Nic Rasmussen is a senior Mechanical Engineering Major at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.  He is graduating in June 2020.  Nic and his teammates are working on the shadowboxing stabilizer for our mentor, Harvey Naranjo at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.  He wants a device that supports people as they regain strength and balance in their legs. The device should support but not enable the patients, while also having the ability to move with the patient or remain static.  Harvey also wants to be able to transport the device easily across the hospital and be compatible for easy storage.

Why did you choose your major?   I chose to be a Mechanical Engineer because I like to build and want to help make a difference in people's lives.  I was originally in Aerospace Engineering but switched because it felt too specific, and I wanted a job that would make a difference in people’s lives more directly.  I am now moving towards a focus on renewable energy because climate change is the biggest crisis facing our world today.
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Describe your experience working with QL+ so far.  QL+ is an amazing way to build something that will immediately impact people. It was challenging to consider the 9-month project and not just jump to the first solution we thought of. But it has been really rewarding now that we are close to completion to see just how far we’ve come, and how great of a product we have.

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What is it like working with your Challenger?  Our challenger has been really amazing to work with. We have learned a lot about how to work with customers, and especially the importance of figuring out exactly what the customer requirements are, as soon as possible.

What would you say to other students about QL+?  QL+ is a great way to explore engineering devices that are designed to support people. You get hands-on experience and get to work with some great people.

What are your plans after graduation?  After graduation, I will be going to Indonesia to teach English with the Peace Corps. I am excited to make a difference on the other side of the world.
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What has been the proudest moment of your college career?   I am very proud of the contributions I was able to make over my past two summers interning at Spinlectrix. I was able to design and build devices thanks to the Cal Poly preparation. Spinlectrix is a startup company so I was able to be on the ground floor of this company and really get to make a lasting contribution. I learned a lot about design and manufacturing which has helped me so much in this QL+ project.

What three words best describe you? Patient, outgoing, adventurous