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Where Are They Now? Matt Titchenal, Cal Poly

August 21, 2019

Matthew R. Titchenal, Ph.D., graduated in June 2012 from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. He majored in Mechanical Engineering. Matt and his teammates worked on the QL+ Prosthetic Knee Lift Challenge in 2011/2012. They designed a mechanical mechanism to assist double above-the-knee amputees to walk upstairs. The team developed a working prototype by the end of the project....

XU: Long Pants for Amputees

July 29, 2019

Above-the-knee amputees have difficulty wearing long pants/skirts because the material from their clothing often gets caught in their prosthetic knees. Currently, there are pants on the market with special liners sewn in them, but this would require the amputee to purchase many pairs of these adaptive pants. There is a need for a transferable device that can be worn by the amputee to protect all pants (and long skirts). QL+ students at Xavier University were tasked with the challenge of creating a transferable device that will not only protect the amputee’s clothing but will also be comfortable, durable, and easy to use....

Cal Poly: Surf Leg

July 25, 2019

QL+ engineering students from Cal Poly tackled the Surf Leg Challenge. The QL+ Challenger is Operation Surf, a program that teaches veterans how to surf. Current prosthetics do not allow the user to squat due to stiff ankle design. The students were challenged to create a transtibial prosthetic that provides ankle flexibility to improve ankle mobility, while still being lightweight, adaptable, and water-proof....

Mines: Prosthetic Arm Shooting Assistance

July 25, 2019

QL+ engineering students from Colorado School of Mines were tasked with the challenge of designing and building a Prosthetic Arm Shooting Assistance Device for QL+ Challenger, Jorge Segura. Jorge served in the Marine Corps from 2003 to 2010, deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan numerous times. In October 2010, while on a mission in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan, he and his team were ambushed. Several members of the team were gravely injured, including Jorge. His injuries included a softball-sized hole in his lower lumbar spine and his chest, in addition to 40% of his right forearm being critically damaged and a ruptured ventricle....

Mines: Field and Stream Shotgun

July 25, 2019

QL+ engineering students from Colorado School of Mines worked on various field and stream related projects. This team tasked with designing and creating a shotgun mount that could be used to shoot trap, skeet, and hunt from a wheelchair. The mount had to be designed to have the ability to support a majority of the weight of a shotgun and its recoil, move freely both laterally and vertically, and be adjustable for a variety of users and needs....

UC: Scooter Rack Lift

July 25, 2019

QL+ engineering students from the University of Cincinnati were asked to design and build a Scooter Rack Lift Device. Our QL+ Challenger is Army Veteran, Mike Donnelly. Mike served in Vietnam and was exposed to Agent Orange. This exposure caused him numerous health problems, including legal blindness and mobility issues. To help Mike get around, he was given a mobility scooter and a scooter rack that attaches to his vehicle. However, the scooter rack was far too heavy for Mike or his wife to put on/take off the vehicle, and it couldn’t be left attached as it would prevent the vehicle from fitting in the garage. A solution was needed to allow Mike to move his scooter rack to and from his vehicle....

Mines: Socket Air Pump

July 24, 2019

QL+ engineering students from Colorado School of Mines were tasked with finding a solution for a transtibial amputee to minimize the number of times his prosthetic would need to be removed for volumetric adjustment throughout the day. The goal was to produce a simple system that could be utilized within existing prosthetic sockets that could accommodate changes in the volume of the residual limb....

University of Dayton: Voice-Activated Shifting

July 24, 2019

QL+ engineering students from the University of Dayton were asked to design and build a Voice-Activated Shifting Device for QL+ Challenger, Tim Brown. The goal of this Challenge is to create a device that will allow Tim to use his voice to activate the derailleurs on his handcycle to shift gears. The device is lightweight, durable, weatherproof, portable, and simple to use....

