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 cookstovs on three continents, BDL has the necessary expertise to carry out nearly any kind of stove project around the globe.

BDL's founder, Peter Scott, has worked on cookstove development in the developing world for two decades.  In this time, he has gained a wealth of eperience 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 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, 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 - Executive Director

peterssmPeter Scott is considered 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.


Paul Means - Research and Testing Manager

paulmsmPaul is responsible for performance, emissions, and durability testing of improved cook Stoves at BURN Design Lab. Prior to joining BURN in July 2012, Paul worked for Weyerhaeuser Company in a variety of roles including: 9 years in Research & Development, 8 years as Power & Recovery Manager (Cosmopolis Mill), and 11 years in manufacturing project & process engineering. Paul's technical expertise includes energy systems, power generation, wood drying, wood combustion, biomass processing, pelletization, and torrefaction. Paul graduated with a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Washington State University and an MS in Mechanical Engineering from Oregon State Univ. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Washington State.


Lark Pelling – Human Resources and Development

lark Headshot 1Lark brings over twenty years experience in program development for non-profit public health and environmental organizations, environmental mediation and as an attorney in the private sector.



Nino Figliola - Mechanical Engineering Intern

nino headshotNino is from Amherst, MA and is a 2013 M.E. graduate from Tufts University in Boston. Nino joined Burn to work on the D.R. Congo project and for the opportunity to travel to that country and work with local women to improve stove design and usability.



 Bryan Willman - Advisor

>bryanmsmBryan 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

bostonnsmBoston led the product development process of the Jikokoa stove on a budget of $300,000. He attended the University of Rochester and is currently Chief Product Officer of BURN Manufacturing Co.



Board of Directors

Jan Bianchi

Jan is an attorney with a strong background in structuring non-profit organizations, having represented many of the community-based low income housing organizations in Seattle in the eighties and nineties. She helped create and was President of the Board of Jet City Stoveworks in 2011. In 1998 she joined the Washington State Department of Revenue where she was the Assistant Director for Rules and Interpretations. Jan served on the Board of the Northwest Washington Law Center (now Legal Voice) and was President of Hands Off Washington, representing those organizations in several landmark cases and legislation involving women's reproductive health, battered women's shelters and gays rights. A Peace Corps volunteer in Nigeria in 1966 and 1967, she always remained drawn to Africa's possibilities. She recently returned from three weeks in Kenya assisting, where needed, in getting the Burn Factory functioning and a learning about clean cookstove projects in Mozambique. She has been helping Burn Design Lab in fundraising.


Edward Clabaugh

TedClabaugh100x94Ted 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 olsen 94pxJohn 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 abrasivejet 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 Pendergast

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.


Matthew Bergman

Matthew-Bergman100x94Matthew is a Seattle based attorney, philanthropist and entrepreneur. He serves as senior partner of his firm, the Board Chairman of Neural IQ and a trustee of Reed College. He received a law degree from Lewis & Clark College and a BA in Sociology from Reed College. Matt is involved with the Maasai Children's Initiative (MCI). MCI's objectives include providing education opportunities, increased school enrollment, empowering Maasai women, promoting computer literacy and promoting the maintenance and preservation of the Maasai culture in southern Kenya. Matt is the Chairman and principal funder of MCI. He first traveled to Kenya in 2004 and was overwhelmed with the opportunities to improve educational enrollment in the Maasai communities. He began funding MCI in 2007 and has been directly involved in every stage of the organization's expansion and development. A frequent visitor to Kenya, Bergman has published numerous articles on African policy and narratives describing his experiences.


Bob Powell

robert powell100x94Bob 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

johnPayne100x94John 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 Dadson

steven-dadson100x94Stephen 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 Putnam

keith putnam 94pxKeith 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.