Thursday, October 23, 2014

SUNY POLY Students Create One of a Kind, Adaptive Golf Club for Wounded Army Vet

Mechanical Engineering Technology Project Helps Veteran Realize His Dream

Marcy, NY – Serving as a testament to the far-reaching impact of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s innovation-education model, SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) today announced two engineering students have completed a project enabling an injured war veteran to continue pursuing his passion for golf.

In September 2006, Ret. Army Sgt. Rick Yarosh of Windsor, NY was on patrol in Iraq when his tank was hit by a makeshift bomb.  More than 60% of his body was burned, and his right leg had to be amputated below the knee. Yarosh survived a long and remarkable recovery, but his days of playing golf seemed to be over.

Upon hearing of Yarosh’s story, SUNY Poly students Nicholas Arbour of Herkimer and Adam Peters of New Hartford took on the challenge to design and fabricate an adaptive golf club, specially designed for Yarosh.  Unlike any other adaptive golf device, it can accommodate different clubs and be used with only one hand; giving Yarosh the opportunity to return to the sport he loves.

Dr. Alain Kaloyeros, Chief Executive Officer and Officer in Charge of SUNY Poly said, “We are incredibly proud of Nicholas and Adam and congratulate them on being so creative and bold and for using the skills they have learned in the classroom to make such a significant impact in a veteran's life.  We extend our deepest gratitude to Sgt. Yarosh and all the men and women of our armed forces for their sacrifices, and are humbled by the dedication of our students to express their own appreciation.”

“What people often see is the buildings, the press conferences, the nanotechnology articles, but SUNY Polytechnic is so much more than that, as these students truly represent. They are its heart,” said Dr. Robert Geer, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of SUNY Poly. “This institution is also a part of the community and its people. We are so proud of the spirit of innovation exuded by Adam and Nicholas in their hard work, determination and constant vision to make this possible for Sgt. Yarosh.”

Arbour and Peters worked on their prototype for roughly 12 weeks, in and out of classes.  On October 28, they will present Sgt. Yarosh with the finished product: an adaptive golf club that will return him to the sport he loves.

“We’re pleased and proud that Nicholas and Adam were able to turn their classroom learning into a real-world solution,” said William W. Durgin, SUNY Poly provost. “Their commitment is exemplary, and it sets a fine example of the power of project-based learning that can make such a difference in our community.”

Arbour and Peters will present Sgt. Yarosh with the adaptive golf club onOctober 28 at 1 p.m. at the Sitrin Medical Rehabilitation Center, 2050 Tilden Avenue, New Hartford, NY 13413.

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