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.
Before the start of his sophomore year at Cal Poly, Alidod spent two summers volunteering for medical missions in Guayaquil, Ecuador. He assisted doctors in cleft-palate surgeries and cared for patients post-surgery. These experiences motivated him to combine his love of engineering and human life and join the Cal Poly Quality of Life Plus Student Association. He states, "This program stood out to me because it is an open learning environment that allows students to develop innovative solutions to improve the lives of people who have done so much for our country. QL+ truly puts the students in the perfect situation to succeed and learn how to work in a multidisciplinary environment, which is why I've stayed ever since I joined."
During his Junior year, he joined a formal QL+ design project team. On this team, he and his teammates designed a prosthetic arm for a 16-year-old with Amniotic Band Syndrome. "This project was a lot of fun because I finally got an opportunity to pursue my goal of making a difference in someone's life," said Alidod. For Alidod, the biggest challenge throughout the design process was getting all subsystems of the prosthetic to work properly with each other. After going through many prototypes and spending countless hours in the lab testing their design, the team finished the arm in June. "Seeing the enthusiasm on our challenger's face as he put on the arm was one of the most defining moments in my early engineering career," he states. "This program overall is very beneficial to the university because not only do we develop our technical skills and work in a hands-on environment, but it allows the school to assist the people in our community and around the United States."
Alidod believes that this project made him a better engineer-it gave him skills he wouldn't have learned anywhere else. Working with QL+ also helped him get my first internship in the Medical Device Industry. "I am indebted to the Quality of Life Plus Program for not only making me a better engineer but also for helping me find my passion within the discipline," he states. "Considering what QL+ has done for me, the impact it has on people with disabilities, and it's overall mission, I think every university should have a program similar to this since students get the chance to build a device that helps a specific individual."