People

Irini Spyridakis

Lecturer, Human Centered Design & Engineering
University of Washington

Biography

Irini Spyridakis is a Lecturer in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering at the University of Washington. Spyridakis is a user advocate who enjoys helping ensure that the user's experience is effortless and contributes to adoption, loyalty, and trust. Her research focuses on the intersection of technology and users that affects work flows and adoption rates in diverse settings, ethics and sustainable design, resource constrained communities, and creative approaches to STEM education. She has close to 20 years of teaching experience and extensive experience in curriculum development and is an experienced UX researcher and designer, locally and internationally. Her background in the UX industry helps her bring real-world experience into her curriculum and her classrooms.

She is the co-founder and Director of mealmatchup.org, an award winning startup that facilitates the logistics and donation of left over food from University of Washington dining halls to local shelters through the use of open-source software that she and her students created. Meal Matchup is feeding people in need, reducing green gas emissions, tracking pounds of food diverted from compost and landfill, delivering food via service learning students, and increasing student service learning opportunities and related civic engagement. Irini's work with Meal Matchup aligns with the UW Population Health Initiative and UW Sustainability and was voted the top Campus Sustainability Fund (CSF) project by the College of the Environment, leading to their annual class gift of $5,000 for future CSF projects.

Her work has been published in ACM, AASHE, and IEEE to name a few. She was awarded a Faculty Appreciation for Career Education and Training Award by the UW Engineering Career Center and has been an invited speaker by many groups, including the Pac-12 Sustainability Studio, the Biz-Tech Forum, and UW Engineers without Borders. Irini has also served as an invited judge for the Society of Women Engineers' hackathons with the most recent theme titled "Achieving Equality Through Innovation."

She has offered popularly sought after and high impact Directed Research Groups with a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion with topics ranging from developing open source software to aid in food recovery logistics at the nexus of health, the environment, and under served communities; conducting STEM outreach in under served communities; establishing longevity in resource constrained projects; and promoting sustainability through persuasive UX in VR.

Irini believes in mentoring and empowering others, and has a strong record of giving back—to students, the department, the College of Engineering, the College of the Environment, the UW, and the community at large in her 12 years in the department.  

Education

MS, Human Centered Design & Engineering, University of Washington
BA, Geography, University of Washington, Focus on resource constrained communities and American Ethnic Studies