Our Partnership With VCU


About Virginia Commonwealth University

QL+ Program Manager: Barbara Springer, PT, Ph.D.

Faculty Advisor:

Dr. Hank Donahue
Chair, Department of Biomedical Engineering
Better Knee Braces Challenge

Dr. Dianne Pawluk
Associate Professor and ABET Coordinator, Department of Biomedical Engineering
Socket Air Pump Challenge

Dr. Ben Ward
Director of Project Outreach and Associate Professor of Engineering
Waterproof Osseointegration Covers

QL+ Projects:

Better Knee Braces Challenge: An Army Veteran injured his knees when his parachute did not deploy properly. He currently wears knee braces, but they do not stay in place well due to the shape of his legs. QL+ students from the VCU Biomedical Engineering Department are tasked with the challenge of designing and creating more comfortable and better-fitting knee braces that stay in place during increased activity, such as hockey.

Waterproof Osseointegration Covers: An Army Veteran, who lost both legs above the knee due to an improvised explosive device (IED), had bilateral osseointegration surgery. This is a procedure where an implant is used to permanently anchor artificial limbs to the human skeleton. Although the veteran will be cleared for swimming in certain bodies of water, he would still like a waterproof cover to protect his legs and the implant during water activities. QL+ students from the VCU Chemical and Life Science Engineering (CLSE) are tasked with the challenge of designing and building these covers.

About Virginia Commonwealth University:

As the premier urban, public research university in the state, Virginia Commonwealth University’s mission is to advance knowledge and student success through its commitments to:

  • An engaged, learner-centered environment that fosters inquiry, discovery and innovation in a global setting

  • Research that expands the boundaries of new knowledge and creative expression and promotes translational applications to improve human health

  • Interdisciplinary collaborations that bring new perspectives to complex problems and mobilize creative energies that advance innovation and solve global challenges

  • Health care that strives to preserve and restore health for all people, to seek the cause and cure of diseases through groundbreaking research and to educate those who serve humanity

  • Diversity that provides a climate of inclusion, a dedication to addressing disparities wherever they exist and an opportunity to explore and create in an environment of trust

  • Sustainable university-community partnerships that enhance the educational, economic and cultural vitality of the communities VCU serves in Virginia and around the world