Our Partnership With Catholic University


About Catholic University

QL+ Program Manager: Edith Campbell

QL+ Projects:

QL+ Project: Microprocessor Knee Algorithm for OI (Kaelin’s Master’s Project)

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Gregory Behrmann

An Army Veteran was injured in 2003 by a rocket-propelled grenade. He suffered multiple infections and endured 24 surgeries. In 2015, he had a right leg above the knee amputation to lessen infection and improve function. He then had osseointegration (OI) surgery in 2019. He uses an Ottobock Genium X3 microprocessor knee prosthetic and does not wear a socket. The algorithms are designed for traditional socket prosthetics, and not for those who had OI. The Challenge is to improve the algorithm/software and possibly the prosthetic angles to allow for a more efficient and safer gait following OI surgery.

QL+ Project: Breakaway for Prosthetic Leg (Master’s student project)

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Gregory Behrmann

A retired Army veteran was injured in 2003 by a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG). In 2015, he elected to undergo a right leg above the knee amputation to lessen infection and improve function and recently had osseointegration surgery. Mountain biking is an integral part of his physical and mental health and quality of life. The Challenge is to create a functional, safe breakaway system for his osseointegrated prosthetic leg attachment so he can safely continue his activities.

QL+ Project: Golf Adaptation Device (Master’s student project)

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Gregory Behrmann

An Army veteran who lost both arms to an IED blast in Afghanistan in 2012 had bilateral hand transplant surgery. He does not have use of his forearms, wrists, and hands until the nerves finish growing distally. Therefore, he is unable to grip, flex, or extend his wrists. He likes to golf and has tried with a variety of adaptations, but there is still too much “wobble”/motion. The goal of this Challenge is to create a golfing device that will allow him to enjoy the sport.

QL+ Project: Hiking Prosthetic V3

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Gregory Behrmann

A combat-wounded Marine who has bilateral above the knee amputations is very active and wants to be able to hike with his prosthetics. Currently, he has many difficulties going over uneven terrain with his regular prosthetics b/c of balance issues and falls. The algorithm in the knee does not react quickly enough to adjust. When he uses his “shorties” (no knees), it is more stable, but he must swing his legs around to go uphill or downhill and it is not comfortable or efficient. The Challenge is to create hiking prosthetics that allow him to walk over uneven terrain safely and efficiently.

QL+ Project: Auto-Adjusting Arm Brace

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Peter Lum

An Army Veteran was working on Border Patrol when he sustained an incomplete right arm brachial plexus injury. This has resulted in an unstable shoulder joint and limited use of his arm. He is an avid athlete and completes in events such as Para Track and Field. The goal of this challenge to create a lightweight brace that can automatically be placed into a 90-degree elbow position with something such as a “push of a button” and will also be able to hold his shoulder up into his socket.

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.