WHO WE ARE:
Burn Design Lab (BDL), a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is a cutting edge improved cookstove research institution located on Vashon Island, Washington, 18 miles from downtown Seattle.
With experience in numerous types of home and institutional biomass fueled cookstoves on three continents, BDL has the necessary expertise to carry out nearly any type of cookstove project around the globe.
BDL's founder and senior advisor, Peter Scott, has worked on cookstove development in the developing world for over two decades. In this time, Peter has gained a wealth of experience and an approach to stove design that values flexibility, creativity and a close connection to the needs of end users. BDL engineers follow an integrated approach including modeling, design, prototyping, testing, and user evaluation. Balanced consideration is given to meeting objectives for reduced emission, increased efficiency, firepower, safety, durability and cost. BDL draws engineers from top schools in the nation and benefits from the contributions of local veterans of K2, Microsoft and Weyerhaeuser.
BDL also partners with other organizations to design stoves for specific projects. Our current partners include the University of Washington, Berkeley Air Monitoring Group, Burn Manufacturing Co., IMA World Health and the Guatemalan government. Visit our "Current Projects" section to learn more.
If you represent an organization interested in partnering with BDL on a cookstove project please visit our contact page.
The People of BURN Design Lab
Peter Scott - Founder
Peter Scott is the founder and a senior advisor of Burn Design Lab. Peter is considered to be one of the world's leading experts in the design, and dissemination of biomass conserving technologies in the developing world. In 1990, Peter committed his life to saving the forests of Africa. Since that time, he has designed a number of fuel-efficient technologies and trained producers in over 20 countries to set up for-profit businesses. His trainees have constructed over 400,000 stoves, bread ovens, food dryers, and tobacco curing systems. Peter was selected by Foreign Policy Magazine as one of the Top Global Thinkers of 2010 and in 2013 was profiled by Entrepreneur magazine and Current TV. Peter is also the Founder and CEO of Burn Manufacturing Corp.
Paul Means - Executive Director
Prior to joining Burn Design Lab in 2012, Paul worked 28 years for Weyerhaeuser Company including: 9 years in Research & Development, 8 years as Power & Recovery Manager, and 11 years in a variety of project & process engineering roles. Paul's technical expertise includes energy systems, power generation, wood drying, wood combustion, biomass processing, pelletization, & torrefaction. Annually for the past 8 years, Paul has lead teams to remote villages in Guatemala to install improved cookstoves with Hands for Peacemaking Foundation. Prior to taking the position of Executive Director, Paul was Research & Testing Manager for Burn. Paul graduated with a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Washington State University and an MS in Mechanical Engineering from Oregon State University. Paul is a registered Professional Engineer in Washington State.
Joe Gilmour - Materials & Design Engineer
Joe Gilmour has worked for BURN since September 2014 following the completion of his degree in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Washington. While at Burn Joe has contributed to a better understanding of the durability and lifetime stoves with insights into material selection and quality. He has also developed his 3D modeling skills while assisting with and leading the design of active stove projects. Joe is a native of Vashon Island and loves working in his hometown to create a cleaner and safer hometown for the users of the stoves BURN produces.
Art Sullivan - Mechanical Engineering Fellow
Art came to Burn Design Lab last year looking for an opportunity to work on interesting and unique design challenges. This position is his first full time job since receiving his degree in mechanical engineering from Cornell University in 2014. During his time with BDL Art has led the design of the new stick fed rocket stove, a project he has found to be enlightening and fulfilling. He is optimistic that his employment at Burn Design Lab will leave a positive impact on the global environment and the lives of the people in need of cleaner and safer cookstoves.
Amanda McConnell – Human Resources and Accounting
After 10 years of traveling the globe, studying and working in non-profit programming and development, Amanda settled down on Vashon Island. By day, Amanda manages operations for BURN Design Lab; by night, she is a builder of all things lego, a fort specialist, a pirate...in other words, the mother of two young boys.
Laura Winje – Technical Specialist
Laura graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Gonzaga University in May 2015. Shortly thereafter she traveled to Nicaragua where she was inspired by the need that she saw for modern technology and sustainability education. It was the unique opportunity to help alleviate a similarly desperate need in Kenya that drew her to Burn Design Lab. At BDL she plays a vital role in stove research and development by utilizing state of the art technology and statistical analysis techniques to determine thermal efficiency, carbon gas emissions, and particulate matter production of individual cook stoves. This data is essential for evaluating stove performance and is used to continually cookstove prototypes to ultimately craft stoves ready for production that are as friendly to the environment as they are to the user.
Noelle Allison – Supporting Scientist
Noelle Allison received a BS in Chemistry from Washington State University in 2001. She worked for five years as an Analytical Chemist at Bayer CropScience before switching gears to be a stay at home mother to her five children. She and her husband live in Baton Rouge, LA, where he is a professor of Experimental Music & Digital Media at Louisiana State University. Noelle is a musician, crafter/maker, spreadsheet geek, Tolkien enthusiast, CS Lewis devotee, George MacDonald evangelist, and feels most alive while riding a bike. She is passionate about the development and implementation of appropriate technologies for the developing world, and feels honored to contribute to the work Burn Design Lab is engaged in.
Bryan Willman - Advisor
Bryan is an inventor, engineer, and student of technology and economics. He is co-founder of Industrial Photons LLC, a metrology technology startup. His formal background is in computer software, and particularly in operating systems and the structure and organization of software and data. Over a two decade career at Microsoft, he worked on many parts of operating systems and is the author or co-author of more than 20 patents.