Cal Poly: Recumbent Bike Transfer

July 23, 2019

QL+ mechanical engineering students from Cal Poly were asked to design and build a Recumbent Bike Transfer Device. The QL+ Challenger is Captain Danny Knutson, a retired Naval aviator who suffered a hit-and-run cycling accident in 2008, leaving him an incomplete quadriplegic with limited use of his arms and an impaired sense of balance. Danny enjoys riding his recumbent trike for fun and for exercise, however, it is difficult and strenuous for his wife to lift and lower him into his trike....

Mines: Hypersensitive Hearing

July 23, 2019

QL+ engineering students from Colorado School of Mines were tasked with the Hypersensitive Hearing Challenge. The focus of this project was to improve the quality of life of Humberto Reyna, a former North Carolina State Trooper and QL+ Challenger. About nine years ago, Humberto was in a tragic car accident while on duty which left him with a traumatic brain injury. One of the major effects of this accident is that he suffers from hyperacusis (hypersensitive hearing). This hyperacusis greatly limits his ability to be comfortable in a public setting where ambient noise is very loud and painful to him....

SDSU: Motorcycle Wheelchair Carrier

July 22, 2019

QL+ engineering students from San Diego State University tackled the Motorcycle Wheelchair Carrier Challenge. The goal of this Challenge was to design and fabricate a carrier for a motorcycle that can securely attach a wheelchair for a paralyzed Veteran....

Xavier University: VFW Recruitment

July 22, 2019

QL+ students from Xavier University worked on the VFW Recruitment Challenge. The members of VFW Post 10380, in Green Township, Cincinnati, Ohio live their Mission: to serve Veterans, the military, and our communities. They hold meetings every third Thursday of the month. 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. Like many VFW’s and other Veteran Service Organizations, this Post struggles to recruit younger members to ensure the future of the group....

CU: WHEELCHAIR CARRYON LUGGAGE TRANSPORT

July 21, 2019

QL+ engineering students from the University of Colorado Boulder were tasked with the challenge of developing a method to improve portage of airline luggage for use with a wheelchair. Our Challenger, Taylor Morris, is a Navy Veteran and EOD Technician who lost parts of all four limbs when he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) in Afghanistan. The team's main goal was to design for his needs, but in order to improve product marketability, the team wanted to incorporate design aspects that made the device applicable to a range of disabilities....

UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI: BUTT BRAKE

July 21, 2019

QL+ engineering students from the University of Cincinnati were tasked with the challenge of designing a hydraulic disc butt brake. The purpose of this challenge is to create an alternative braking mechanism for a bicycle. The challenger for this project is Ashley Crandall. Ashley served six years in the Army and another four in the Army National Guard as a helicopter mechanic. Ashley suffers from weak grip in her hands due to a multitude of health issues. These injuries restrict Ashley’s ability to use the traditional hand brakes on a bicycle. Ashley enjoys riding her bike and has many friends in the cycling community. Because of her injury, Ashley has been unable to participate in cycling events and has lost touch with some of the community. With the Butt Brake, Ashely will be able to get back to doing what she loves....

Virginia Tech: Spikeboard

July 21, 2019

QL+ mechanical engineering students from Virginia Tech tackled the Spikeboard Challenge. QL+ Challenger, Rob Jones is a double, above the knee, amputee that is committed to pushing himself past any obstacle. Rob is a fellow Hokie that deployed to Iraq in 2008 with the Marine Corps. In 2010, he deployed to Afghanistan where his main role was to detect buried IEDs. Unfortunately, an IED exploded before he found it and he lost both of his legs in the incident. Rob has by no means let his condition limit him in any way. He won a bronze medal in the 2012 Paralympics as a tandem rower, ran 31 marathons in 31 days in 31 different cities, and he has also cycled across the United States of America....

Cal Poly: Sand Foot

July 20, 2019

QL+ engineering students from Cal Poly were tasked with the challenge of designing and building a prosthesis for use on the sand for QL+ Challenger, Sgt. Brady. After consulting with Sgt. Brady and QL+ and performing extensive research, this team defined customer requirements and engineering specifications to meet these requirements. Comfortability, durability, and sand proof were key customer requirements....

