Texas A&M senior Matthew Curtis spends most of his rare free time working on a life-saving tourniquet device, hoping to reduce the human challenges of trying to rescue a bleeding arm or leg.
“In a stressful situation, your ability to concentrate and perform fine motor movements decreases drastically,” Curtis said, referring to those precious, agonizing minutes that follow being wounded. “As much as possible, equipment should compensate for that, which means it should be as simple to apply as possible, so that you don’t have to think about what you’re doing.”
Curtis’s design not only increases durability but also makes it more easy and quick to secure the device to a limb.
His advice to fellow students is to connect what they learn in the classroom with real-world examples, which is exactly what he is doing. He said the inspiration for the device came not from a classroom or textbook, but from his experience while serving in Afghanistan as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps.
The mechanical engineering major is one of about 1,150 veterans now enrolled at Texas A&M University, a school that’s been serving student veterans since 1919. The state’s oldest institution of higher education is one of the top-ranking schools in the country for veterans when it comes to resources, financial assistance, faculty, military culture and career services.
A&M recently was ranked as the Best College for Veterans in the nation when Best Value Schools awarded the distinction based on return on investment.
Curtis, who spent four years in the military, said he never could have pursued his idea for the device without the resources and opportunities provided by Texas A&M.
“I probably could have come up with something, but it certainly wouldn’t be where it is today without those resources.”
The plan following a May graduation is for Curtis to pursue a Master of Business Administration. He said he hopes to grow his business and further develop technology to help people inside and out of the military.
- To learn more about Curtis: today.tamu.edu/2018/11/14/student-veteran-uses-engineering-education-military-experience-in-pursuit-of-innovation/
- TAMU services: veterans.tamu.edu