As Hermelinda Bristol learned more about anatomy, she began envisioning a frame with a tight waist belt and rigid supports for the legs. … But while she had the idea, she did not have the expertise to build something that was lightweight, flexible, and strong.

In May of 2016, Jeffrey’s sophomore year at the University of Arizona, she hit on an idea. The university has a highly respected engineering college. Why not enlist them to see if some of their students could help a fellow classmate?

The college referred her to their Engineering Design Program, where teams of graduating seniors spend an entire year working on projects to solve real-world problems. Most projects are sponsored by big companies like Microsoft, Raytheon and Honeywell.

As the school year began in the fall of 2016, her team for the “Lightning Legs” project was assigned.