Our Team

Project Invent is a group of educators, engineers, entrepreneurs, professors, students, parents, and more who are passionate about young people changing the world through design thinking, engineering, and entrepreneurship.



Connie Liu,
Founder & director

Connie is a mechanical engineer from MIT, passionate educator, and founder of Project Invent. She most recently taught design thinking & engineering at the Nueva School, one of the first K12 design thinking programs in the country. Now, she runs Project Invent to inspire high school students nationwide to invent technologies that make a difference. She is also an engineer and inventor in her own right, focused on designing assistive technologies to empower those with disabilities. 


Catherine SupneT,
Chief Designer

Catherine is a visual designer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She currently works full-time at Replicon Software as a Graphic Designer, creating print and web visuals as well as marketing collateral. She was previously the Design & Media Manager of SkyDeck, UC Berkeley's startup accelerator. During her spare time, she enjoys digital illustration and designing creative assets for nonprofits such as Project Invent.


Student Fellows

Students are the core of our work. That's why we incorporate their insights into everything we do. They co-design the curriculum, share input for organization-level decisions, spearhead community partnerships, and more.


Justin zhang,
Design & outreach 

Justin is an aspiring mechanical engineer at the Nueva School. Co-founding Nueva's Invention Studio and working on team Stria allowed him to discover the power of design engineering to develop human-centered products that address real-world problems. In Project Invent, he hopes to help more people learn about design thinking and encourage them to become powerful change makers. 


Maya chawla,
social media manager

Maya is a sophomore at The Nueva School. When not spending time solving real world problems with design engineering, Maya can be found running cross country or track, playing the piano, or with her nose in a really good book. This year Maya is a team lead for a team building technologies to help ESL youth learn English.


Maddie park,
Curriculum & strategy

Madeline is a junior at The Nueva School. She enjoys being a varsity track and cross country runner, a member of the Physics research team, and a member of her school’s science podcast club, Project 80. She is also the co-captain of Nueva’s design engineering for social impact club, Invention Studio, and member of the team working on blindness, Stria.


Tyler Groshong,
Video & Media 

Tyler is a junior at The Nueva School. As an independent filmmaker, Tyler has produced dozens of promotional and commercial videos for companies up and down the peninsula, from small nonprofit theatre companies to Stanford medical school. He is also a Junior at The Nueva School in San Mateo with a passion for biology, and a member of Actor’s Equity Association.


Advisory Board


Suranga Nanayakkara

Suranga is an Associate Professor at the University of Auckland. He founded the Augmented Human Lab which creates ways to enable human-computer interfaces as natural extensions of our body, mind and behavior.  Suranga has been recognized as young inventor under 35 (TR35 award) by the MIT TechReview, Ten Outstanding Young Professionals by JCI Sri Lanka, and INK Fellow 2016.


Maria Yang

Maria Yang is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and MacVicar Faculty Fellow at MIT, and is founder and director of the Ideation Lab (ideation.mit.edu) and Faculty Academic Director for the MIT D-Lab. Her work in design, focuses on the key role of design representation in driving the early stages of the design process, from consumer products to complex, large scale systems.


Maureen carroll

Maureen is the Founder of Lime Design and a lecturer at Stanford’s d.school where she co-teaches Hacking Your Innovation Mindset. She was also the director of Stanford University's REDlab, which conducts research on design thinking and learning. She has worked with schools, businesses and non-profit organizations around the globe building capacity for innovative cultures. 


Sergio Monsalve

Sergio J. Monsalve is an Entrepreneur-In-Residence and lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. He is also an investor at Norwest Venture Partners and is on the board of various education companies, including Udemy, Adaptive Insights (Sold to Workday), Alma Campus, Motif, and Kahoot! Monsalve has also held various leadership roles in high-growth technology companies like eBay, Paypal, and Portal Software (IPO during tenure).


Governing Board

Michelle Fishburne Headshot.png

Michelle Fishburne

Michelle is active in the InventEd community, and most recently worked as Director of Communications for The STEMIE Coalition. Her and her teenage daughter, inventor Alexis Lewis, advocate for invention education across the US and have been featured in the Smithsonian Magazine and more.  


Scott Swaaley

Scott is former Assistant Director of the Nueva I-Lab, was an award-winning educator at High Tech High, and is now founder of Make Safe Tools. He also runs a project-based learning consultancy called GRITLab and was the feature of the documentary films Most Likely to Succeed and Beyond Measure.