Boston Nyer – Advisor
Boston led the product development process of the Jikokoa stove on a budget of $300,000. He attended the University of Rochester and is currently General Manager of East Africa Operations for BURN Manufacturing Co.
Board of Directors
Ted serves as the BURN Design Lab Board Secretary and Treasurer. He has practiced law for 45 years in California and Washington counseling corporations and clients in general business and contract matters; corporate and limited liability company formation, start-up and growth; private placement of securities; corporate and real estate finance; executive and employee compensation and benefits; insurance; and litigation. Mr. Clabaugh has represented New York and American Stock Exchange-listed companies as well as commercial banks. He has been active in civic and volunteer organizations. Early in his career he was a co-founder of a charitable corporation, Why Not, which provided Thanksgiving-day and Christmas-day dinners to the elderly in Los Angeles, California. He has provided pro-bono legal services to numerous non-profit groups and organizations including the Boy Scouts of America, and to individuals. Mr. Clabaugh holds a BA from the University of Maryland and a law degree from Harvard Law School.
Dr. John Olsen
John has spent his entire career in waterjet-technology research and manufacturing. In 1966 John wrote his doctoral thesis in the field of Fluid Mechanics at MIT and in 1970 he founded a waterjet technology research partnership. The 1990's revolution in personal computing created new opportunities for use of waterjet metal cutters in a wide array of smaller-scale machine shops. To take advantage of these opportunities John founded OMAX Corporation in 1993, which has become a leading developer and manufacturer of easy-to-use machine tools based on the abrasive jet cutting process. John's expertise with waterjet technology was essential for the establishment of BURN's lab prototyping capabilities. John has more than a dozen patents to his name and is currently Vice President of Operations at OMAX Corp. in Kent, Washington.
Olivia is an artist who has travelled and painted in Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Malawi, Haiti and elsewhere. She has worked with her husband, Peter Scott, on stove projects in many countries. Olivia studied illustration and fine art at Columbus College of Art and Design and worked as an illustrator and sculptor in Los Angeles before moving to Utah to devote herself to painting. It was Olivia's insistence in moving to Vashon Island that ultimately led to the creation of BURN Design Lab. Once Peter and Olivia moved to the island they encountered a community of progressive, intelligent, dedicated people who rallied around the idea of creating stoves that would help end deforestation and respiratory disease in some of the poorest places in the world.
Bob is the lead engineer for BURN Design Lab and owns Meadow Creature LLC:, an appropriate technology product developer and CNC machine shop. Meadow Creature manufactures tools of original design for farmers and gardeners, and makes other businesses' art, architectural and mechanical components. The subsidized design and prototyping services Meadow Creature provides to BURN Design Lab are consistent with its charter of returning a portion of its revenue to our community. Bob holds an electrical engineering degree from MIT and was one of the first few dozen programmers at Microsoft, where he worked off and on between 1981 and 1999. Bob was also a charter employee of the Microsoft spin-off company that became Corbis Corporation. Bob is presently an elected commissioner at King County Water District 19 and participates in several Vashon Island community and activist groups.
Dr. John Payne
John has a background in field biology, population modeling, and conservation. He spent much of his early life in the field, including several years on the coast of remote southern Argentina with parents who were studying whales. After college, he ran a small development project with Ju/Wa Bushman people in the Kalahari Desert for two years with his future wife, Ann Edwards. The experience gave them both a strong interest in the lives of poor people and the trade-offs between development and conservation. John lived for a year deep in the rainforest of Cameroon while studying forest antelope for his Masters degree. He then was the Asia program officer for the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York, where he managed field conservation projects and did fieldwork in Laos, Papua New Guinea and far eastern Russia. John and Ann got their PhD's in Zoology from the University of Washington while their children were young, and John worked for UW and the NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center writing computer models to assess fish population dynamics and estimate extinction risk. Currently, as Senior Scientist for the Pacific Ocean Shelf Tracking Project, John is working on technological advances in marine acoustic telemetry, doing collaborative research projects on several species including jumbo squid, and re-building POST's large online database. He recently co-founded a company to market fishing gear that is less destructive and more selective.
Stephen has been involved in projects with private and government sectors in Asia and North America since the early 80's. His commercial law practice and his biochemistry degree have enabled Stephen to engage in various aspects of commercializing the use of hydrogen as an alternative fuel with fuel cell development, hydrogen production and storage. Stephen has also been involved with industrial waste water treatment systems that use 21st century systems to recover and safely recycle water and chemicals that are otherwise lost in mining and oil and gas industrial processes. Stephen's 25+ years of experience working in PRC provide BURN Design Lab unique access to Asian suppliers and engineering firms.
Keith is an architect whose work with BURN furthers a lifetime spent working in public service and the industrial sector in the Northwest. He received his Bachelors in Architectural Engineering in 1955, is a licensed Architect in Washington and Alaska, and served as an officer in the US Army signal corps in Korea. He has been self employed most of his career, has worked in industrial and public utilities in five states and is still in active practice. Significant Vashon projects have included the K2 ski factory, Vashon Schools projects, the Thriftway shopping complex and more than 90 homes. Keith has a long-held interest in serving the public. He was one of the founders of the Vashon Community Council and spent ten years on both the Boards of Directors of Vashon Household and the Vashon Community Care Center. As a lifelong member of Rotary International he has traveled to Ethiopia and Siberia and spent years organizing international student exchange. He has lived on Vashon most of his life and enjoys sailing and writing.