Alumni

Augustina Ullman | Founder, President, THIMBY Project Manager

B.A. Urban Studies

Augustina had worked closely with low-income communities in various homeless shelters and non-profits in South Central Los Angeles prior to her time at Cal. Her various internships in architecture, interior design, and construction firms further refined and shaped her professional trajectory, as she realized a strong desire to work in public service and city planning. She is particularly passionate about the dynamics of forced migration and their relation to the built environment, and aims to explore how climate change currently drives displacement as the climate crisis escalates in the coming decades.

Shane Wright | THIMBY 2.0 Project Manager

B.S. Environmental Economics and Policy

Shane has a huge passion for creating sustainable systems and serving underrepresented communities. He is extremely excited about creating a cost-effective, scalable tiny house model that can be used as a remedy for both the housing and environmental crises. Shane quite literally lives, breaths, and sleeps (in) tiny houses. He and his girlfriend live in a tiny house they built out of a UHAUL truck. When Shane isn’t building or working, he is usually driving his tiny house up the coast looking for waves.

Abigail Kirk | THIMBY 2.0 Project Manager

B.S. Environmental Economics and Policy

Abigail, standing at 5’3″, truly understands that great things come in small packages. In her free time, she loves to kayak, backpack, run — anything that gets her adrenaline flowing. But spending time outdoors constantly reminds her that having a home to come back to should not be a luxury; it is a basic human right. She is passionate about the environment and her community. This project helped facilitate the combination of desire to make effective change and interest in sustainable development.

Sean Farkas | THIMBY 2.0 Director of Marketing & Media

B.A. Media Studies, Minor in Sustainable Design

Sean studied media and marketing to foster his growth in the digitized industry of marketing and content branding. With strong skills already acquired from his work with a large-scale agency based out of Los Angeles, Sean was equipped with the necessary tools to drive THIMBY forward with a powerful social presence. When Sean isn’t studying or working, you can catch him surfing, skating, backpacking, camping, climbing, and snowboarding — sometimes all at once.

Jeshua John | THIMBY 2.0 Director of Finance & Social Impact

B.S. Business Administration, Minor in Global Poverty & Practice

Jeshua studied at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He cares deeply about human rights, poverty alleviation, and corporate social responsibility. For the THIMBY project, Jeshua will be working at the intersection of finance and social impact. He loves to travel or play beach volleyball.

Lucas Gomes | THIMBY 2.0 Director of Communications

B.S. Environmental Sciences

Lucas was the acting Point of Contact for the THIMBY 2.0 project, excited to start applying his education to fostering positive changes within the local — and eventually global — communities. His role within the project was to establish consistent and effective communications between the THIMBY team and the City of Richmond in order to ensure that the project is well-aligned with everybody’s goals.

Mauricio Zamora | THIMBY 2.0 Director of Construction

M.A. Architecture

Mauricio was an M. Arch student at UC Berkeley who has always been interested in tiny homes as a solution for secure housing and financial freedom. He knows first-hands, that it is crucial for smaller space to be multi-functional in order to accommodate the people living there as well as maximizing the potential of the space. He believes that THIMBY 2.0 will have a positive impact on the community it is serving. In his spare time, you will find Mauricio playing basketball, cooking, making music, and everything in between. 

Nadine Aderhold | THIMBY 2.0 Marketing Team Member

B.A. Architecture

Having grown up in Silicon Valley and experienced pervasive gentrification and homelessness in the Bay Area, Nadine is passionate about exploring effective solutions that alleviate the crippling housing crisis we currently face. She was particularly excited THIMBY 2.0’s ability to demonstrate the power of tiny homes to provide an environmentally-conscious, scalable, and impactful alternative to traditional housing. If you wondered who the person behind the social media and blog posts was… surprise, it’s Nadine! When she has free time, you can usually find her traveling the world, checking out new places to eat around the Bay , or having a great time at concerts.

