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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: GARRET LAWLOR, VIRGINIA TECH

November 7, 2018

Garrett Lawlor is a sophomore at Virginia Tech. He is majoring in Materials Science Engineering and minoring in Biomedical Engineering. He is a member of the newly formed QL+ Club on campus. Garrett and his teammates are designing and building an accessible-to-all miniature golf course. The design of the course must take into consideration necessary safety precautions and must include safety railings and minimizing the complicity of the course without taking away from the amusement of it. The team wants the course to be mobile which will be accomplished by building pieces of the course that will be fastened together to make the entire product....

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: Allison Furmidge, UCSD

April 23, 2018

Allison Furmidge is a second-year student at the University of San Diego. She is studying bioengineering, with a mechanical engineering focus. In the fall of 2017, Allison started the QL+ Club at UCSD. She saw the impact QL+ had on local communities and wanted to expand that impact to the people of San Diego....

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: ALIDOD GHAZVINI, CAL POLY

March 9, 2018

Alidod Ghazvini is a senior at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California. He is studying Mechanical Engineering and graduating in December 2018. After graduation, he hopes to pursue a master's degree in Mechanical Engineering with an emphasis in biomechanics. Alidod chose to study Mechanical Engineering because of his love for math and physics....

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 23, 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 16, 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....

Student Spotlight: Berkeley Elizabeth Davis, Cal Poly

February 4, 2018

Berkeley Davis is a senior at California Polytechnic Institute in San Luis Obispo, California. She is a Mechanical Engineering major with a Mechatronics Concentration. Berkeley chose this course of study because, since childhood, she's always loved math....

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 2, 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 2, 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 2, 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 2, 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 2, 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....