SDSU: Surfboard Propulsion System

July 19, 2019

QL+ engineering students from San Diego State University were challenged to design and build a device to help a veteran, who lost both legs after stepping on an improvised explosive device (IED), turn and control a surfboard. The team connected with Jordan Sisco, a veteran Army sergeant with the 123rd Infantry Battalion. In 2012, while on foot patrol in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Jordan stepped on an IED and lost both legs and his left thumb. Surfing is one of Jordan’s favorite pastimes and has been a great outlet for him since the incident....

Cal Poly: Adaptive Trailer Hitch

July 18, 2019

QL+ mechanical engineering students from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo were challenged to create an Adaptive Trailer Hitch for QL+ Challenger, Taylor Morris. Taylor is a Navy Veteran and EOD Technician. While serving in Afghanistan, Taylor encountered an improvised explosive device (IED) and lost parts of all four limbs. Thanks to advancements in prosthetic technology Taylor still enjoys living an active lifestyle in Iowa....

University of Dayton: Stable Walker Chair

July 17, 2019

The purpose of the Stable Walker Challenge was to design a walker that is similar to, but more stable than the Merry Walker. A Physical Therapy Supervisor at the Dayton Veterans Affairs Medical Center has veteran patients with dementia that would benefit from a more stable mobility device. These types of patients tend to shake and tip the Merry Walker, and as a result, cannot be left alone without supervision for any length of time....

Virginia Tech: Wheelchair Tire Cleaner

July 17, 2019

The objective of this Challenge was to create a device to effectively clean our Challenger's wheelchair tires before he enters his home. QL+ Challenger, Adam Keys, is an Army Veteran and triple amputee (bilateral above the knee and below the left elbow). Adam lives a very active lifestyle; most recently, he climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and participated in the Chicago Marathon. He was recently named Military Times' Veteran of the Year for 2019....

VCU: Better Knee Brace

July 11, 2019

This QL+ Challenge was to develop a knee brace for our Challenger, a Veteran Army Paratrooper. He suffered soft tissue damage after a parachute malfunction, resulting in bone spurs, arthritis, and meniscus injuries. He wanted a brace that doesn't slip during activity. The team’s objective was to develop a brace that he can use during daily activities, including sled hockey....

Cal Poly: Navy SEAL Prosthetic Hand

July 11, 2019

This QL+ Team from Cal Poly was tasked with creating a prosthetic hand for QL+ Challenger and Navy SEAL, Toshiro Carrington. He lost his left hand (past the carpels) in a training accident. The amputation makes it difficult to execute his job of training SEALs and other military personnel to shoot and reload pistols and long guns....

Mines: Assistive Fishing Challenge

July 11, 2019

This team was challenged to redesign a fishing mechanism for River Deep Alliance. This mechanism had been ineffective for them in the past when working with traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients. Currently, no efficient commercial fishing equipment solutions suitable for quadriplegic, paraplegic, and also fully able-bodied users exist....

Cal Poly: Cooking Hand

July 11, 2019

QL+ Challenger, Jorge Segura, is a Marine who was wounded in Afghanistan. After 26 surgeries in seven years to try and save his right arm, he decided to amputate it above the elbow. The goal of this Challenge was to provide Jorge with a way to cook independently and efficiently with his amputated arm....

University of Colorado, Boulder: Swimmer Lift

July 10, 2019

QL+ Engineering students from CU-Boulder designed and built a "Swimmer Lift" as their capstone project. The QL+ Challenger is the Travis Mills Foundation, a non-profit organization supporting recalibrated veterans and their families through long-term programs that help them overcome physical obstacles, strengthen their families, and provide well-deserved rest and relaxation....

San Diego State University: Sled Hockey Transfer

July 10, 2019

Jason requires a machine to assist him in the transition between his wheelchair and ice hockey sled. This way, Jason can easily and more safely be lifted from his wheelchair to his sled. The system must fit in Jason’s van, be light enough that one person can lift and set it up, take no more than two minutes to transport Jason, and remain static while under heavy load in every position of the transportation process....

