Heather Fleming Engineers Change
When Heather Fleming was in college she visited her sister, a civil engineer who was building wells to provide water on a Navajo reservation in New Mexico. "It was so inspiring, and I realized that engineering could help people in a very tangible way," she says. So six years after she graduated from Stanford University, Fleming followed her sister's example and founded Catapult Design, a nonprofit engineering consulting firm.
The group designs and creates simple tools to improve people's lives in underdeveloped countries. For example, Catapult Design is working on natural energy sources for rural villages. The company successfully tested a prototype for a small wind turbine that will sell for less than $100. "Simple products can dramatically change lives," says Fleming, who hopes to grow by partnering with larger organizations. "We just have to figure out more ways to make life-changing products available and affordable."
Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal, April 2009.
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