Amy, one of World's Most Influential People

TIME announces today in its annual TIME 100 issue the name of the people who most affect our world:

It's fine to help the developing world, but first you have to know what it needs. Amy Smith does.

An engineer and the founder of MIT's innovative D-Lab, Smith, 47, is a former Peace Corps volunteer who spent parts of her childhood in India and Botswana. She's the creator of a hammer mill that converts grain to flour and an incubator that does not require electricity. Her design philosophy is elegant: create simple machines that meet particular needs and then build them locally.

Smith is also a teacher, taking kids to Haiti and Africa, where they design pumps, bicycle parts and other gear people need. Her machines are one of her gifts to the world; the students she trains will be an even more enduring one.

 

View the full list for "The 2010 TIME 100"