Colorado School of Mines: Prosthetic Accessories

July 9, 2019

For the last nine months, the Colorado School of Mines Prosthetic Arm Accessories team has been redesigning Taylor Morris’ current right arm prosthetic with the goal of increasing Taylor’s daily independence. This was accomplished through determination from Taylor by installing a pen, exacto knife, flashlight, laser pointer, and electric barbeque lighter into the arm. The design focus was to keep a low-profile, smooth outer surface prosthetic with all accessories contained inside the outer shell. Additionally, all electric accessories will be tied into the arm’s current myo-electric battery powered system, giving Taylor confidence that his accessories will work as long as he follows his current habits and charges the arm at night....

Ohio University: Thermoregulation Vest

July 8, 2019

The objective of this Challenge was to design a cooling vest for the Challenger, Will Rolfe. Will lives in Maine and is a veteran of the United States Air Force. He has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), which is a disease that affects the nervous system and can prevent the brain from receiving and transmitting information. For example, Will’s body struggles to send the necessary information in order to cool himself down. To counter this, Will has been using his old military plate carrier with large ice packs inserted into it. The main problem with this setup is that Will must wear the bulky vest outside in the public eye. He wanted a vest that not only has a thinner profile, but also provides the necessary cooling capabilities....

Virginia Tech: Spasticity Hand Brace

June 28, 2019

QL+ engineering students from Virginia Tech worked on the Spasticity Hand Brace for QL+ Challenger, Mark Dellinger. Mark is a retired US Air Force Sergeant who had a stroke in 2015. The stroke resulted in limited mobility on the right side of Mark’s body. He has regained some mobility but is still affected by a condition known as spasticity in his right wrist and hand. Spasticity is characterized by continually contracting muscles. This condition makes it nearly impossible for Mark to voluntarily open his hand, causing difficulty in performing daily tasks such as cleaning and cooking....

Virginia Commonwealth University: Waterproof Osseointegration Covers

June 27, 2019

QL+ engineering students from Virginia Commonwealth University worked on the Waterproof Osseointegration Covers Challenge for an Army Veteran who lost both legs above the knee due to an improvised explosive device (IED). Due to the severe damage to his legs and the recovery process, he was unable to wear conventional prosthetics. As such, he underwent a trial study and became a recipient of osseointegration surgery. This procedure involves taking titanium rods and grafting them to the bone to facilitate the attachment of a prosthetic device....

George Mason: Wobble Chair

June 9, 2019

A “wobble chair” is a postural control benchmark testing device used at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC)....

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: DUGAN DOTSON, CAL POLY

June 9, 2019

Dugan and his teammates are working on the Sand Foot Challenge. The team has been tasked with the Challenge to design a “beach-proof” transtibial prosthetic for our Challenger who is a Marine Veteran. In 2010, our Challenger lost his leg from an IED while serving in Afghanistan. Traditional prosthetics do not handle sand and water well. This team's goal is to design a new prosthetic to make walking on the sand easier and more comfortable....

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: JOSEPH LEE, CAL POLY

May 20, 2019

The proudest moment of my college career has honestly been working on this project. I feel that a lot of projects I have worked on hasn't made an impact on someone's life, but this project might actually help make someone's life better....

Getting the Technology Out There--An Interview with Sidney Collin

May 9, 2019

Sidney Collin is the Founder and CEO of De Oro Devices, a company that designs and manufactures a device called the Gaitway, the first retrofit solution that attaches to any cane or walker and uses clinically proven visual and audio cues to help people with Parkinson’s overcome freezing of gait....

