Heather is a designer, an engineer, and an entrepreneur motivated by social inequality. In 2005, she led a volunteer group of engineers and designers focused on humanitarian design projects via a professional chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB). Three years later she co-founded Catapult Design in San Francisco to make design and technical capacity accessible to entrepreneurs and organizations working within disadvantaged communities.
Heather is a Pop!Tech Social Innovation Fellow, a program aimed at high-potential young leaders with new approaches for transformational impact and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. She previously worked in the Silicon Valley product development consulting world and has nine years of experience working with multi-disciplinary teams to design, develop, and deliver product solutions for a diverse range of companies. Heather was also previously an Adjunct Lecturer at Stanford University in the Mechanical Engineering department and a Senior Lecturer at California College of the Arts in the Industrial Design department. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Navajo Chamber of Commerce on the Navajo Nation and chairs a committee within ASME’s Engineering for Global Development initiative. Heather has a BS in Product Design from Stanford University.
Principal & Co-Founder
Nadine is a designer and facilitator with experience in service and product design, human-centered practices, organizational capacity-building, and design management. A creative problem-solver and systems-nerd, her passion lies in visualizing and optimizing experiences to develop frameworks for sustainable social impact.
As Design Manager at Catapult Design, Nadine oversees all operational matters and manages project contracts, consultants, budgets, client relations, and internal processes. In her role as designer, she collaborates on a range of projects from service design to capacity building, domestically and abroad.
Nadine holds a Masters in Industrial and Product Design from Pratt Institute, a Bachelors in Spanish/Hispanic Cultures with Minors in Fine Arts and Philosophy, and certificates in design research and service design.
Design Manager + Designer
Noel is a multi-skilled designer with a passion for creating quality communications, illustrations, systems and products. As Catapult’s Lead Designer, he all but lives out of his suitcase, spending the majority of his time wandering the globe immersed in projects, host communities, and multi-disciplinary teams addressing a broad range of design challenges. He frequently speaks at design conferences and events about facilitating design in cross-cultural contexts, and also proselytizes design value to the big acronyms in DC whenever he gets the chance.
Noel has a broad range of previous experience, from rapid prototyping, technology R&D, playground design, design education, bicycle empowerment, to disabled/aged/child care. He has lived and worked in Australia, Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America and continues to love experiencing and exploring humanity and its diversity. Noel is fueled by the belief that all demographics deserve access to innovation and iteration tools, and has dedicated his design career to social empowerment. With his downtime he makes toys, good food and bad jokes.
Noel has a Bachelor of Industrial Design with Honors from the University of South Australia (with an exchange to Carleton University, Ottawa) and a BA in Professional Writing and Communication also from the University of South Australia.
Senior Product Designer
Karin is a designer and educator with diverse expertise as each. As an in-house designer, she worked on the advanced innovation teams at Nike and The North Face–working hands-on with global partners to research, invent, and develop new technologies for athletic gear. As a design consultant, she helps multinationals and start-ups alike in getting their ideas to market. As an independent designer, she has experience developing micro enterprises in the US, Ecuador, Thailand, and Mexico. As an educator, Karin taught Sustainable Design at Stanford University in California, Design Thinking at The African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, and bilingual primary education both in the Denver and Mexican public school systems. These experiences have taught her to value cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural problem solving, indigenous knowledge, resourceful ingenuity, and courage when trying something new.
Karin holds a BA in Economics from University of Colorado and a MS from the Joint Program in Design at Stanford University, where she also worked in the Product Realization Lab. Her green innovations have been awarded first prize in the California Clean Tech Open and featured in Newsweek.
Senior Designer & Project Manager
Adam is a product designer whose passion lies at the intersection of social innovation and product development. Drawing on his early experiences assisting disabled adults and homeless youth, Adam’s aim is in leveraging design to address the unmet needs of marginalized communities. His experience spans a number of industries and disciplines, from working as a design engineer in off-grid energy and outdoor recreation, to more traditional design roles in consumer electronics, packaging, and systems design. He often finds himself obsessing over proof-of-concept prototypes and searching for ways to improve inefficient processes.
When not at his desk, he can be found kayaking the Pacific NW or making a mess in his studio. Adam holds a BA in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin and a BFA in Product Design from the University of Oregon.
Senior Product Designer
Interdisciplinary designer Dawn Danby, recognized by Fast Company as one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business, has spent 12 years working in sustainable design. Her design projects have ranged from a tree-covered pedestrian bridge on the US-Canada border to closed-loop manufacturing strategies and furniture design. As Sr. Sustainable Design Program Manager at Autodesk, Dawn leads the Autodesk Sustainability Workshop, which provides free, lightweight videos and resources online to teach young engineers and designers the principles and practice of sustainable design. Dawn co-authored Worldchanging: A User’s Guide to the 21st Century. She speaks regularly at events such as TEDGlobal. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and was named a Rising Talent by the Women’s Forum for Economy and Society. Dawn & her work have been covered in Metropolis, Fast Company, The Atlantic, Azure, Core77 and the BBC. She has done dozens of media briefings and interviews and has written for Worldchanging, Fast Company, Develop3D and Machine Design. She has an industrial design degree from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MBA in Sustainable Business from the Bainbridge Graduate Institute.
