Mark Foss is a senior engineering student at George Mason University.  Mark is graduating in May 2020 and will attain his accelerated Master's Degree in May 2021.  Mark is majoring in Mechanical Engineering for his undergraduate degree and Systems Engineering for his Master's Degree.

Mark and his teammates are working on the Handcycle Modification Challenge for an Army Veteran whose right leg was amputated above the knee.  The current design induces pain and discomfort to our Challenger and the team's goal is to alleviate the pain and discomfort by redesigning the entire seating system to better distribute his weight.  Additionally, the team is assembling other smaller fixes that will improve his quality of life such as a stronger motor to help him navigate steeper terrain.

Why did you choose your major?  I chose my major because I thought it would provide the most direct path to helping humanity advance on a technological level.  My biggest ambition is to help make an innovation that benefits society long after I’m gone.

Describe your experience working with QL+ so far.  QL+ has been very helpful and accommodating with our proposed designs.  They are very quick to get things done when needed and our team really appreciates having them as our sponsor.  Our biggest challenge has been the saddle design due to its shape.  We want it to be ergonomic to fit our challenger perfectly, but it requires a lot of testing and time to get it done right. We’ve gone through a few different methods to best fabricate the saddle, before finally deciding on hand carving the mold to get the casting done quickly to allow for more iterations if the challenger shows signs of discomfort.  The most rewarding part of this endeavor will be the impact we have on the challenger to allow him to pursue his passion for many more years.
Team with Challenger Peter Way.Handcycle.GMU.jpg 69.4 KB

What is it like working with your Challenger?  Our challenger, Major Way, is an amazing person and we are all grateful to be able to work with him.  He is extremely helpful in describing his issues, and an all-around personable guy that inspires us to try our best to complete this project to the best of our ability.  We knew how engineering could positively impact people on massive scales, but now we know we know how important it can be to affecting a single person, which makes the meaning of our work feel much more critical.

What would you say to other students about QL+?  If you have the opportunity to work with QL+ I definitely recommend it because of the positive impact you can make on someone’s life.

What are your plans after graduation?  I plan to continue my master’s degree.

What three words best describe you?  Ambitious, Analytical, Astute.
Challenger Peter Way on Handcycle.GMU.png 1.01 MB