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: NATALIE EBREO, VIRGINIA TECH

April 29, 2019

Natalie is a senior at Virginia Tech, graduating this May. She is majoring in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Green Energy. Natalie and her teammates are working on the Wheelchair Tire Cleaner. Our challenger, Adam Keys, lives a very active lifestyle and frequently tracks dirt and debris into his home from his manual and powered wheelchairs. The challenge is to create a wheelchair tire cleaner device that Adam can use to thoroughly clean his tires before he enters his home....

CHALLENGER SALUTE: ADAM KEYS, ARMY

April 2, 2019

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....

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: DUANIA EVANS, CAL POLY

March 13, 2019

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....

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: MEGAN FREEMAN, VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH UNIVERSITY

March 13, 2019

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)....

CHALLENGER SALUTE: MIKE DONNELLY, ARMY

March 6, 2019

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....

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: ROSE GOSSETT, UNIVERSITY OF DAYTON

March 4, 2019

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....

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: TAYLOR KELLER, COLORADO SCHOOL OF MINES

February 25, 2019

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....

CHALLENGER SALUTE: MARK DELLINGER, AIR FORCE

February 20, 2019

QL+ Challenge: Spasticity Wrist Brace, Virginia Tech. A QL+ Team of mechanical engineering students is creating an improved wrist/hand brace for Mark, who suffered a stroke in 2014. The brace will allow for good wrist and finger extension....

CHALLENGER SALUTE: ASHLEY CRANDALL, ARMY

February 5, 2019

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....

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: RYAN KRONK, UNIVERSITY OF DAYTON

January 28, 2019

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

January 24, 2019

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....

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: JOSHUA BAKER, UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI

January 21, 2019

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....

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: OSAMA ALOWAIDI, UNIVERSITY OF DAYTON

January 7, 2019

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....

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: TIM JONES, UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI

December 10, 2018

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....

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: SEAN LISTON, CAL POLY

December 3, 2018

Sean Liston is in his fifth year at California Polytechnic State University and is scheduled to graduate in 2019. He is majoring in Mechanical Engineering and minoring in Spanish. Sean and his teammates are working on the "Single Arm Recumbent Hand Cycle Challenge." Up until now, there have been no bikes to accommodate triple amputees who want to cycle without the use of prostheses....

CHALLENGER SALUTE: ROB JONES, MARINE CORP

November 20, 2018

What made you decide to join the United States Armed Forces? I was seeking a purpose that was greater than myself, and brotherhood and ways to become courageous and selfless....

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: NOAH SHAEFER, UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI

November 16, 2018

Noah Shaefer is a fifth-year mechanical engineering major at the University of Cincinnati. He is graduating in May of 2019. Noah and his teammates are working on the Scooter Lift Challenge for a Vietnam Veteran who is legally blind and has mobility issues. The goal of the Challenge is to build a device that will allow the Veteran to lift his scooter vehicle rack system, move it to his truck, and attach it to the hitch....

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: AMY WILSON, CAL POLY

October 25, 2018

Amy Wilson is a Cal Poly Mechanical Engineering student graduating in June of 2019. Amy and her teammates are working on the Cooking Arm Multitool Challenge. Their challenge is to design and build a tool that will enable Jorge, a combat-wounded Marine, above-the-elbow amputee, and stay-at-home dad, to cook for his family. He primarily needs a device that will help him hold bowls and pots in place while stirring, as well as grip jars to open them with his dominant hand....

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: AMANDA MEARES, CAL POLY

October 25, 2018

Amanda Meares is a senior at Cal Poly majoring in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Mathematics. Amanda and her teammates are working on the Cooking Arm Multitool Challenge for Jorge Segura, a combat-wounded Marine, and above-the-elbow amputee. The prosthetic they are designing will allow Jorge to more easily cook and work in the kitchen and perform functions such as chopping, stirring, and prying....

STUDENTS SPOTLIGHT: CHRIS URASAKI, CAL POLY

October 5, 2018

Chris Urasaki is a Cal Poly Manufacturing Engineering student, graduating in June of 2019. Chris and his teammates are working on the "Sand Foot Challenge." The goal of the Sand Foot Challenge is to create a below-the-knee prosthetic leg for QL+ Challenger, Craig Brady, a Marine Veteran. The Sand Foot will allow him to comfortably walk on the sand. The rigidity of the ankle on his current prosthesis is causing him pain when he walks on the sand....

