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Our Partnership With Colorado School Of Mines

#HELLUVAENGINEER

About Colorado School Of Mines

QL+ Program Manager: Col Court Allen, USAF (Ret.).

QL+ Mentors: N/A

Faculty Advisor: Jose Verissimo

QL+ Project:

Mono-Ski Transport: Our Challenger is an Army Veteran who served in the 173rd Airborne Brigade, Sky Soldiers. Over thirteen years ago, while serving as part of a QRF in Zabul Province, Afghanistan, he was shot four times while in a firefight. The first bullet lodged in his spinal cord and second nearly ending his life as it ripped through his lung and embedded in his liver. He is currently a college student and is very active in the outdoors with his wife, sons and friends. Having enjoyed skiing his entire life, he is now an avid mono skier. However, he has a difficult time trying to transport his mono ski from the car to the slopes and back again. Maneuvering around the resort is a challenge, with every resort has varying degrees of accessibility to the slopes and parking. The engineering students are tasked with the Challenge of creating a device that will help him transport his mono-ski independently while he is in his wheelchair, thus freeing his wife to transport with her equipment and their young sons. His preference is to have a system that can affix to his chair to tow his ski as opposed to one that is pushed or carried, so that he can independently transport/carry his mono-ski from place to place. It also needs to traverse uneven, ice and snow-covered terrain typical around a ski resort base area.

Faculty Advisor: Antonie "Tony” Vandenberge

QL+ Project:

Adaptive Mountain Bike: Our Challenger was a North Carolina State Highway Patrol Trooper. In late November 2009, he was investigating a collision on the interstate and was rear-ended by a high-speed vehicle. He sustained a traumatic brain injury, orthopedic injuries, has cognitive deficits, dementia, super-sensitive hearing and smell, binocular dysfunction with double vision, spasticity on the right side of his body, balance issues, and requires care and supervision, 24/7. Humberto has a very difficult time participating in normal life events outside of the home, where he and his wife can only participate in for short periods of time. This isolation severely diminishes his and his family’s quality of life. Our Challenger was an athlete in high school and college. Despite his challenges, he now enjoys supervised athletic activities. He also actively participates in top-level Triathlon events which provide him with a disciplined preparation plan and focus to help him better deal with his life altering injuries and issues. By participating in the triathlon events and in the intense training that is required, he is able to enjoy a greater quality of life. To better participate in off road cycling events, he needs a recumbent mountain bike that is adapted and tailored for challenging single-track terrain. The challenge is to develop an adapted lightweight recumbent mountain bike capable of safe operation on challenging single-track mountain trails.

Faculty Advisors: Dr. Joel Bach, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering; Dr. Chelsea Salinas, Teaching Associate Professor, EDS

QL+ Project:

Hand Cycle Grips: Ray Clark is Program Manager for Project HERO at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, a bike mechanic and cycling coach for Veterans that use or prefer a hand cycle for fitness and competition. Hand cycle grips are one size and not easily and quickly adapted for variable hand geometries, and hand or arm capabilities. It is not unusual for Veterans to have reconstructed hands, prosthetics, missing fingers, asymmetric strength, or other conditions that make use of standard grips difficult or are uncomfortable over long periods of use. Ray has asked student engineers from Mines to design a capability to quickly and easily fabricate durable customizable hand cycle grips for a range of scenarios and conditions.

Faculty Advisors: Dr. Joel Bach, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering; Dr. Chelsea Salinas, Teaching Associate Professor, EDS

QL+ Project:

Amputee Speed Skate: An Army veteran whose severely injured lower leg was amputated wants to speed skate. Skating would provide him an additional conditioning option in the winter months. Keeping active is important to his well-being and mental health. He wears a below-the-knee prosthetic. The Challenge is to design and build a device prosthetic that will accommodate a speed skate.

Faculty Advisor: Donna Bodeau, Adjunct Faculty, Engineering, Design, & Society

QL+ Project:

Symmetrical Gravity Activated Wheelchair Brake: Our Challenger prefers to use a manual wheelchair as much as possible. He enjoys the outdoors but gets frustrated going down hills. Hand gripping the brake rail on the wheels quickly wears out gloves and makes it difficult to wear them for warmth. Controlled downhill braking is difficult and fatiguing at higher speeds due to asymmetrical grip strength. The Challenger would also like the brakes to automatically prevent the wheelchair from rolling back on a hill when she pauses. The Challenger would also prefer that the brakes be environmentally friendly and not require any type of batteries that may deplete when he travels long distances in his wheelchair. The challenge is to design and build a robust, one-handed downhill wheelchair speed-control device and an automatic anti-rollback brake.

Faculty Advisors: Dr. Joel Bach, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering; Donna Bodeau, Adjunct Faculty, Engineering, Design, & Society

QL+ Project:

Adaptive Field and Stream Improvements: The River Deep Alliance is dedicated to providing healing and support services to military veterans, active duty personnel or other individuals with disabilities who have experienced physical injury or psychological and emotional trauma. The alliance organizes hunting, fishing, archery instruction and other outings for military veterans and other individuals with disabilities. The participants have experienced TBI and/or Spinal injuries that have left them with a range of disabilities and challenges. These therapeutic activities provide an opportunity for a day of peace, relaxation, camaraderie and, fun in a safe, supportive environment.

The range of participant disability presents the challenge of providing quickly tailorable and affordable modifications to equipment used in Field and Stream activities. Many current adaptions are dated, obsolete, incomplete, unsupportable, or non-existent. Mines student engineers will work on improvements to the most needed adaptions and their specific use requirements. Examples include a one-arm archer release and bow holder for individual with limited hand and forearm use and improvements to existing fishing rod and reel adaptions.

Faculty Advisor: Donna Bodeau, Adjunct Faculty, Engineering, Design, & Society

QL+ Project:

Socket Air Pump: The students are tasked with finding a solution for a Veteran who is a transtibial amputee to minimize the number of times his prosthetic would need to be removed for volumetric adjustment throughout the day. The goal is to produce a simple system that could be utilized within existing prosthetic sockets that could accommodate changes in the volume of the residual limb.

Faculty Advisor: Donna Bodeau, Adjunct Faculty, Engineering, Design, & Society

QL+ Project:

Wheelchair Scoop

About Colorado School of Mines:

Colorado School of Mines is a public research university devoted to engineering and applied science. With the highest admission standards of any public university in Colorado and among the highest of any public university in the United States, “Mines” as the school is known, has been setting the standard since its founding in 1874. Producing industry-ready scientists and engineers, Mines students are well known for their work ethic, problem-solving ability, and team focus. Mines graduates are in great demand by companies and government entities around the world and are involved in solving many of the major technical and societal challenges of our times. Tenacity, talent, dedication, accountability, and social responsibility are hallmarks of this pioneering institution.


http://ability.mines.edu/design.html