CaSa mobile application at work

The determination of safe, accessible, and usable locations for refugee camps is paramount to the success of the camp. While viable locations can be investigated with field surveys by persons in the field or with the rather costly use of satellite technology, it is vital to have a precise understanding of the elevation of the terrain to ensure the camps will be free from natural dangers such as flooding.


Infographic of CaSa



Pier-19 in a conference call.
Pier-19 doing a field test of their application
Pier-19 showing a live demo of their application

Project Team

Chen Ye

Chen is a second-year Biology/Computer Science dual concentrator at Brown University with a passion for communication. While not in classes, he automates aging research using computer vision, directs design + branding at Hack@Brown, goes hacking around the United States, and builds universes in Virtual Reality.

Cobi Smith

Cobi moved to Geneva from Australia to work on, working with UNOSAT/UNITAR based within CERN. She is a researcher and practitioner in science communication and an open activist. She was involved in the Ada Initiative’s first AdaCamp and have led projects combining hacking/cycling, maths/literature and science/comedy. She worked on human rights related projects ranging from sanitation maps to indigenous peoples’ media platforms.

Emily Primack

Emily is an Education Program Manager at a refugee agency in Israel. Her research has been used by ARDC, IRC, One to World and Learning Enterprises. Emily has a BA in International Affairs from GWU and an MA in International Education from Columbia University. Her focus is post conflict education with a concentration in technology-based learning. While Los Angeles is home for Emily and her extensive shoe collection, she lives a nomadic life working on distance learning applications for refugees.

Gianluca Valentino

Originally from the sunny Mediterranean island of Malta, Gianluca Valentino read for a B.Sc. degree in communications and computer engineering at the University of Malta. He subsequently conducted his Ph.D. research at CERN from 2010 to 2013, automating the beam-based alignment procedure for the LHC collimators. Gianluca is now a Marie Curie post-doctoral fellow at CERN within the BE/ABP group, and develops software for the operation of the LHC collimators.

Kathryn Grimm

Kathryn is a post-doctoral researcher at ATLAS for Lancaster University in the UK. She works on a Higgs boson search at ATLAS, and currently focus on statistical analysis. She also works on the reconstruction of primary collision vertices at ATLAS.

Lars Bromley

Lars is the Principal Analyst and Research Adviser at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research / Operational Satellite Applications Program (UNITAR/UNOSAT), where he leads satellite imagery analysis for disaster response, humanitarian support, human security, and human rights investigations. He has more than 15 years experience analyzing satellite imagery and providing geospatial analysis to academic, non-government, and inter-governmental organizations. Occasionally he gets the chance to develop tools in Python for conflict assessment and data management.

Lillian Smestad

Lillian is a particle physicist from Norway, with a PhD on the Higgs boson from the University of Oslo. The discovery of the Higgs boson being the basis for the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics, she had the privilege of contributing to a scientific breakthrough. Currently, she is focussed on the mystery of dark matter as a postdoctoral researcher for the University of Bergen working at CERN. She loves learning and has an urge to connect worlds. Knowing things are rarely all what they first seem, her nature of scrutiny often takes her places she didn’t expect to go.

Megan Passey

Megan trained as an architect in the UK, studying in Newcastle and London. After work in traditional architectural practice, particularly in school design, Megan’s interest in the role of spatial design in development led her to Brazil and India to contribute to slum-upgrading projects. Following an MA in Development and Emergency Practice, Megan is now based in Geneva and works for the REACH Initiative, which provides information to inform humanitarian decision-making.

Mohammad Abdul Jabbar

Mohammad was born at Dhaka, Bangladesh. He did his Bachelor in Electronics and Telecom. Engineering from Independent University,Bangladesh-IUB. He studied Masters in Wireless Networks and Electronics at Linkˆping University, Sweden. He participated at NASA Hackathon and was awarded ‘Galactic Problem-Solver’ certificate. He has six research publications including in IEEE Xplore. He is recipient of Erasmus Placement Scholarship at United Nations Development Program, Germany. However, he is passionate about Embedded System and Communication Engineering.

Vladimir Ilievski

Vladimir Ilievski was born in Veles, Macedonia in 1992. While his secondary education he attended mathematical competitions, in which he was awarded with bronze medals on Macedonian Mathematical Olympiad. He obtained a Bachelor degree in Computer Sciences in 2015 at the Faculty of Computer Science and Engineering in Skopje, Macedonia. During his undergraduate studies, he did an internship at CERN. Now, he is pursuing his Master degree at EPFL in the field of Machine Learning. In parallel he is working as a Research Scholar in one of the EPFL’s labs.

Yves Zieba

Yves Zieba is a cross functional and multicultural leader specialised in strategy / corporate venturing. He manages the MOOC/SPOC/DOCC Think Tank. Practicioner in open innovation and in universal design, he can help with creating disruptive business models. He sits on the advisory board of a social innovation incubator and trains business owners. He currently co-creates a co-working / fablab space in the Geneva region.