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: RANDALL TUCKER, OHIO UNIVERSITY

October 1, 2018

Randall Tucker is a senior at Ohio University--Russ College of Engineering and Technology. Randall is majoring in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Mathematics. Randall and his teammates are working on the Thermoregulation Challenge for an Air Force Veteran battling Multiple Sclerosis. The team is designing and building a garment that will help him regulate his temperature, thereby improving his quality of life....

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: JOSEPH CARMICHAEL, OHIO UNIVERSITY

September 17, 2018

Joseph "Joe" Carmichael is a senior at Ohio University--Russ College of Engineering and Technology. Joe is majoring in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Math. Joe and his teammates are working on the Thermoregulation Challenge, a Challenge to improve the quality of life of an Air Force Veteran battling Multiple Sclerosis....

BLASTER'S GARAGE

July 17, 2018

What is Blaster’s Garage? Blaster’s Garage is a YouTube mini-series, detailing the process and steps it takes to rebuild a vehicle. It was created by Leon Tackitt, the owner, and winemaker at Tackitt Family Vineyards, near Paso Robles, California. Leon served for 27 years in the United States Navy, with over 22 of those years in Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD)....

MINES: SOFT SOCKET SHORTIES

June 25, 2018

QL+ Engineering Students from Colorado School of Mines were challenged to design and create “soft socket shorties” to improve the quality of life of a QL+ Challenger and Army Veteran named Jeremy. Jeremy has been on nine deployments overseas. After safely returning from deployment, Jeremy was hit by a drunk driver in his driveway while loading his truck for a fishing trip. Jeremy is now a bilateral above-the-knee double amputee....

CAL POLY: SOFT SOCKET SHORTIES

June 25, 2018

QL+ Engineering Students from Cal Poly were challenged to design and create “soft socket shorties” for an Army Veteran named Jeremy. “Soft Socket Shorties” are a slipper or minimalist running shoe-like product for bilateral above knee amputees. QL+ Challenger Jeremy has been on nine deployments overseas. After safely returning from deployment, Jeremy was hit by a drunk driver in his driveway while loading his truck for a fishing trip. The accident caused him to lose both his legs above the knee and part of his right hand....

UNIVERSITY OF DAYTON: TREADMILL CENTERING

June 25, 2018

QL+ engineering students from the University of Dayton designed and built a Treadmill Centering Device for blind Air Force Veteran, Larry Gunter. While Larry was serving in the Air Force, he was diagnosed with Retina Pigmentosa, a genetic disease that causes the degeneration of the retina. This degeneration ultimately causes blindness. Despite being blind, Larry is very active. He cycles, runs, swims, and rows. In June, he hiked the Appalachian Trail....

CAL POLY: Curb Navigation

June 25, 2018

A team of QL+ engineering students from Cal Poly was tasked with the Challenge of designing and building a Curb Navigation Device for Air Force Veteran, Velette Britt. Velette is an Air Force Veteran who served from 2007 to 2016. In August of 2015, she was riding her mountain bike in Colorado. She attempted to ride down a very technical, sandy, and steep descent and fell almost 60 feet. As a result of this crash, she suffered from a spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury. She is now in a wheelchair and paralyzed from the waist down....

VIRGINIA TECH: Wheelchair Tire Change

June 20, 2018

L+ engineering students from Virginia Tech were tasked with the Challenge of creating a Wheelchair Tire Change Device for QL+ Challenger and Army Veteran, Tammy Landeen. Tammy was involved in a horseback riding accident that resulted in the loss of her leg function. She lives in Maine and is an avid outdoors person. Tammy depends on others to help her change out her wheelchair wheels whenever they get dirty from outside activity. She challenged this team to design a device that would allow her to be more independent and improve her quality of life....

