Karen Ruis is a senior engineering student at The George Washington University.  Karen is graduating in May 2020.  She is majoring in Biomedical Engineering. 
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Karen and her teammates worked on the Handcycle Leg Carrier Challenge for an Army Veteran who has a prosthetic leg.  Our Challenger, Rosemary, loves to handcycle.  The team's goal was to be able to create a carrier that is lightweight and easily attachable to the handcycle for easy use.  This device will allow Rosemary to bring her prosthetic leg with her on long trips.

Why did you choose your major?  I’ve always had a passion for building and engineering. Biomedical engineering allows me to have a close patient interface with potential users of the devices I create and that to me is a very rewarding feeling.  

Describe your experience working with QL+ so far.  Working with QL+ gave me my first experience in human-centered design.  Working directly with Rosemary allowed us to create a close client relationship to create a device that fits all her needs and specifications.  The biggest challenge I would say was finalizing our solution in order to ensure Rosemary had all the components she needed.  Most rewarding of course was presenting our device for her to use.  Although we weren’t able to completely finish the device (because of COVID-19), I was happy to present our viable minimal product for her to use and provide feedback on. 

What is it like working with your Challenger?  Rosemary is a very inspiring individual and I am very grateful I was able to work with her.  She was very easy to work with.  She always made sure she had time to answer our questions and accommodated all our needs when it came to testing our device. 

What would you say to other students about QL+?  I would say that if their goal is to gain experience in human-centered design, QL+ is the way to do it. It is an amazing organization that puts students directly in touch with members who have served to improve their way of life. There is nothing more rewarding than that. 

What are your plans after graduation?  Graduate school at The George Washington University with a focus on medical imaging and taking my role as the Director of George Hacks, a student-led organization that catalyzes innovation and healthcare solutions.   

What three words best describe you?  Ambitious, selfless, proactive  
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