April 5, 2021

Finn Lynch

Loyola Marymount

Finn Lynch is the president of the QL+ Student Chapter at Loyola Marymount University. He is a senior, graduating in 2021, and is majoring in Mechanical Engineering. He is a founding member of the chapter at his university! Finn is working on the Collapsible Prosthetic Shower Leg Challenge for Challenger Phil Tamoush, a transtibial amputee who travels for work. The leg needs to fit in a suitcase and be water/slip-resistant.

Question & Answer

Why did you choose your major? I chose my major because I couldn’t see myself doing anything else in college. As a kid I grew up playing with Legos and learning a lot about cars. I always knew I wanted to have a job where I could make things and mechanical engineering was the logical choice.

Describe your experience working with QL+ so far.  What is the biggest challenge?  What has been rewarding? My experience with QL+ has been great so far. As a founding member and e-board member for our new chapter at LMU the QL+organization has been quick to reach out and offer us guidance on a variety of different topics. It already feels like our club is part of the greater QL+community despite getting started about 8 months ago. For a new club like ours the biggest challenge has been finding new projects to work on with our growing roster. Something that has been rewarding is mentoring our younger students so that they can hopefully deliver more projects to our community partners and Challengers in the coming semesters.

What was it like working with your Challenger?  The experience of working with a Challenger is unique when compared to something like an SAE competition. Working with another person is a constant reminder to stay focused on what they actually need instead of what you think they need. Designing a human-centric product has taught me a lot about the importance of less tangible factors such as comfort and usability. Another benefit is seeing the direct impact you can make on someone’s life with your work. There is truly nothing like the experience you get working with a Challenger.

What would you say to other students about QL+? If I was talking to another student about QL+ I would definitely encourage them to give it a shot. For a lot of students biomedical related engineering projects may seem out of reach, but in reality, they can be as simple or complex as the Challenger needs. Working with a person to design a unique product for them will help a student gain unique insight into the design process that isn’t gained from other types of projects. I would highly recommend QL+ for being such a rewarding club.

What are your plans after graduation? After graduation I’ll be attending theUniversity of Michigan to get a master’s in mechanical engineering. My goal is to focus on research relevant to the electric vehicle industry.

What has been the proudest moment of your college career? The proudest moment in my college career has been electing the new QL+ e-board. Amanuel, Nash, and I (founding members) have worked really hard this past year to create a club that is not only welcoming to underclassmen but is also able to put in meaningful work on the projects we’ve taken on. Knowing there are an equally committed group of students ready to continue our work has been a great end to my years at LMU.

List three ways you have changed as a person, student, and future engineer since working on this project. After working on the project with Phil I have definitely grown as a person and engineer. First off, Phil’s story has been inspiring to me and my team and shows how resilient people are when faced with extreme adversity. Working with him has been a humbling and inspiring experience that has motivated me to work harder on this project for him. As an engineer I have also gained valuable skills mainly in communication and design. When working with Phil it has taken a concerted effort to explain our design and design choices virtually, but also to take his input and implement it how he imagines. In terms of design, I have had to change my mindset about what a good design is. While something may sound good in my head, when thinking about the use case for Phil, that may not be the ideal direction to go. I have had to remind myself that this is a product for a person, not a machine that needs to complete a task.

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