Menu

Our Mission


To foster and generate innovations that aid and improve the quality of life for those who have served our country.

University Partners

Students

Challengers

Those who serve

Supporters

Get Involved

Our Challenges


Ice Hockey Prosthetic

QL+ funded a series of projects in conjunction with the USA Warriors Ice Hockey Program, which provides recreational and therapeutic benefits to injured Veterans through ice hockey. A study of current prostheses identified various technological limitations for sports use – especially in ice hockey, a high-impact, high-energy sport that requires fluid knee and ankle movement.

Prosthetic Leg Modification

Cal Poly QL+ engineering students designed and prototyped an adjustable below-the-knee prosthetic leg that combines the functions of walking, running, and swimming. The prosthetic they designed was durable, lightweight, waterproof, comfortable, and would not slip off.

Cat Lift

A central focus of this QL+ Challenge is integrating wounded warriors back into the workforce. An opportunity arose to employ a number of disabled Veterans in the clearance and reforestation of a large tract of land near Yosemite, owned by a QL+ supporter. The land has been destroyed by forest fires.

Fog Control Box

QL+ engineering students from Cal Poly are developing a device that will allow those with Parkinson’s Disease to walk more easily and safely.  Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects the motor system because of decreased dopamine, causing “freezing of gait” (FOG) symptoms.

Yeager Knife

QL+ partnered with a US Army Occupational Therapist to develop a specialized cutting utensil. This knife is ergonomically designed, with various grip positions, and is intended for use by those with diminished hand, wrist or arm functions. The knife features a stabilize grip, which will reduce fatigue and allow more control and force to be applied by the user.

Fire Fighter Mask

The purpose of this QL+ Challenge was to create a unique self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) for our Challenger, a firefighter stationed in San Francisco, California.

Our Partners


Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech

#UtProsim

#LearnByDoing

#HelluvaEngineer

#LearnLeadServe

#TritonPride

#TogetherForOthers

Our Challengers


Captain Danny Knutson

Captain Danny Knutson is a Navy Veteran and QL+ Challenger. He served for 25 years in the United States Navy as a Naval Aviator. While serving in the Navy, Captain Knutson’s spine and neck were compromised during an in-flight ejection from a crippled Navy jet...

Larry Gunter

Larry Gunter is an Air Force Veteran and QL+ Challenger. In the Air Force, he worked as an Air Force Crew Chief on a C-130 Aircraft. Larry was diagnosed with Retina Pigmentosa, a genetic disease that causes the degeneration of the retina that ultimately causes blindness...

Velette Britt

Velette Britt is an Air Force Veteran and QL+ Challenger working with student engineers at Cal Poly and Colorado School of Mines. Velette served in the United States Air Force from May of 2007 to July of 2016 as a Dental Lab Technician...

Taylor Morris

Taylor Morris is a Navy Veteran and QL+ Challenger. Taylor joined the military right out of high school and began rigorous and extensive training as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician (EOD). He became an expert in explosives, diving, parachuting, and learned the tactical skills of a combat fighter...

Tammy Landeen

Tammy Landeen, Army Veteran and QL+ Challenger, served in the United States Army from 1996-2005 as a Tactical Power Generation Specialist. In 2002, Tammy was injured while on Active Duty, and after her service ended, she suffered a traumatic spinal cord injury while horseback riding...

Portrait by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, All rights reserved

www.greenfield-sanders.com

Dawn Halfaker

Dawn Halfaker served as a Military Police Officer in the United States Army. She deployed to Iraq with the 3rd Infantry Division where she commanded a military police platoon in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2004, during a combat patrol near Baghdad, she was wounded, which resulted in the amputation of her right arm and right shoulder. She earned a Purple Heart and Bronze Star for her service...

Impact


"The ability to tell an engineer exactly what would make life better and have my opinion be part of the design process is exciting and innovative. I’m proud to be part of this amazing program."

~Tammy Landeen, Veteran, QL+ Challenger

"Working with young engineers has been very rewarding. I enjoyed the close contact I have had with the team as they systematically break down my limitations and propose elegant solutions to mitigate my physical issues to improve my quality of life."

~Captain Danny Knutson, Veteran, QL+ Challenger

"The work the QL+ student engineers are doing is greatly appreciated and life-changing. They are taking my Challenge seriously and putting their hearts into it. It shows."

~Larry Gunter, Veteran, QL+ Challenger

"It’s a great feeling to create solutions for veterans and first responders because I have family who have served in the military and I know how difficult it can be for people dealing with injuries. It is very gratifying knowing I’m helping people who have done so much for our country."

~Michael Paxton, Student Engineer, University of Dayton

"The QL+ Program is fantastic. It gives us the opportunity to take the knowledge learned in the classroom and apply it to a specific person and application that could change lives. Part of our tradition at UD is to serve and the QL+ Program gives us a chance to do that."

~John Hageman, Professor, University of Dayton

"Working on the QL+ Project involves a lot of different fields of study. Collaborating with people from different fields to create a solution has been very beneficial to me and will help me in my future career."