CAL POLY: TREADMILL CENTERING DEVICE

June 20, 2018

This Cal Poly QL+ Team was challenged to design a device to allow a visually impaired person to run efficiently and effectively on a treadmill without fear of falling off or injuring themselves. The device must be small, lightweight, and have a smooth, autonomous setup while providing feedback to the user wirelessly for them to correct their movement. The ultimate goal of the device is to allow the user to be comfortable, safe, and free while using it to ensure they have the best running experience....

MINES: Manual Beach Wheelchair

June 20, 2018

QL+ Students from Colorado School of Mines were tasked with the Challenge of designing a wheelchair to traverse the beach for QL+ Challenger and Navy Veteran, Nathan DeWalt. While serving in the Navy, Nathan was injured on a motorcycle while traveling home from a training exercise. Nathan lives in Florida and enjoys spending time with his wife daughters, traversing the beach with his family....

CAL POLY: Blind Slalom

June 20, 2018

This Cal Poly QL+ Team was tasked with designing technology that would allow visually impaired kayakers to complete a basic kayak slalom course. The QL+ Challenger for this project is Team River Runner. Team River Runner is an organization dedicated to creating "an environment of healthy adventure, recreation, and camaraderie for healing active duty, veteran service members, and their families through adaptive kayaking.” Team River Runner wants to employ a modified version of a kayak slalom course that would be navigable by blind kayakers....

CAL POLY: Push-Up/Plank

June 20, 2018

Cal Poly QL+ Students tasked with the Challenge of creating a push-up/plank device for retired Army Captain, Dawn Halfaker. Captain Halfaker served in Kuwait, South Korea, and Iraq. During her deployment in Iraq in 2004, her convoy was ambushed outside of Baghdad. Her right side was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade, resulting in an amputation of her arm and part of her shoulder....

MINES: Recumbent Trike Loading Device

June 19, 2018

QL+ Engineering Students from Colorado School of Mines were tasked with designing and implementing a device to assist Veteran Naval Aviator and QL+ Challenger Captain Danny Knutson and his wife, with loading and unloading a recumbent trike from a hitch-mounted bike rack....

CAL POLY: WHEELCHAIR TIRE CHANGE CHALLENGE

June 14, 2018

QL+ Students from Cal Poly designed and built a rear-wheel wheelchair lift for Army Veteran, Tammy Landeen. Tammy is a 10-year Army Veteran living in Maine. She was injured in a horseback riding accident in 2005, which caused her to become paralyzed from the waist down. She is very active and enjoys spending time outdoors, regardless of the season....

MINES: CURB NAVIGATION CHALLENGE

June 12, 2018

Velette Britt is an Air Force Veteran, who after a mountain bike accident, became a paraplegic. Despite this, she maintains an active lifestyle—she enjoys skiing and cycles, competitively. Students from Colorado School of Mines were tasked with the Challenge of helping Velette traverse curbs in her wheelchair....

VIRGINIA TECH: Push-up/Plank Challenge

June 7, 2018

Dawn is a retired Army Captain who was injured in Iraq in 2004 when a rocket-propelled grenade went through her Jeep. This resulted in the loss of her right arm and shoulder. Dawn is a very active person and is a fitness enthusiast. She loves to work out with the assistance of her trainer. However, due to her injury, she is unable to perform exercises such as push-ups and planks. Attempts at these exercises result in the misuse of her muscles and could damage them or result in the uneven development of abdominal muscles....

Moving Forward in Life. Together.

May 22, 2018

Crystal strives to be the best version of herself, for two significant reasons—her husband and her son. She explains, “I want to be the best version of myself so that I can support Tyler in any way I need to, on our mission to prevent his disability from limiting him from leading the life that he wants to lead.” She wants to be the best mom possible to their son. “Our miracle boy deserves the best. I want to keep up with him as he grows and becomes more active.”...

