Our Partnership With VCU


About Virginia Commonwealth University

QL+ Program Manager: Janet Papazis, PT, DPT

Faculty Advisor:

Jessika Rojas, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering

QL+ Project:

Recumbent Bike Lift Assistance: A retired Army Veteran had multiple back and neck surgeries and tendon damage on both hands. She enjoys cycling and has different types of recumbent bikes and vehicles. Her bikes are heavy, as are her vehicle tailgate and current lift systems. She has difficulty lifting her recumbent bikes onto her current bike lifts or into her vehicles because of her grip, awkward bike configuration and bike weight. The Challenge is to create a functional and safe lift system for a recumbent bike from ground to her Ford Ranger truck and her Ford Transit Connect van.

Faculty Advisor:

P. Worth Longest, Ph.D., Louis S. and Ruth S. Harris Exceptional Scholar Professor, Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering

QL+ Project:

Recumbent Bike Cover/Security: a retired Army Veteran had multiple back and neck surgeries, with retained titanium rods in her back. Additionally, both hands have tendon damage. With these disabilities, she has difficulty lifting and securing her recumbent bikes on her vehicles. Her Challenge request is to create a functional and secure cover for a recumbent bike in the bed of her truck to protect it from the elements and theft. She indicates that nothing on the market exists which conforms to her recumbent bike specifics.

Faculty Advisor:

Paul Wetzel, Ph.D., Department of Biomedical Engineering

QL+ Project:

Reading Cue App: An Army Veteran was injured in his second tour in Iraq in 2006 when he encountered an IED. He sustained a traumatic brain injury and legal blindness. He loved to read and enjoys reading using his iPad Pro, however, he continues to have difficulty with visually scanning to the left. This leads to him miss words, sentences, and content when trying to read. The challenge is to create a device/process to cue him to continue to scan to the left when reading especially with his smart tablet (iPad Pro).

Faculty Advisor:

Thea Pepperal, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering

QL+ Project:

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.

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