Dugan Dotson is a 5th-year Mechanical Engineering major, graduating in June of this year. 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.
Why did you choose your major? I choose Mechanical Engineering (ME) because I am very interested in how the physical world works around me. ME gave me exactly that with classes that range from transmission redesigns to supersonic fluid propulsion. Now every time I walk outside I can mentally apply the concepts I’ve learned in class to something I’m seeing happen right in front of me (like an apple falling from a tree).
Describe your experience working with QL+. What is the biggest Challenge? What has been rewarding? The most rewarding part of working on a QL+ project is that I know all of my hard work is directly going to benefit someone’s life. On all of the late nights working, I know it will be all worth it in the end. The biggest challenge to overcome was having to quickly learn a lot about anatomy as it is one of the few classes I did not have to take during my time at Cal Poly.
What would you say to other students about QL+? I would highly recommend getting involved in a QL+ project not only for the chance to help improve someone’s life but the awesome networking opportunities the club introduces you to.
What are your plans after graduation? I will start work at Whiting-Turner, a large general contracting firm based in San Francisco as a Project Engineer.
What three words best describe you? Determined, considerate, and outgoing.