Taking on the Challenge

After watching veterans during the Operation Surf camp last fall, a team of four students set out to create a prosthetic limb that would improve mobility for amputee surfers.

Operation Surf founder Van Curaza had requested students help design such a prosthetic at the beginning of the fall quarter, saying existing ones were too rigid for surfing. His challenge was issued to the Quality of Life Plus (QL+) program, founded by Cal Poly alumnus Jon Monett.

The QL+ program pairs interdisciplinary student projects with the needs of wounded vets. At the beginning of the school year, students are matched with challenges, which they work on the entire school year. The team taking on Curaza’s challenge includes biomedical engineering majors Oyundari Altansukh and Samantha Campbell and mechanical engineering students Kurtis Barth and Caroline Swanson.

In the first installment of “Up to the Challenge,” Curaza and veteran Kyle Kelly discussed the need for a surfing prosthetic. In chapter two here, we follow the team of students as they meet Curaza and begin the design process.

The Cal Poly College of Engineering understands there has been an enormous amount of turmoil and transition due to Coronavirus (COVID-19). As we continue offering support to our students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends, we also continue providing critical updates as well as college highlights. Ours is a college full of creative and bright engineers and staff. For more information on COVID-19 visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. For more information on how Cal Poly is responding to COVID-19, visit the Cal Poly Coronavirus website Coronavirus website.


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