PhD Adviser Wins Award

I’m pleased to announce that my PhD thesis adviser, Prof. Ahmed Ghoniem, has just received the MIT “Committed to Caring Award”!  This award is given to a select group of MIT professors each fall based on student nominations.  Read the full piece here.



New Publication

The last chapter of my PhD thesis has just been accepted for publication in the Journal of the Electrochemical Society!  The DOI will be available soon under my publication tab.  In the meantime, enjoy the first figure from my paper below, which shows the different ways that current is produced in a fuel cell:


My First Patent

My lawyers just filed my patent with the USPTO today, so I now have a patent to my name!  It is for a breast pump attachment I designed that allows mothers to feed their baby breast milk as they’re pumping it out, as shown below.  The official title of the patent is a”Reservoir and Feeding System for Use with Breast Pumps.”  My recent market research (with over 2,000 responses) also indicates that there’s a large market for this product.  I hope to license the IP out to a breast pump company this fall so that they can manufacture and sell it on the market.  Stay tuned…

Pumping Image

Summer Teaching Program

I’ve been enjoying my summer post-graduation teaching female high school students about mechanical engineering at MIT!  It’s part of the Women’s Technology Program that invites 20 top female students to MIT for a month before their senior year of high school.  As an instructor, I’ve enjoyed designing lectures that introduce them to the major disciplines of MechE (i.e. Static Forces, Structures, etc.)  I’ve also supplemented these lectures with hands-on demos, including a visit with the MIT Gymnastics Club (picture below) to reinforce concepts I taught in my Rotational Motion lecture.  I designed a worksheet where the girls recorded the time it took for gymnasts to complete various skills and then use that data to calculate angular speeds, accelerations, etc.  Now these students won’t be able to watch gymnastics at these summer Olympics without analyzing the gymnasts’ rotation skills!  I can’t wait to be a professor…

Revised Gym Image


Call me doctor!

I am happy to announce that I passed my PhD thesis defense on May 12th!  I am now officially Dr. Katherine Ong, and I look forward to receiving my doctoral hood and walking in the June commencement ceremony.  The following graphic summarizes my thesis contributions by chapter, and the full thesis will be made available in the MIT thesis database soon.


Thesis Flow-chart Conclusion

ELLE Breast Pump Article

An article addressing breast pump innovation (or lack thereof) was just released in ELLE.  I’m quoted a couple of times later in the piece, and the writer mentions my plans to patent my new breast pump concept this summer.  The author does an excellent job explaining the sluggish progress of innovation in this field while still providing hope for a better breast pump in the near future.

MIT News release

This week MIT News ran a piece featuring my early PhD thesis research on carbon fuel cell systems, based on my paper recently published in the Journal of Power Sources.  It’s great that my research is getting out to the public, and I hope it gets conversation going about how to use fossil fuels for power production more efficiently!