Our Partnership With Catholic University


About Catholic University

QL+ Program Manager: Barb Springer

Faculty Advisor: Greg Behrmann, Ph.D., Clinical Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering

QL+ Projects:

Breakaway for Prosthetic Leg: Our Challenger is a retired Army Major. In 2003, while serving, a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) injured his right leg. Due to the shrapnel and dirt from the RPG, he suffered multiple infections and endured 24 surgeries. In 2015, he elected to undergo a right leg-above-the-knee amputation to lessen infection and improve function. He had osseointegration surgery in Feb 2019. He’s been an avid mountain biker since 1986. Since his injury, but before osseointegration surgery, he rode a mountain bike, an off-road handcycle, and a two-wheel bike. Since he had osseointegration surgery, his bike leg is not compatible. Mountain biking is an integral part of our Challenger’s quality of life. The Challenge is to create a functional and safe breakaway system for his prosthetic leg so our Challenger can continue engaging in the activities he loves.

Golfing Assists for Hand Transplants: Our Challenger is a retired Army Infantryman who lost both arms from an IED blast injury in 2012. He enjoys golfing and has tried a variety of golfing adaptations but discovered that there was too much wobble/motion. Our Challenger needs more stability, and he needs to be able to slide his right hand in and out so his hands are not always hooked together. The engineering students are tasked with the challenge of designing and building a device to assist him with his golf game.

About Catholic University:

The Catholic University of America is the national university of the Catholic Church and the only higher education institution founded by the U.S. bishops. Established in 1887 as a papally chartered graduate and research center, the University comprises 12 schools and 31 research facilities and is home to 3,332 undergraduate and 2,624 graduate students.