Change Comes From Within

May 2, 2018

Tyler was only 20 years old when he was injured. “I felt like I didn’t know my purpose after being wounded so young,” he adds, “I had a plan in mind for what I would do with my life, and then I became a paralyzed, retired Vet.” In 2013, Tyler shifted his thinking and made a pivotal change in his life. “I realized I was the only one who was able to change my circumstances and my life, so if I wanted to change, I would have to do something about it.”...

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: ARIEL MAE CRISOSTOMO, CAL POLY

April 30, 2018

Ariel Mae Crisostomo is a Biomedical Engineering senior with a Psychology minor at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. She is graduating in June 2018. Ariel chose to major in BMED because she is fascinated by innovation and meeting clinical needs with technological solutions. She states, “The field is so broad and application-based with so many opportunities to help people personally and directly. I chose to minor in psychology because it is helpful to know how and why people might think the way they do in order to design useful products for a user.”...

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: NEDDIE BYRON, VIRGINIA TECH

April 9, 2018

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

April 3, 2018

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

April 1, 2018

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

March 28, 2018

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

March 21, 2018

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

March 19, 2018

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....

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: BRANDON WEIHL, COLORADO SCHOOL OF MINES

March 5, 2018

Brandon Weihl is a senior at Colorado School of Mines. Brandon is majoring in mechanical engineering. He chose this course of study because he wanted to engage in multiple fields of engineering and felt that mechanical engineering was the best path to take for those experiences. Brandon wants the freedom to specialize in an engineering field, later in his career....

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: ABIGAIL REULAND, COLORADO SCHOOL OF MINES

February 24, 2018

Abigail Reuland is a senior mechanical engineering major at Colorado School of Mines. Abigail didn't always know what she wanted to do when she grew up, but she knew that whatever she did, she wanted to have a direct, positive impact on people's lives. She chose to major in mechanical engineering because it is a perfect fit for technically-minded people like her who want to be exposed to multiple industries....

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: BRIAN FROECHTENIGT, MINES

February 17, 2018

Brian Froechtenigt is a senior mechanical engineering student at Colorado School of Mines. Brian joined the QL+ Program through his Capstone Senior Design Project....

Marc Wautelet, University Of Dayton

February 9, 2018

Marc Wautelet is in his last semester at the University of Dayton, pursuing a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering, with a biomechanical minor. Marc chose mechanical engineering because he's always enjoyed the process of transforming his ideas into real-world applications....

Finding The New Normal

January 5, 2018

In the fall of 2002, Dr. Barb Springer arrived at Walter Reed Army Medical Center (now known as “Walter Reed National Military Medical Center”), not knowing what to expect. No one did. No one knew the number of casualties our Nation would endure or how extensive and complex the combat wounds would be, once the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan began....

My Biggest Hurdle Was Me

January 3, 2018

Tammy Landeen 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. As a result of this accident, Tammy is now in a wheelchair....

Building a Device That Builds Confidence

January 3, 2018

Captain Danny Knutson served for 25 years in the United States Navy as a Naval Aviator. When he started his career, he was in a single seat attack, A-7E Corsair and later transitioned to the strike/fighter F/A-18C. Captain Knutson taught pilots how to land on aircraft carriers, commanded a Hornet Squadron, and then was an Air Wing Commander on the USS Constellation....

Experience + Inspiration

January 3, 2018

Jon Monett, the founder of QL+, is an Air Force Veteran. After his service to our country, he studied Engineering at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly). Soon after graduation, he joined the CIA and eventually rose through the ranks and became a senior executive....

Wounded Vet. Student Vet. Helping Vets

January 3, 2018

Lance Iunker is the West Coast Program Manager for QL+. Born and raised in San Luis Obispo, CA, he joined the Army right out of high school and became an Airborne Infantryman in the 82nd Airborne Division....

My Blindness is My Motivator

January 3, 2018

Larry Gunter is an Air Force Veteran and QL+ Challenger. He is working with engineering students at Cal Poly and the University of Dayton to create a Treadmill Centering Device for blind runners....