Jade Sommers is a senior at San Diego State University, graduating in May 2020.  She is majoring in Mechanical Engineering Major with Bioengineering Emphasis.  Jade and her teammates are working on the Protective Cap for Upper Extremity Osseointegration Challenge. 

Their goal is to create what in theory looks like an artificial elbow. Currently, there is no protection for those with an implant when a prosthetic is not attached.  The only available item is a 3D printed attachment piece that our challenger is unable to lean on and that provides little to no protection.  Their goal is to create a cap that will attach to the attachment piece and provide protection and comfort to our Challenger so that he may return to sport and leisure activities.

The protective cap they created will have 3 layers: a shock layer made of silicone rubber, a protection layer made of carbon fiber, and a comfort layer made of foam.  Our Challenger asked the device to be attached to the attachment piece given. On the inside, there will be a press-fit casing in which the Challenger can push the attachment piece inside.  There is a spring-and-rod assembly on the inside and when the Challenger wishes to remove the cap, he will push the button at the top activating the spring and rod assembly and pushing the attachment piece out.
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Why did you choose your major?  I chose my major because I knew it could help lead me to a career where I can tackle the world’s toughest challenges and make real change right now.

Describe your experience working with QL+ so far.  This project has been really amazing because it is going to actually impact someone’s life and we get to work with our Challenger directly. The most challenging part of this project has been communicating with our Challenger effectively and creating this new device that has never been made before.
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What is it like working with your Challenger?  Our Challenger is one of the most impressive people I’ve ever met. He is so outgoing and living life to the fullest. His dry humor blends well with mine, and I really look forward to our meetings and eventually delivering the product to him. Nick has really helped change my perspective on a lot of things and helped motivate me to live life to the fullest.

What would you say to other students about QL+?  Working with QL+ is great because you are making real change while you’re in college. The organization’s values and practices are easy to get on board with because they are solely motivated to help their Challengers.

What are your plans after graduation?  I have applied to graduate school for Mechanical Engineering at UCSD and Biomedical Engineering at NYU, and I hope to eventually pursue a Ph.D. I want to study Biomimicry, copying natural designs and processes for human applications.

What has been the proudest moment of your college career?  This project has been the highlight of my college career. All my coursework and extracurricular stuff have been leading up to this, and I feel a great honor working on this project with QL+.

What three words best describe you?  Adventurous, Curious, Goal-Oriented

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