Heather Hava

University of Colorado Boulder
Better Connections between Humans and Plants on Earth and in Space
Graduate Winner

Heather Hava is a PhD student in the Aerospace Engineering Sciences program at the University of Colorado Boulder with an emphasis in Bioastronautics. She is also the 2012 recipient of the NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship. Heather is a self-proclaimed space gardener and her work focuses on developing plant growth automation technologies to optimize astronaut health through human-plant interaction.

The young inventor is committed to creating game-changing innovation and technological solutions with the power to maximize the health and well-being of humans on Earth and in space. Her work developing Bioregenerative Life Support Systems (BLiSS) is closely aligned with NASA’s critical path for human space exploration and is applicable to sustainable living systems on Earth today. 

Heather is also the founder and CEO of Stellar Synergetics as well as the cofounder and CEO of Autoponics. These companies are currently engaged in a joint venture focused on creating social, environmental and economic impact by providing affordable, environmentally responsible housing and Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) facilities, for Earth applications and ultimately to support life in space.

Heather is committed to developing the next generation of female inventors. She loves mentoring young women who show an interest in STEM and has led four successful design competitions as part of Space Grant’s eXploration Habitat (XHab) Challenge and the NASA RASC-AL program. She also regularly visits schools and community outreach events where she shares her research and passion for space exploration to ignite excitement in young people who are considering pursuing a career in STEM.

Heather earned her BS in Mechanical Engineering Technology at the Oregon Institute of Technology in 2006. While currently pursuing her Masters and PhD, she is also working towards two MS Certificates in Engineering for Developing Communities and in Engineering Entrepreneurship.