Quality of Life Plus Mission

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

University Partners



Those who serve


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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








San  Diego  State  University

San  Diego  State  University






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

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...

Upcoming Events

(Click to Enlarge Image)


The Quality of Life Plus Program (QL+) and the EOD Warrior Foundation (EODWF) are hosting The Blaster’s Garage, a six episode YouTube series, which began airing on July 20th. The video series will not only highlight the rebuilding of a Toyota 1984 FJ60, but also the impact of the QL+ and EODWF program's to improve the lives of veterans and their families. The rebuilt car will be raffled off at the EOD Auction in Fort Walton Beach, FL on May 3, 2019. The fully restored FJ60 will be on display at the EOD Auction and all are welcome to attend this event.

The proceeds from this raffle will be given to EODWF and QL+ for programmatic support. Raffle tickets and sponsorships are available for purchase at Your support to QL+ and the EODWF will greatly benefit injured veterans and their families.


"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


The QL+ Team is building a hydraulic disc braking system that will be mounted on the back of Ashley's bicycle saddle. To engage the brake, she has to scoot back on the saddle. Ashley has limited grip strength. With this device, she can ride her bike safely and comfortably. The team is working with Scott Moro from the Adaptive Cycling Foundation on this project....


Ryan and his teammates are designing and building a voice-activated gear shifting system for a hand-cycle for veteran Sgt. Tim Brown so that he may be able to seamlessly switch gears despite the amputation of his legs, right arm, and left hand. The team is working closely with Scott Moro, the Founder of the Adaptive Cycling Foundation....

Challenger Salute: VFW Post 10380, Green Township, Cincinnati, Ohio

The members of VFW Post 10380, located in Cincinnati, Ohio, live their Mission: to serve veterans, the military, and our communities. They hold meetings every third Thursday of the month on the lower level of the Nathanael Greene Lodge. Post Commander Mike Donnelly runs a tight ship. The meetings start promptly at 7:30 PM and end at 8:30 PM. In that hour, post business is conducted and plans are made. Lots of plans....


Joshua Baker is a fifth-year student at the University of Cincinnati, scheduled to graduate in May of 2019. He is majoring in Mechanical Engineering and minoring in Mathematics. Joshua is working on the Butt Brake Challenge. The purpose of this project is to allow cyclists with weak grip strength, or amputees, to ride upright bicycles safely, using a paddle mounted on the seat so they can engage the brakes. Joshua and his teammates are working with Scott Moro from the Adaptive Cycling Foundation....


Osama Alowaidi is a Senior at the University of Dayton, scheduled to graduate in May of this year. He is majoring in Mechanical Engineering and is working on the Stable Walker Challenger. For this Challenge, the team was asked to create and build a more stable walker for use at the Dayton VA Medical Center. The walker is for inpatient use and for patients who suffer from Dementia/Alzheimers and mobility issues....


Tim Jones is a fifth year at the University of Cincinnati, scheduled to graduate in May of 2019. He is majoring in Mechanical Engineering. Tim and his teammates are working on the Butt Brake Challenge. For this Challenge, the team has been tasked with developing a hydraulic braking system for an upright road bicycle that can be actuated by the rider's butt. The Challenger is an Army Veteran who has nerve damage in her hand and unable to squeeze the brake levers on the handlebars. With guidance from Scott Moro from the Adaptive Cycling Foundation, they are developing a device where she will be able to slide back on her bike seat and engage the brakes....