Catherine is the Director of the Lifestyle Research Lab at Samsung in San Francisco. In her past position as the Head of Consumer Trends and Foresight at Chrysler, Catherine led a hybrid team of social scientists, engineers, and designers in the discovery and understanding of macro forces that shape the future of human mobility. As an anthropologist, strategist and designer, she brings expertise in human behavior and attitudinal insight to inform the development of new and exciting experiences, products, and services. She recently contributed her expertise to a project on financial services for coffee farmers in Mexico with the Institute for Money, Technology, and Financial Inclusion at UC Irvine. She was also previously a senior associate at growth strategy firm Jump Associates, researcher for Wired Magazine, and a documentary film producer. She is a frequent lecturer on design research methods for Stanford, CCA, and UC Berkeley. She holds a M.Sc. in Material Anthropology from the University of Oxford, focused on photography and indigenous self-representation, and a BA in Anthropology from UCLA. When not exploring the latest cultural trends, Catherine is a competitive open-water rower and plays bass in an indie rock band.
Madiha El Mehelmy Kotb served as President of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) from July 2013 until July 2014. Kotb was the 132nd president of ASME, and only the fourth woman to lead organization, which consists of 130,000 members worldwide. Prior to her term as president, Kotb was the head of the pressure vessels technical services division for Regie du batiment du Quebec, an organization that ensures high quality safety for buildings and construction systems. Kotb has also worked to improve the quality of life around the world as a management member of the site Engineering for Change. She is also helping lead the charge for ASME’s humanitarian initiatives. She is a recipient of the ASME Dedicated Service Award and the Canadian Standards Association Award of Merit for her contribution to the development of Canadian nuclear standards. Madiha has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from Concordia University in Montreal.
Immediate Past President
Lauren Peters Lague began her work with Catapult Design in early 2009, contributing to organizational development and branding efforts on a volunteer basis. Professionally, she is the Director of Design Strategy at Salesforce in San Francisco focusing on the marketing strategy and experience across industries. In this role she combines design thinking methodology, creativity, and her experience as a designer to help cross-disciplinary teams align on many parts of our business—functions as diverse as event strategy, industry sales enablement, and product naming.
Prior to her role at Salesforce, Lauren was a creative lead specializing in art direction at various digital agencies in San Francisco. Lauren holds a Master of Science from Virginia Commonwealth University Brandcenter, Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri, and a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design.
Director of Design Strategy
Anand Narayan is a Patent Agent at IP Spring where he enjoys working with inventors and organizations in developing and executing their intellectual property strategies.
Prior to IP Spring, Anand served as Head of Selco Labs and as Vice President of Engineering at TensorComm. He has extensive experience leading multi-disciplinary teams of engineers, designers, and social scientists. He is a co-inventor on about 30 patents in the area of wireless signal processing.
Anand was a committee member of ASME’s Engineering for Global Development (EGD) program and is currently director at Aquasafi, a social enterprise providing clean drinking water to rural communities in India, and director at the Impact Innovators and Entrepreneurs Foundation, a non-profit organization established to promote impact investing and social entrepreneurship.
He is a Chemical Engineer by training and has a PhD from the University of Colorado, Boulder and a B.Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.
While at work, he often daydreams about his organic farm in India.
Driven by a fascination for how the design of products and services influence behavior, David’s work focuses on understanding users to harness that influence to improve health and welfare, especially in marginalized communities. His experience ranges from the “traditional” – designing Italian office chairs, client management for a Silicon Valley product design consultancy and product strategy for a “lab-on-a-chip” device – to more experimental use of design process coordinating missions for Doctors Without Borders, forecasting disruptive global health innovations at the Institute for the Future, and cribbing UXR tools from the software world to unpack demand, adoption, and abandonment of proposed solutions for household water treatment and urban community sanitation. Work, and a passion for indigenous food and music, have led to extended residencies in Italy, England, Brazil, Colombia, Angola and Central America. When not at his desk, he can be found rowing on Lake Merritt or under his 4WD VW camper. David has a Master of Public Health from UC-Berkeley, an MBA from the University of Washington, and a BS in Industrial Design from San Jose State University.
Design Researcher and Analyst
DK Design Research
Evan A. Thomas, Ph.D., P.E., is an Assistant Professor and Director of the SWEET (Sustainable Water, Energy and Environmental Technologies) Laboratory at Portland State University. Evan’s research and teaching interests include developing sustainable life support systems for spacecraft and the developing world. Evan has professional experience working in government, industry, non-profits and academia. Evan holds a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering Sciences from the University of Colorado at Boulder and is a registered P.E. in Environmental Engineering in the State of Texas. Evan is also a social enterprise executive and sustainable development engineer, designing and managing appropriate technology programs in developing communities since 2002. Evan has worked in Nepal, Rwanda, Kenya, Mexico and Afghanistan with Engineers Without Borders-USA and, since 2007, as the founding Executive Vice President of Manna Energy Limited. Manna is a social enterprise, installing water treatment, biogas and fuel briquetting technologies in Rwanda, Kenya and Afghanistan, funding these ventures, in part, and as the first organization to claim United Nations carbon credits for the treatment of drinking water. Prior to joining PSU, Evan worked as a civil servant at the NASA-Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas for six years. At NASA, Evan was a principal investigator and project manager in the Life Support and Habitability Systems Branch working on concepts for sustainable Moon and Mars spacecraft. These included microgravity fluid management technologies and water recovery systems spanning the range of technology readiness from research and concept development through operational spacecraft hardware flying on the Space Shuttle and International Space Station.
Director of SWEET Laboratory
Portland State University