Forbes magazine released its sixth annual 30 Under 30 list this month, honoring 600 emerging leaders across 20 industries. This year's list recognized seven Northwestern alumni innovators and featured one alumnus from last year's honorees as an "All-Star Alumni."
Allen and Dandie cofounded pilotED Schools, originally an after-school program to "develop strong identities in black and brown scholars." After finding success outside of the classroom, the pair plan to launch their own K-8 "identity-based" charter school in 2018.
Currently an assistant professor of engineering science and mechanics at Pennsylvania State University, Cheng earned both his master's degree and PhD at Northwestern. During his time at the University he helped research the first stretchable lithium-ion battery. His claim to fame now: developing electronic tattoos that dissolve into the human body.
Downing graduated in 2008 with a degree in chemical engineering from the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Now an assistant professor at the University of California, Irvine, Downing studies stem cell and tissue engineering.
A founding member of IBM's Digital Innovation Lab, Komisar ranked with the best of consumer technology leaders. She earned a degree in political science and global health from Northwestern in 2009. She previously worked in digital health and innovation for the Clinton Foundation.
Struck, who was honored in the venture capital category, started his first business after graduating from the Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. He sold that company, Long Island Beverages, and has since founded his own fund, Struck Capital. In a new release, Struck said, “Four years of exploration (at Northwestern) allowed me to figure out not only what I wanted to do — but most importantly, what I did not want to do.”
Tolly works in analytics—specifically, writing algorithms for Caterpillar to make their machines smarter. The data scientist earned a master's degree in integrated marketing in 2013 through the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications.
In addition to these honorees, Forbes listed Cary Hayner, a PhD candidate in chemical and biological engineering and the cofounder of SiNode Systems, a startup with roots at Northwestern, as an "All-Star Alumni." Hayner had previously made the list in 2016 for his work in improving lithium-ion batteries.