Melody Weigel is a Senior at The George Washington University.  She is majoring in Biomedical Engineering with a concentration in Mechanical Engineering.  Melody and her teammates are working with Marine veteran, Rob Jones.  Rob is a double, above-the-knee amputee who has trouble hiking efficiently on either of his current sets of prosthetics.  He asked the team to design him something that can assist him in hiking more efficiently on uneven terrain.

Why did you choose your major?
  I originally wanted to be a veterinarian, and I knew engineering would give me a strong technical background and a creative way of thinking.  I chose biomedical because that involved the most diverse subjects of study within engineering.  During my time at GWU, I have developed an interest in biomechanics and have aspirations in that field.
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Describe your experience working with QL+ so far.   I think I am very lucky to have my senior project with QL+.  My team has received a lot of help from our assigned prosthetics mentor, as well as our project manager Dr. Springer. The biggest challenge has been scheduling and making sure we’re checking in frequently with QL+,
but this is more of a benefit than a challenge because it keeps us on a consistent schedule.

Working with Rob has been an incredibly unique experience.  We went on a long hike and had a great opportunity to talk for a while about not only the project, but about Rob’s life, his goals, and his visions.  He’s doing amazing things such as running for congress and raising awareness about veterans and is an inspiration to me and my team.
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What would you say to other students about QL+?  I would tell other students to do their best to work with QL+. It is an honorable experience to have as an undergraduate because not only are you expanding your engineering skills, you are doing it for a very respectable cause - veterans who have sacrificed their lives for our country.  So it offers an incentive to do very well because you have an emotional connection as well as a sense of importance.

What are your plans after graduation? After graduation, I hope to dive into the field of biomechanics, orthopedics, and prosthetics and eventually open up my own O&P company that specializes in creating devices for different kinds of animals.

What has been the proudest moment of your college career?  The proudest moment of my college career was when I helped my graduate student in my research lab put out a research paper on cervical insufficiency in expecting mothers.  It’s always a proud moment when months of work go into a finished product that will eventually help people, especially an important group such as pregnant women.

What three words best describe you?  The best three words to describe me are funny, enthusiastic, and creative.
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