~Connor Tangney, Student Engineer, University of Dayton

“One of the rewards from working with QL+ is that we get to work with real people on real problems. This will help us later in life when we are in the industry and have to solve problems in real time.”

~Elaina Finney, Student, University of Dayton

“QL+ has been extremely sensitive to the needs of our students and our faculty advisors. They challenge our students and they bring a sense of professionalism. This is one of the gaps we are trying to fill between academia and their profession when they leave the University of Dayton.”

~Rebecca Blust, Professor, University of Dayton

“Working with QL+ is extremely rewarding as a veteran and student engineer. I’m not just doing something in academia, I’m actually giving back to a group that I have a lot of personal connection with.”

~Steven Reif, Veteran, Student Engineer, University of Dayton

“QL+ has provided us with a lot of support from the very beginning. They encourage us to have fun with the project and design something from the ground up.”

~Jeffery Lecave, student engineer, University of Dayton

“The biggest reward from working with QL+ is knowing that what we are making will help a veteran do the things he loves to do.”

~Mark Wautelet, student engineer, University of Dayton

“QL+ helps us live our mission by engaging our students with society through a partnership that provides meaningful learning in projects they take on with QL+ challengers. Our students receive hands-on experience working on real problems and receiving immediate feedback as they learn the process of rapid development.”

~Gary Lewandowski, Associate Dean, Xavier University

“It's life-changing to be involved in an organization so dedicated to helping the community in such a unique way. Everyone involved in the QL+ projects comes away with lessons learned and a new appreciation for life.”

~Katie Mangiaracina, Student, Cal Poly

“Through the teamwork of dedicated undergraduate engineers, QL+ has impacted the lives of numerous members of our community. What I didn't realize when I initially joined this program is how much I would grow as a result. QL+ has made me a better leader, teammate, communicator, and engineer.”

~Shannon Hoye, Student, Cal Poly

“We work hard to design devices that will change the lives of QL+ Challengers, but Challengers change our students' lives just as much if not more. QL+ has allowed me to channel my passions toward a mission that makes real impacts in real people's lives. I am honored to be able to participate in this mission, and I am beyond grateful for the way QL+ has shaped my college experience.”

~Berkeley Davis, Student, Cal Poly

Featured Stories


STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: NEDDIE BYRON, VIRGINIA TECH

Neddie got involved with QL+ because of the human impact the projects have. “I've always been interested in helping people, and this project does that,” she explains, “I get to apply engineering principles to a project that directly involves improving the daily life of someone.” Neddie and her team are working on a Push-Up/Plank device for Army Veteran, Dawn Halfaker. Dawn served as a Military Police Officer in the United States Army. In 2004, during a combat patrol near Baghdad, she was wounded, which resulted in the amputation of her right arm and right shoulder. Dawn maintains an active lifestyle and trains regularly with a personal trainer. Her injuries hinder her abdominal strength training, so she asked QL+ student engineers to design and build a device to help her exercise her core more efficiently....

The Day We Fell Off The Planet

She had just arrived at work when she was informed that Humberto had been involved in a collision. The caller told her that they were still working on extricating him from his patrol car and that he would be transported to a local trauma center. This is all she knew. She had no idea what condition he was in or what had happened to him. When the accident occurred, Kay and Humberto had been married for twenty years....

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: BRITTANY HORTON, VIRGINIA TECH

Brittany Horton is a senior at Virginia Tech majoring in Mechanical Engineering. She chose Mechanical Engineering because, after doing some research with TAVR heart valves in high school, she knew that she wanted to go into the field of medical devices. Mechanical Engineering has given her the technical ability to pursue her passion....

A PROSTHETIC HAND LED HIM DOWN THE BIO-MEDICAL PATH

During the last year of his graduate studies, John began helping QL+ students with their projects, in addition to working as a student tech at the machine shop on campus. He spent two years at the shop, assisting QL+ students by helping them figure out how to manufacture parts and tweak their designs so that they were possible to manufacture....

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: ABIGAIL EUSTACE, COLORADO SCHOOL OF MINES

Abigail is the team lead for the Manual Beach Wheelchair Challenge for Navy Veteran Nathan DeWalt. Her team is adding different components for Nathan to attach to his existing wheelchair to allow him to have an easier time enjoying the beach with his family. For her, the most challenging part of this QL+ Challenge is designing for a diverse environment—sand, water, gravel, pavement, grass, and mud. But to her, the rewards outweigh the challenges. “The most rewarding part so far has been seeing the excitement Nathan has when we show him our updated designs,” she states, “This experience benefits my career. It helps me gain more knowledge about adaptive devices.”...

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: TYLER TAKABERY, CAL POLY

Tyler Takabery is from Encinitas, California. He is a 4th-year student at California Polytechnic State University studying Biomedical Engineering. Tyler chose this major because he wanted the opportunity to use the skills he learns in the classroom to help people. Tyler joined the Cal Poly QL+ Student Association for the same reason he decided to study biomedical engineering-he saw it as a chance to affect people's lives positively....