Sonia Goetschius is a Junior at San Diego State University.  She is the President of the QL+ Student Chapter at San Diego State University.  She is scheduled to graduate in May, 2021.  She is majoring in Mechanical Engineering with an emphasis in Bioengineering. 

Sonia and members of the Student Chapter are working on a Surfboard Transfer Device to ease the process of getting adaptive surfers into the water. It is currently very difficult to get adaptive surfers oriented in the water, this project should help simplify that process.

Why did you choose your major?  During high school, I worked closely with an organization which held camps for children with Cerebral Palsy and other motor skill disabilities. I loved participating as a volunteer with this organization, and I was simultaneously becoming more and more interested in math and science in school. Engineering seemed like the clear choice academically, and going into the Biomedical Engineering allows me to combine my interests and hopefully make an impact on the world.
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Describe your experience working with QL+ so far.  What is the biggest challenge?  What has been rewarding?  Founding this organization with my fellow officers has been an amazing, yet challenging experience. I have thoroughly enjoyed going out into the community and getting to know our challengers and taking their ideas and turning them into real devices. 

What would you say to other students about QL+?  QL+ is a fantastic opportunity. It allows students to go through a small-scale product development cycle – from the initial user request, to design, manufacturing, and delivering the product. It allows  us to take what we learn in school, apply it to the real world, and see the instant impact assistive technology can have on one’s quality of life.
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What are your plans after graduation?  Because of QL+, I have realized how much I enjoy having a personal connection with the people I am designing for.  My plan after graduation is to go into the Biomedical field as a design engineer, hopefully having a similar relationship to clients as the QL+ model.

What has been your proudest moment of your college career?   So far, the proudest moment of my college career has been watching our team bond with each other and our challengers at Waves4All (the organization we are currently building a device for) and then bringing so much excitement and knowledge back to our project meetings to design an innovative device.

What three words best describe you?   Ambitious, diligent, methodical. 

The purpose the of the QL+ Student Spotlight SC is to highlight our amazing students, our university partners, and the life-changing work they are doing to improve the quality of life of people in their communities.