Momentum - The Magazine for Virginia Tech Mechanical Engineering Vol. 4 No. 1 Spring 2019 - Page 24

24 Beyond senior design Student organization embraces QL+ philosophy to enhance quality of life In the 2017-2018 academic year, a new sponsor for mechanical engineering senior design teams arrived at Virginia Tech in the form of QL+, a non-profit dedicated to helping veterans and first responders. Teams tackled problems brought forth by challengers and made a difference in their lives. Inspired by the initial challenges, Zackory Biggers, a junior in mechanical engi- neering from Lovettsville, Virginia answered a call to help form a new student organization, Quality of Life Plus Student Chapter at Virginia Tech, to help people in the New River Valley. “Last year’s senior design team really got the student organization started,” Biggers said. “This is the first year we’ve been in action, with an executive board and working on projects.” ROSAIRE BUSHEY MECHANICAL ENGINEERING Biggers is the president of the club which has about thirty members representing a number of engineering and non-engineering disciplines. The projects the group takes on are not senior design projects. In fact, there is no academic credit at all associat- ed with the club, and students are doing work on their own time, using money they raise. “We’ve been working with a rehabilitation center called Neuro-Restorative who have put us in touch with several of our challengers,” Biggers said. Of the three projects the team is taking on this semes- ter, one involves a 12-year old who was born with only part of his hand, with no fingers. The team meets with Ben and his parents, Joel and Trina to come up with options for what they can do that will help Ben. “We are looking at a prosthetic attachment that will help him hold a cup and potentially assist him in playing the piano,” Biggers said. “It’s a small thing, but something most people don’t think about – it makes it easier when eating a meal or carrying a drink through the house to have one hand free while carrying your cup, for instance.” Talking to their challengers has given Biggers a new