Kathryn Versteeg is a 4th-year engineering student at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.  She is graduating in December 2020.  Kathryn is majoring in Mechanical Engineering, with a minor in Biology.   

Kathryn and her teammates are working on the Prosthetic Foot Shell Senior Challenge.  They are working with Marine and Founder of Amp Surf, Dana Cummings.  The goal of this project is to design a more durable foot shell.  Foot shells last the typical user around 1 year, but since Dana is very active, his foot shell typically lasts 2-3 months.  The team is researching various designs and materials to produce a new foot shell for him.

Why did you choose your major?  I have always really enjoyed math and working with people.  When I was researching majors, I found engineering to be something that was very interesting to me.  I was originally interested in Biomedical Engineering but decided to go with Mechanical because I felt like I would have more opportunities.  I ended up getting a Biology minor because I missed taking Biology classes and with the minor, I was able to take more genetics courses which I find very interesting.

Describe your experience working with QL+ so far.  It has been an amazing experience working with QL+. There are so many projects they sponsor that really impact people's lives and it's amazing to see all the hard work that goes into each of them.  So far the biggest challenge has been coming up with a design that will be more durable than current ones on the market.  However, it has been extremely rewarding as I've learned a lot about design thinking and thermoplastic molding.
7578A77F-7991-4D26-B151-1329913DFA46.JPEG 2.22 MB


What is it like working with your Challenger?  Our challenger, Dana, is a very inspiring and accomplished person and I'm so grateful that we get to work with him.  He is so receptive to our questions and ideas and gives very valuable feedback.  I have learned how to work in a team and design something for another person to use.  There are so many factors we need to think about and consider when designing this foot shell because we want to produce him something that will last him a long time.

What would you say to other students about QL+?  QL+ is a really awesome organization that is constantly doing good in the world.  All of the projects they sponsor have a purpose and are ultimately there to better the lives of others, and it something that is great to be a part of.

What are your plans after graduation?  I hope to work in either the biotechnology or medical devices industry, at a company whose goal is to better the lives of others through their work.

What has been the proudest moment of your college career?  Joining Engineering Ambassadors my freshman year was a club I'm grateful I participated in.  This club enhanced my public speaking skills as we give tours to potential students and industry representatives.  It also gave me valuable leadership experience as I joined the executive board in my 2nd year and am the current President.

What three words best describe you? Positive, Leader, Proactive
09363068-C65F-4C7A-B9F6-3653202F5190.JPEG 3.9 MB