about how to elegantly weave together the emotional and physical in the things I create, how to create intuitive things that feel like they were made just for you, and how to capture the essence of complex ideas and communicate them spatially to create points of connection and inspire important conversations. To that end, I love exploring the affordances of different mediums and manufacturing processes, including wood, metal, plastics, textiles, electronics, ceramics, watercolor, photography, and found materials.

More About Me

I grew up between northern Virginia and Puerto Rico with a large, close-knit Cuban and Puerto Rican family. In my spare time, I can often be found undertaking volunteer or DIY projects, playing beach volleyball, or spending time with friends and family. I am also a passionate traveler. Among my favorite trips have been Egypt, which amazed me with it’s ancient history showing how engineering and art have been deeply connected for over 3600 years, and Brazil, for its natural beauty and spirit of the people. And a fun fact: I’m a latin dancer and was a salsa choreographer for Princeton’s latin dance company - our shows sold out!

Let's Connect

Arrow up