Ian Bolliger | THIMBY 1.0 Project Manager

B.S. M.S./Ph.D Energy & Resources

Ian’s work has involved applying mathematical modeling techniques to a variety of contexts, from interior convection in Venus, to injury prevalence, to sacrifice bunting, to college baseball games. A graduate of Harvard University with a B.A. in Applied Mathematics and a focus in geophysics, he spent three years modeling health burden at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation before coming to UC Berkeley. He is excited to have a hand in all aspects of the THIMBY 1.0 project and is particularly enthusiastic about implementing the results of energy modeling and design into real, physical systems.

Oriya Cohen | THIMBY 1.0 Media Coordinator

B.A. Environmental Design

As a former environmental design student, Oriya is interested in the intersection of sustainable design and economic empowerment in the urban setting. In the context of this project, he is specifically interested in the potential scalibility of tiny house communities as a sustainable solution for low-income housing. 

AJ Glassman | THIMBY 1.0 Videographer

B.A. Urban Studies

AJ is a third-year undergraduate at UC Berkeley. His past work in videography and digital media has involved nonfiction work with local community organizations including local access cable. AJ is excited to combine his skillset in video production with his passion for learning new things and working with his hands. As an Urban Studies, he is interested in the impact that tiny houses and tiny living have as alternatives to current land use patterns and as potential opportunity for infill development. 

Kenny Gotlieb | THIMBY 1.0 Sponsorships Director

Ph.D Applied Science and Technology

During his time on the THIMBY project, Kenny’s research focused on electronic properties of exotic new materials. He has experience with electronic circuitry and recently built a boat in his backyard.

Caroline Karmann | THIMBY 1.0 Design Director

Ph.D Architecture and Building Science

During her time on the THIMBY project, Caroline’s research focused on indoor environmental quality for buildings using radiant systems. Before returning to graduate school, she worked for four years at Transsolar Energietechnik where she specialized in daylight simulation and energy analysis. In the context of the THIMBY project, Caroline is specifically interested in the design of indoor spaces and of the envelope.

Laney Siegner | THIMBY 1.0 Agriculture Lead

M.A. Energy and Resources Group

Laney studied green urban design principles as an undergraduate at Tufts University. She helped design a water storage system for an Engineers Without Borders project, and is an avid urban gardener interested in the use of plants and plant waste materials for energy provision.

Sara Tepfer | THIMBY 1.0 Member

M.A. Architecture, M.S. Building Science

As Sara’s interests include passive heating and cooling design and evaluation, energy efficiency, energy modeling tools for early design phases, and materials hazard assessment. During the THIMBY project, her research focused on the intersection between architecture, public health, and chemistry, analyzing tools and metrics for characterizing hazards in building materials.

Emily Woods | THIMBY 1.0 Water & Waste Lead

M.S./Ph.D Energy and Resources Group

A graduate of Georgia Tech with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. A selection of her work includes drilling water wells in Central America, designing solar systems for Yellowstone National Park, and water distribution systems in Cameroon. She began her work in fecal sludge as a research engineer for Georgia Tech Research and created her own start-up company, Sanivation, to focus on solar treatment of human waste and conversion to charcoal in Kenya. She plans on using her time at ERG to research further development of feces to energy. 

Imran Sheikh | THIMBY 1.0 HVAC Lead

M.S./Ph.D Energy and Resources Group

Imran has almost ten years of experience working in the energy efficiency space at the Rocky Mountain Institute, Johnson Controls, and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. This work has spanned residential energy efficiency, commercial building control systems, redesign of large industrial facilities, and engineering education for radical resources efficiency.

Sauming Seto | THIMBY 1.0 Logistics Director

M.B.A. Haas School of Business

Sauming’s professional experience in consulting and project management has spanned a number of clients in the Fortune 500. As a graduate of the University of Illinois with a B.S. in Finance and a B.S. in Accountancy, she is interested in design and sustainability initiatives and participates in Sustainability and Smart Building service business development through her current experience in management consulting. In THIMBY, Sauming was excited to learn more about design, materials, the building process, and the scalability of the project for impacts on the social space.

