Dr. Robert Stoner, Director

Rob StonerDr. Robert Stoner is Deputy Director of the MIT Energy Initiative and Director of the Tata Center for Technology and Design. His current research interests include energy technology and policy for developing countries, as well as design for resource-constrained settings.

Having worked extensively in academia and industry throughout his career, Dr. Stoner has built and managed successful technology businesses in the semiconductor, IT, and optics industries. From 2007 through 2009, he lived and worked in Africa and India while serving in a variety of senior roles within the Clinton Foundation. Dr. Stoner earned his Bachelor’s degree in engineering physics from Queen’s University, and his Ph.D. from Brown University in condensed matter physics.

Dr. Diane Rigos, Executive Director

Diane Rigos headshotDr. Angeliki Diane Rigos is Executive Director of the Tata Center for Technology and Design.

Her career has spanned both industrial and academic positions, including Principal Scientist at Physical Sciences Inc., Associate Professor and Chair of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Merrimack College, and Executive Consultant at Levitan & Associates, Inc.

Her research interests have ranged from materials modeling and reaction dynamics to power price forecasting and analysis.

Dr. Rigos received a B.A. in Chemistry from Cornell University, a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and an M.B.A. from Northeastern University.

Dr. Jason Prapas, Translational Research Director

Jason Prapas headshotDr. Jason Prapas is the Translational Research Director at the Tata Center for Technology and Design. He leads the Center’s efforts to shape and position promising projects for large-scale deployment and social impact in developing countries.

Dr. Prapas has been working in energy R&D for over a decade. His experiences in research laboratories and startup companies span a diverse array of topics including algae biofuels, advanced composite materials, and thermo-mechanical devices for the energy poor. He serves on the boards of several organizations including Village Industrial Power, Sistema Biobolsa, and DEMAND, ASME’s Global Development Review.

Before coming to MIT, Dr. Prapas was the CTO and co-founder of Factor(E) Ventures, a technology-focused impact investing firm with offices in the US, India, and East Africa.

Dr. Prapas received his B.Sc. in Physics from Brandeis University, his M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from Tufts University, and his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Colorado State University’s Energy Institute.

Dr. Chintan Vaishnav, Academic Director

Dr. Chintan Vaishnav is the Academic Director of the Tata Center, a Senior Lecturer at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and a member of the founding team of MIT Tata Center for Technology and Design.

He is a socio-technologist, an engineer trained to understand human as well as technological complexity in large systems. His current research focuses on creating information based socio-technical solutions in agriculture and water sectors, and on improving decision support by underserved communities, policymakers, and managers. He teaches Tata Center’s core course on Technology, Design, and Entrepreneurship in Emerging Communities. Prior to MIT, he was a researcher at the Bell Laboratory.

Dr. Vaishnav holds a B.S. and M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from RVCE, Bangalore and CSU, Fort Collins, respectively; an MS and PhD in Technology, Management and Policy (now IDDS) from MIT. He also holds a B.A. in Indian Classical Music.

Dr. Reja Amatya, Research Scientist

Reja_Amatya_postReja Amatya is a Research Scientist at the MIT Energy Initiative, and leading two separate energy projects within the Tata Center that focus on rural electrification in India. She is also involved in the Universal Access projects focusing on the African nations of Kenya and Rwanda.

She received her B.S. degree in engineering science from Smith College, Northampton, MA in 2005, and her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA in 2008 and 2012, respectively.

Steering Committee

Executive Committee

  • Robert C. Armstrong, MIT Energy Initiative, Director
  • Robert Stoner, MIT Energy Initiative, Deputy Director
  • Charles Fine, Sloan School of Management
  • Sanjay Sarma, MIT Director of Digital Learning


  • Shivangi Misra, Communications Manager
  • Gail Monahan, Senior Administrative Assistant
  • Jazy Ma, Financial Coordinator