Designing for Disaster Relief – Field Ready

What happens when a category 5 hurricane makes landfall where you live? In September 2017, the people of St Thomas and the U.S. Virgin Islands endured such wrath not once but twice in 10 days. As I witnessed three months after the storm, the results were devastating.

SOLIDWORKS sponsored an eye-opening documentary video about an organization called Field Ready, a non-profit humanitarian organization that responds to crises worldwide when disaster strikes.  With as little as 72-hours’ notice, the engineers from Field Ready mobilize into the field where they create on-the-spot solutions to get critical infrastructure back on-line.


In this case, by teaming with My Brother’s Workshop, a local organization that teaches disadvantaged youth life-changing skills, Field Ready ingeniously repurposed wind-tossed solar panels by designing new components with SOLIDWORKS, fabricating them with a 3D printer and assembling them within a matter of hours. Using the limited resources available, Field Ready was able to salvage solar panels into mobile charging stations so locals could power cell phones and register with FEMA.

Believe me, for an island where 60 percent of residents still don’t have power three months after the hurricane, this makes a big difference!

While I was dispatched there to provide SOLIDWORKS technical support during the movie production, I could not be more proud of our company and the SOLIDWORKS community for not only helping people in need, but also for supporting a company like Field Ready, which tirelessly ventures into unknown challenges in the most difficult places in the world.

Rarely have I seen a cause so worthy and people so capable to carry it out. Field Ready relies on donations to continue its missions, so please consider donating to this amazing non-profit venture:


Mai Doan

Mai DOAN is a Product Portfolio Manager for SOLIDWORKS Simulation. She has 20 years of experience in Simulation and Design. Prior to joining SOLIDWORKS in 2014 as a Territory Technical Manager, Mai worked as a Senior Application Engineer for ANSYS with expertise in Finite Element Analysis for more than 8 years. Before that, she developed her real world experience by designing mobile devices with an emphasis on Simulation for High Tech companies such as Siemens and Novatel Wireless. She holds Bachelor and Master's degrees in Mechanical Engineering, and speaks English, French & Vietnamese fluently.