Sabrina Werts | THIMBY 1.0 Communications Director

B.A. English, Public Health

Sabrina studied English, Public Health, and Public Policy. She is particularly interested in the intersection of urban planning and public health, and is excited to be part of a team dedicated to contributing to the conversation about housing’s role in creating healthy, sustainable communities.

Brett Webster | THIMBY 1.0 Construction Manager, Structural Lead

M.P.P. Goldman School of Public Policy

Brett’s focus is on energy and environmental policy, with specific interests in energy storage, building efficiency, and climate policy. Before coming to Berkeley, Brett spent nine years teaching for the National Outdoor Leadership School, leading expeditions to remote, glaciated mountain ranges in Alaska and Chilean Patagonia. Between seasons, he worked as a carpenter and developed an interested in sustainable, efficient practices and design.

Brooke Maushund | THIMBY 1.0 Electrical Integration Engineer

B.S. Energy Systems, Conservation Resource Studies

After doing various other research on campus and spending time working on renewable energy projects in rural Nicaragua, she conducted research on decentralized renewables with the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory and Power For All, led California Renewable and Adaptable Energy’s research groups on micro-grids in developing settings, worked as the Solar Energy Plan Developer for the City of Berkeley, served as Co-President of BERC Undergrad, and was the President of Cal Ski Team. Her love of renewable energy systems and preserving the climate make her extremely excited to work on THIMBY’s electrical system — not to mention it’s every skier’s dream to get up close and personal with tiny house! On weekends, she can be found surfing or climbing around the Bay.

Nancy Stetson | THIMBY 1.0 Financial Director

M.P.P Goldman School of Public Policy

Nancy had recently completed a report for the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Oregon examining the feasibility of tiny home villages as a cost-effective way to house the homeless before coming to Cal. She is interested in the policy implications of tiny homes as affordable housing and the possibility of scaling up THIMBY’s tiny home model.

Gawain Kessner | THIMBY 1.0 Construction Safety Officer

B.S. Conservation and Resource Studies

Gawain’s honors work in the College of Natural Resources on heat transfer and 25 years as a Licensed General Contractor merged naturally with the inspiration of the THIMBY project. Born and raised in Berkeley with environmental action in his DNA, Gawain was inspired by THIMBY’s goals of improving human impacts on the planet and as a living lab, demonstrating the potential of conservation and pollution reduction to improve the livability of our communities.

Kit Elsworth | THIMBY 1.0 Design Director

M.S. Building Science

During his time in THIMBY, Kit’s research focused on studying indoor environmental quality of buildings and methods of producing desirable indoor environments in an energy and resource efficient manner. In addition, Kit has researched the design and performance of passive cooling techniques and is interested in existing building commissioning. Before returning to graduate school, Kit worked as a sustainability consultant, providing design phase consulting for architectural design teams.

 

Chris Detjen | THIMBY 1.0 Member

M.A. Architecture

Chris is interested in designing beautiful, functional structures that make the most of natural sources of light and heat. Previously, Chris worked in the energy efficiency sector, where he built demonstration programs that showcase the capabilities of efficient lighting and lighting control technologies. At Berkeley, he worked with light (both natural and artificial) as a means of improving energy performance and aesthetic experience in buildings.

Roopika Subramanian | THIMBY 1.0 Grant Coordinator

J.D. School of Law

Roopika’s interests include healthy community planning, sustainable resource management, environmental justice, and energy law. Her work in California policy has spanned a variety of issues, including stormwater, climate adaptation, and energy efficiency. 

Zach Gima | THIMBY 1.0 Engineering Director

M.S./Ph.D Mechanical Engineering

Zach’s research involves advanced manufacturing for energy, specifically printable batteries. He has experience building structures and rainwater catchment systems as a previous project manager for Engineers Without Borders.

David Rothblum | THIMBY 1.0 Financial Director

B.S. Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering

David’s prior work has given him experience with construction project management and electrical systems. In addition to his major, David studied energy engineering and public policy. He is excited about creating environmentally sustainable buildings and the potential scalability of the tiny house model to confront challenges of affordable housing.

The following is an incomplete list of our former members. If you believe you were mistakenly left out, please let us know!