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Making headlines: Impact engineering

autodesk university
December 21, 2016

Design has the power to change lives—and we’re not the only ones taking notice. The October 2016 issue of features a story about AU speaker and inspiring designer, Alan Spybey, whose nonprofit KickStart International is using Autodesk software to help sub-Saharan farmers raise themselves and their families out of poverty.


By designing high-quality, affordable manual irrigation pumps, KickStart has helped millions of farmers escape subsisting on the seasonal crop cycle. “With our pumps, these farmers can grow crops during the dry season,” says Spybey. “That enables them to bring their crops to market when other farmers can’t—when prices tend to be higher. Not only does that help with food supply during the dry season, it enables them to make a greater profit.”

KickStart estimates that their irrigation pumps enable farmers with access to water to double their income, which they can then invest into whatever they need—more land, better equipment, or better education for their children. To learn about engineering challenges KickStart has encountered, how they’ve overcome those problems, and what they’re working on next, read the full story: Fighting Poverty Through Better Design.

autodesk university