Joseph Lee is a Mechanical Engineering--General Concentration, graduating in December 2019. Joseph and his teammates are working on the Recumbent Bike Transfer Challenge. The goal of this Challenge is to find a way for Veteran Naval Aviator, Captain Danny Knutson, to enter and exit his recumbent trike without any discomfort to Captain Knutson or his caregiver. While serving in the Navy, Captain Knutson’s spine and neck were compromised during an in-flight ejection from a crippled Navy jet. In 2008, he was struck by a vehicle while riding his bicycle. This hit-and-run collision caused him to sustain a spinal cord injury. His right arm is paralyzed, and he has limited use of his left arm. He also has severe balance issues. He is an incomplete quadriplegic who spent eight months in rehabilitation, learning how to walk again.
Why did you choose your major? I chose to be a mechanical engineer because coming out of high school, there were many fields of engineering that I wanted to study, like aerospace, biomedical engineering, and civil engineering. I found that as a mechanical engineer I could study aspects of all these fields.
Describe your experience working with QL+ so far. What is the biggest challenge? What has been rewarding? My experience with QL+ has been great so far. The biggest challenge so far has been trying to make a device for someone who is paralyzed because we can try to mimic his movement, but it won't be exactly how he moves. This has required a lot of communication between our user and testing it on ourselves. The most rewarding thing has been knowing that our project will help a veteran be able to do one of his favorite hobbies, ride his recumbent trike.
What would you say to other students about QL+? I would tell other students that QL+ is more than just building something for someone. QL+ will actually change some people's lives.
What are your plans after graduation? My plans after graduation are to Travel outside of the US and after that get a job in Seattle, WA, which is where I am from and where my family resides.
What has been the proudest moment of your college career? 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.
What three words best describe you? Optimistic, Inquisitive, and easygoing.