It's shaping up to be a pretty good year for Ping Fu.
The CEO of Geomagic, a Research Triangle Park company that makes 3-D modeling software, visited the White House twice in January, and attended President's State of the Union.
Now Fast Company magazine has named her to its list of the 100 Most Creative People in Business. Fu came in at No. 75 on the list, which was topped by pop star Lady Gaga.
The magazine cited Geomagic's "groundbreaking 3-D-modeling software that has enabled, among other things, Harley-Davidson to build better bikes and NASA to inspect a badly damaged space shuttle before attempting a landing."
It also points to new software that converts "any physical object, from a human foot to a golf course," into a 3-D model. Now Fu's researchers are working on a cloud-based store "where designers can use third-party apps developed for everything from turbines to dental implants."
"Digital models help us design for the next level and enjoy our lives," Fu told the magazine.
Fu, whose early years in communist China were filled with abuse and oppression, co-founded Geomagic in 1996. The company now employs about 100 people, including 65 in RTP, and continues to hire.
The Fast Company list also includes "Glee" creator Ryan Murphy, filmmaker James Cameron, musician Jay-Z and more. Read the full list here.