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


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








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

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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.

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GMU Capstone Day

  • Thursday, 2 May 2019

  • 0900 - 1200

  • Hub Auditorium

  • George Mason University

  • 4400 Rivanna River Way

  • Fairfax, VA 22030

The faculty and staff of the Department of Mechanical Engineering extend to you an invitation to attend the 3rd Annual Mechanical Engineering Design Capstone presentation Day.

This year student presenters from mechanical engineering wil be jointed with students from bioengineering at this celebration of achievement. Over 100 seniors will present the findings of 22 design projects. Dr. Bethany M. Usher, George Mason University Provost for Undergraduate Education, will provide the keynote address. We look forward to your participation.

The official schedule of events is being finalized and will be distributed later this spring

Click here for downloadable PDF

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SDSU College of Engineering Design Day

  • May 8, 2019

  • 1:30 - 4:00PM

  • Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union

The annual SDSU College of Engineering Design Day event takes place during the spring semester, in the first week of May. This is the largest College of Engineering event which showcases the exciting and innovative design projects that our undergraduate Engineering students create during the academic year. Each of our Senior Design classes in Aerospace Engineering, Civil, Construction & Environmental Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering participate with over 75+ projects on interactive display each year.

To view previous Design Day events, please visit:

Click here for downloadable PDF

2019 Capstone Design Expo

  • Fri Apr 26 2019

  • 08:30 am to 02:00 pm

  • Stuart C Siegel Center, 1200 W Broad St,
    Richmond, Virginia 23284, Virginia, United States

Free and open to the public, the Capstone Design Expo will feature more than 90 student projects and presentations. Several teams include VCU School of Business students with a joint goal of presenting technology-based entrepreneurial business and product concepts. The Expo will also feature projects from 12 Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) teams. All are invited.

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Virginia Tech Senior Design Expo

  • May 3 2019

  • 1-4 pm

Click here for downloadable PDF


"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 device will improve my quality of life because I’m in my wheelchair more than my prosthetics, and I’m very active with many things, but the last thing I want to do is clean my floors and my wheelchair after I track in all the debris from outside....


Duania is a fifth year, General Engineering student with a concentration in Materials Engineering, graduating from Cal Poly in June 2019. Duania and her teammates are working on the Cooking Arm Challenge for a Marine Corp Veteran. In 2010, our Challenger lost his right arm while serving in Afghanistan. Before his injury, he loved to cook and prepare food. Thus far, he hasn’t found a prosthetic that allows him to perform these tasks efficiently....


Megan is a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) graduating in May 2019. She is majoring in Chemical Engineering with a Chemistry Dual Degree. Megan and her teammates are working on the Waterproof Osseointegration Covers Challenge for an Army Veteran who lost both legs above the knee due to an improvised explosive device (IED)....


QL+ Mechanical Engineering Students are designing and building a Scooter Lift Device. Mike has a rack that can be attached to his vehicle to transport his mobility scooter. The rack is very heavy and cumbersome. Because of this, he never uses his scooter. He needs a device that will help him lift and attach the rack to his vehicle so that he can use his scooter when he leaves the house....


Rose and her teammates are working on the Stable Walker Challenge. The goal of this Challenge is to provide the Challenger, the Dayton VA, a more stable walker/chair, for patients with severe dementia and mobility issues....


Taylor and his teammates are working on the Adaptive Mountain Bike Challenge. The goal of this challenge is to provide the Challenger, an injured Highway Patrol Trooper, with a quality recumbent mountain bike, capable of meeting all of his needs and able to navigate a single-track triathlon course....